Feeds

Full Steam Ahead: Valve unwraps plans for gaming hardware

Seeding 300 beta machines to members with enough friends

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

We are halfway through a promised week of announcements from games publisher Valve, and so far it's looking interesting. On Monday the company announced its own flavor of Linux and on Wednesday it confirmed rumors that it is getting into the console industry with its own hardware.

"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 Valve in a statement. "This year we’re shipping just 300 of these boxes to Steam users, free of charge, for testing."

To get one of the "Steam Machines," Valve users need to have a valid profile, have at least ten friends online in the Steam community, have played a game using the Big Picture system launched last year, and apply before October 25 at the latest.

The rest of us can expect a commercially-available Steam Machine sometime next year, Valve says, and it won’t be alone in the market, promising "there will be multiple SteamOS machines to choose from, made by different manufacturers." No names have been released as yet, but the company is expected to announce at least two third-party systems using SteamOS in the coming months.

Beta testers can do what they like with the Steam Machine beta units, Valve said, even down to deleting the operating system entirely and using their own software on it. Similarly, SteamOS is designed to be run on whatever hardware system hobbyists can cobble together themselves and isn’t dependent on Valve's permission.

Valve said there would be a variety of games consoles out there running SteamOS and the company has "hundreds" of games ready to go on the Linux system, compared to around 3,000 available for Windows and Mac users.

The company has promised another announcement on Friday and the smart money is betting on a new version of Half Life, the immensely popular first-person shooter, probably ported to Linux. If so, dust off your Counter-Strike characters and get some practice in, because there could be a whole lot of fragging going on. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD to DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get the parts for HDD models
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.