Very Limited Prototype Beta Kicks Off This Year
The timer has reached zero, revealing Valve's second major announcement of the week. Following the reveal of SteamOS on Monday, Valve has now confirmed that their operating system will power a number of living room 'Steam Machines' next year developed by several manufacturers, as opposed to a single official 'Steam Box.'
However, they also apparently plan to distribute beta prototypes to 300 deserving Steam users... at least, those who jump through a few hoops. We've got all the details after the break.
"Entertainment is not a one-size-fits-all world," reads the opening salvo from Valve. "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."
"Beginning in 2014, there will be multiple SteamOS machines to choose from, made by different manufacturers," continues the FAQ. "We'll tell you more about it soon. Remember, there will ultimately be several boxes to choose from, with an array of specifications, price, and performance."
And that, dear reader, is that - at least for the time being. It appears that Valve aren't willing to give further details yet, beyond simply saying that SteamOS-powered living room PCs are coming next year.
However, there's an exceptionally slim possibility that you can test out a prototype before year's end thanks to an incredibly limited beta. Valve plans to pick 300 Steam users to receive a prototype unit - and then act as beta testers and ambassadors - free to "share info about their experience and post pictures and opinions online."
So, here are the criteria:
THE HARDWARE BETA ELIGIBILITY QUEST:
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
I hate to lie to you, so here it is: there is almost no chance that you'll get selected for this. However, if you don't take part, there's no chance at all, I suppose.
The third and final Steam announcement is scheduled for Friday afternoon at 6PM.