Valve just made the second of three scheduled announcements for its plan to bring PC gaming into the living room and said that it is working with “multiple partners to bring a variety of Steam gaming machines to market during 2014.”
On Monday, Bellevue-based Valve unveiled a free Steam operating system designed for living rooms and based on Linux. SteamOS is a stand-alone operating system made for PCs and built around Steam’s current platform. It “combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen,” as Valve describes it.
The Steam Machines announced today will all run SteamOS and are designed to let people play PC games on a living room TV. No spec information was given, but there will “ultimately be several boxes to choose from, with an array of specifications, price, and performance.”
Valve added that you will be able to build your own box to run SteamOS, which means you can hack the box — run another operating system on it, change the hardware, install your own software, even “use it to build a robot,” as Valve said.
To get some public feedback, Valve is giving out 300 of is own Steam Machine hardware prototypes to Steam users.
Valve has long talked about bringing PC gaming into the living room and this week’s news will set the groundwork for how the company plans to compete with kingpin console manufacturers like Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony. The third announcement will be revealed Friday at 10 a.m. PST.