Valve Software updated the Steam Universe discussion group on Tuesday with news that Steam Machines will hit the market in 2015, not 2014 as originally reported. The delay stems from the controller, which Valve's Eric Hope says has received a "ton" of feedback.
"We're now using wireless prototype controllers to conduct live playtests, with everyone from industry professionals to die-hard gamers to casual gamers," reads the update. "It's generating a ton of useful feedback, and it means we'll be able to make the controller a lot better. Of course, it's also keeping us pretty busy making all those improvements. Realistically, we're now looking at a release window of 2015, not 2014."
"Obviously we're just as eager as you are to get a Steam Machine in your hands," the update continues. "But our number one priority is making sure that when you do, you'll be getting the best gaming experience possible. We hope you'll be patient with us while we get there. Until then, we'll continue to post updates as we have more stories to share."
Hope doesn't mention the other 13 companies that are producing Steam Machines. As stated in previous reports, Steam Machines cannot ship until Valve gives the green light, as the controller is part of the Steam Machine requirement. What's possible is that the hardware partners will release their solutions anyway without the controller and Steam Machine stamp of approval.
Steam Machines will come in all shapes and sizes, but the "preferred" form factor seems to be the console-like design as seen with iBuyPower's prototype. This model sports an AMD CPU, a discrete GPU, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and a 500 GB hard drive. Prices for Steam Machines will begin at $499 and soar up to $5,999.