Valve's recently-announced Steam Machines have been spotted in the wild thanks to a Seattle Times article. There is is, look.
The pictured prototype living room PC probably conforms to the recently-released specifications, which will be just a taste of the variety of devices on offer next year. The top surface clearly sports a series of cooling baffles, which are apparently a brand new design that Valve developed to combat potential overheating problems when buried within an AV cabinet.
“We think the PC OEM space ought to have been doing this for quite some time,” Valve designer Greg Coomer said of the upcoming range of devices, suggesting that they're finally capitalising on a missed opportunity.
“Really, every year you could watch one PC OEM or another say, ‘We are going to build the entertainment PC for the living room’ and build something that lives under the TV,” he continued. “They would often do pretty well at cooling or industrial design, but that was only a fraction of the problems they need to solve for customers to have a good entertainment experience in the living room.”
The Seattle Times column also claims that SteamOS will be fully compatible with most PC software and applications, which can be freely installed, while users can bypass the friendly front end to tinker about with the underlying Linux framework if they so desire. As previously reported, the operating system will be free to download and license.
We'll have to wait until next year to get the measure of Valve's ambitious living room offensive... that is, unless any of you made it onto the hardware beta.