Steam Machine Partners to Be Announced at CES 2014

Valve's Greg Coomer confirmed with IGN that the company will reveal its hardware partners for the Steam Machines initiative during CES 2014 in January. Despite Valve's own prototype boxes, there will be no central, flagship device, but rather a variety of different machines with their own set of unique features. He said a team of people, including Anna Sweet, has been working with OEMs and manufacturing partners.

"There really is a pretty huge variety of machines. It's not a huge number of boxes," he told the site. "In January we're going to start to be specific about which partners there are, how many boxes there are, what kinds of specs those machines will include. Probably ballpark figures on what kind of range of prices we'll be seeing for those boxes."

"We're not looking to stay with a specific set of people," he added. "It will not be static. But there's a range of capabilities within those partners. Some of them are set up to serve millions of Steam customers. Some of them are set up to literally serve hundreds, or a very small number of Steam customers. There will be a range."

The news follows another interview that took place on Monday revealing that Valve will not be making "exclusives" on the SteamOS platform… not even Half-life 3 or a Halo-like clone. This rule will also apply to third-party developers, as Anna Sweet admitted that the company is encouraging developers to put their games in as many places as possible. That's because customers are likely on more than one platform.

"If it can run in both places, we don't like to create those artificial barriers to accessing content," she told IGN. "We believe that, in maybe five years from now, folks will find it a quite antiquated notion that you should assume that when you change devices or platforms, that you lose all of your other games and friends. We're hoping to unify, to get Steam to be as platform- and context-agnostic as possible. You shouldn't have to shed that every generation, or even slightly shed it."

Engadget reports that SteamOS looks and acts like Steam's Big Picture Mode, a feature most of us expected when Valve announced the platform. The site also reports that Steam Machines will span from low-end, inexpensive streaming boxes to Intel Core i7 machines with Nvidia's Titan GPU. All the parts in Valve's prototype Steam Machine were swappable; the only item missing was an optical drive.

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  • chimera201
    Tomshardware, this is the image u should display
  • killerclick
    The variety of Steam Machines will be one of the reasons they will fail. When developing for consoles, the devs have a clear set-in-stone configuration that they're working with, and a guarantee that it won't change for years. With the variety of configurations available, the already poor incentives to develop for Steam OS get even worse.
  • rocknrollz
    @killerclick - What about PC's? They seem to do just fine, with much more configurations than a steam machine will ever have.
  • killerclick
    PCs have huge market penetration yet lag behind consoles in dev interest (a lot of PC gaming revenue is microtransactions in web-based games). Steam Machines are starting from scratch (or around 2% or whatever Linux desktop market share is), so I doubt many developers will want to spend time and money porting their games to Linux.
    If you look at Steam Machines suggested minimum specs (i5-4xxx, GTX 660, 16GB RAM, 1TB storage), the price is unlikely to be below $400 or even $500 (someone will be trying to make money on them), and I don't think that many people will pay that kind of money to be able to play games that are now available for Linux and have uncertain developer support for future games.
    Yes, Steam Machines will also be able to stream games from existing gaming PCs, but $400-500 is a lot of money for what can be done with a couple of longer-than-usual cables.
  • assasin32
    I am just hoping they release cheap hardware and it takes off which will hopefully make PC manufacturers shape up and quit price gouging their customers and only allowing stupid hardware configurations when you actually have more options available.
  • COLGeek
    What will be interesting to watch is how this effort may bleed over into Linux gaming in general. While not likely to have a major impact, this could result in another viable option to Windows based gaming.