Valve has released information for its Steam Box system which runs the recently announced Linux-based SteamOS. Beginning in 2014, there will be multiple SteamOS machines to choose from, made by different manufacturers.
While these products are still in development, according to the firm, it wants user input to ensure the “right products are getting made is to let people try them out and then make changes” as development goes along.
“We have designed a high-performance prototype that’s optimized for gaming, for the living room, and for Steam. Of course, it’s also completely upgradable and open,” said the firm.
“Entertainment is not a one-size-fits-all world. We want you to be able to choose the hardware that makes sense for you, so we are working with multiple partners to bring a variety of Steam gaming machines to market during 2014, all of them running SteamOS.
“This year we’re shipping just 300 of these boxes to Steam users, free of charge, for testing. You can make yourself eligible to get one.”
In order to be considered, you can add yourself to the list of candidates by completing the Eligibility Quest on Steam.
Here’s how: Before October 25, log in to Steam and then visit your quest page to track your current status towards beta test eligibility:
- Join the Steam Universe community group
- Agree to the Steam Hardware Beta Terms and Conditions
- Make 10 Steam friends (if you haven’t already)
- Create a public Steam Community profile (if you haven’t already)
- Play a game using a gamepad in Big Picture mode
A small number of users -30 or less – will be chosen based on their past community contributions and beta participation, and the remainder will be chosen at random from the eligible pool.
The firm is conducting a beta of the overall Steam living-room experience, and said that the specific machines it’s testing are designed for users who “want the most control possible over their hardware.”
According to the beta test sign up, there is a controller of sorts involved, but these are “produced prototypes” noted alongside its prototypes for “entertainment system hardware and software, including a set-top box running custom software.”
Valve has not announced it is working on a controller, so this bit is somewhat of a surprise, although it may never see the light of day. Then again, it could be part of Friday’s announcement.
You can find out more information on the boxes and how to participate in the development process through here.
Earlier today, it was rumored the firm would introduce preliminary schematics for Steam Box.
Looks like part of this rumor was true after all. The other part of the rumor states Source 2 will be shown off on Friday. We’ll see.