Earlier this week, the folks at Valve revealed the first of three major announcements regarding the company's plan to invade your living room. SteamOS
is a Linux-based operating system that will allow gamers to stream their Windows and Macintosh titles via their network connection. The system, like most modern gaming platforms, will also support cloud-based music, television, and movie streaming. Plus it includes the family sharing system
that gamers have been clamoring for.
But Valve isn't done yet. Today the company unveiled its second announcement: a piece of Steam-based hardware.
"Entertainment is not a one-size-fits-all world," Valve says
. "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."
The Steam Machines, as Valve is calling them, aren't ready for production just yet. The company is planning to beta test the units by selecting 300 Steam users who will receive their very own Steam Machine, free of charge.
If you're interested in participating, here's what you need to know:
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
Valve's assault on the console gaming industry isn't quite finished, though. The company has another announcement scheduled for Friday, and many users are crossing their fingers for a certain sequel.
Either way, the next-gen console war just got a little more complicated.