The first videos of users playing with their Steam Machines have started appearing online, allowing for the chance to see Valve's new console in action.
The Steam Machine and Steam Controller
Units of the Valve-designed console were shipped out to 300 lucky users a few days ago with unboxing videos appearing online over the weekend. Now we're starting to see teardown videos and loads of footage of the OS and games in action.
In particular, a beta tester called Cory Nelson has posted a host of videos, including an unboxing, a teardown, comparison between Windows and SteamOS running on the machine and a look at the new Steam Controller being used to play games.
The videos show that the console is fairly impressive as a piece of hardware, being impressively compact but packing in an Intel Core i5-4570, an Nvidia Geforce 780 GTX, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive - plenty enough to run the likes of Portal 2 and Left4Dead 2 on full settings at 1080p.
The videos also show how there is very little to the desktop experience once the Steam interface is closed - it's pretty barebones stuff. The SteamOS is based on Linux, though, so is open for lots of tinkering.
One of the most exciting aspects of Valve's whole push into the gaming hardware space is the introduction of the Steam Controller, which is a typical game controller but that uses trackpads in place of thumbsticks. This is supposed to make it much better for playing games for which you'd normally use a mouse. Nelson describes using the controller as "really natural" and shows that it works completely with Windows, registering as a normal mouse.
You can see more of Nelson's videos on his YouTube channel.