First Look At Valve’s Steam Machine, Steam OS Policies


Despite the release of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 just days away, Valve isn’t letting those two take the gaming headlines away just yet. Earlier today, The Verge had a chance to look at Valve’s Steam Machine and controller up close and personally, and there are some very interesting things to take away from it.

  • Airflow is remarkably tailored for each moving piece. Air from the CPU blows up and outwards, goes sideways from the power supply and from the graphics card out the back. All of the biggest parts making up the hardware (including a Geforce GTX) are sectioned off to prevent overheating and to keep the device more quiet.
  • The current Steam Controller is the one they chose out of more than a dozen prototypes. Some earlier versions included a trackball, hybrids combining an analog stick and a trackball and fold-out screens, before Valve ultimately settled with their current version.
  • A potential VR Headset from Valve, measuring emotions at the earlobe, may be supported by the Steam Machine. It is an implied rumor, but seeing how the Oculus Rift has been hyped by fans and Sony potentially working on one of their own for the PS4, the possibility is very real.
  • Half-Life 3 will not be exclusive to the Steam OS. The games created by Valve (and operating within Linux) will not be held exclusive to their operating system, a sigh of relief. It would probably have been a killer app for the Steam Machine.
  • Valve’s hardware and software partners will reveal their own Steam Machines and supported games in January. More specifically, at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show. The expectation is that hardware will hit the consumer market around mid-2014.

The attempted shift from Windows to Linux will be a long one, but Valve plans to go full steam ahead well into the next year. It is an interesting time to be a computer or console gamer.


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