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Valve names first Steam Machines hardware partners

Valve names first Steam Machines hardware partners

Valve has named twelve companies as the first to receive official Steam Box licences, hinting at formal unveiling events for each during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.

Valve has released a more detailed list of the first hardware partners to qualify for a Steam Box licence, ahead of a formal unveiling of the first raft of devices at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.

Part of a push away from being a pure software publisher into the realm of hardware, coupled with an attempt by Valve to get its Steam digital distribution platform in front of console gamers' eyeballs and wallets, the first prototype Steam Box systems were released late last year. Based on PC hardware and running a customised Linux distribution dubbed SteamOS, retail-ready devices were promised at CES 2014 - and now we know from whom.

According to a list released by Valve to Engadget ahead of the formal announcement, the first Steam Box hardware partners are confirmed as: Dell's Alienware subsidiary, Falcon Northwest, iBuyPower, CyberPowerPC, Origin PC, Gigabyte, Materiel.net, Webhallen, Alternate, Next, Zotac and Scan. Whether this is a complete list of partners is not yet known - and notably absent is Xi3, the compact computing specialist which made headlines by releasing a vaguely-worded press release claiming it had the rights to produce the world's first official Steam Box in the form of the Xi3 Piston.

Sadly, while Valve has gone public with a list of partner companies it has been somewhat quieter on when the Steam Box devices will hit retail. With the official Steam Controller still in the prototype stage - the central touch-screen display surface is, at present, represented by four distinctly more sedate buttons with no display capabilities - it could be a while before the devices hit shop shelves, even if early prototypes are to be unveiled at CES this week.

17 Comments

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KidMod-Southpaw 6th January 2014, 11:34 Quote
Ooh, a Scan Steambox! CES is going to be a good one this year!
dyzophoria 6th January 2014, 11:39 Quote
After trying out the steam OS I still have to see why I would like to replace my steam client on my windows machine =\
Snips 6th January 2014, 11:56 Quote
It works well as a dual boot doesn't it? I haven't tried it but I'm sure I've seen it somewhere here that there are advantages.
dyzophoria 6th January 2014, 12:31 Quote
It should work, its generally just another linux distro (well custom distro) with the steam client smacked on as the default window manager, at the moment I just don't see the point (other than maybe, and its a big maybe that games will perform a bit better on a dedicated gaming OS), but after testing trying it out questions like "what if I want to work on a project while gaming, what if Wanted to write a document in Word and decided to set a game to Window Mode, well the basic of what I do most of the time. then it makes you realize the steam OS is really just for the Living room, the benefit that this could bring that I see is I have a game bought through the steam client, then it should be available as well to the HTPC running steamOS as well, if valve pulls it off then it should be easier to have a HTPC, still depends though if building and setting up an HTPC was already easy for you in the first place
Corky42 6th January 2014, 12:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dyzophoria
After trying out the steam OS I still have to see why I would like to replace my steam client on my windows machine =\
If you have a capable Windows machine nether do i, well unless for some reason you cant use that in the living room. But then I'm not sure you would be Valve's target market as I'm guessing you have already bought into the Steam ecosystem.
The_Crapman 6th January 2014, 13:09 Quote
I take it that's not Next the clothes shop?
Gareth Halfacree 6th January 2014, 13:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Crapman
I take it that's not Next the clothes shop?
I dunno... They did release an 'own-brand' tablet.
Combatus 6th January 2014, 18:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
I dunno... They did release an 'own-brand' tablet.

It does have money to burn after all!
The_Crapman 6th January 2014, 18:21 Quote
The exhaust fan will probably have an attachment for air wick* refills so it doubles as an air freshener.

*other air fresheners are available. See your local retailer.
Jimbob 6th January 2014, 20:11 Quote
You've been able to buy Steam Boxes for ages, we all just called them Linux powered HTPCs before. I'm genuinely confused as to why people think these will do well. I don't see how they are better in any way to a Windows powered PC that can run a massive library of games already and comes in a multitude of form factors from hundreds of manufactures.

You can walk into any independant shop right now and they will build a gaming HTPC for you no problem. Plug in an xBox controller and install Steam and job's done.
Pliqu3011 6th January 2014, 20:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbob
You've been able to buy Steam Boxes for ages, we all just called them Linux powered HTPCs before. I'm genuinely confused as to why people think these will do well. I don't see how they are better in any way to a Windows powered PC that can run a massive library of games already and comes in a multitude of form factors from hundreds of manufactures.

You can walk into any independant shop right now and they will build a gaming HTPC for you no problem. Plug in an xBox controller and install Steam and job's done.

SteamOS is not meant for you or me. It's meant for people who want a console-like "plug and play" user experience, with powerful pc-like hardware, the option to change and customize stuff should they ever want it and upgradeability in the future.
I think it's a bit too early to judge whether or not Steam Machines and SteamOS are something people will want to buy. Maybe it'll be like when the first tablets came out: everyone thought "why the hell would you ever want that?", and now they're everywhere.
SAimNE 6th January 2014, 23:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pliqu3011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbob
You've been able to buy Steam Boxes for ages, we all just called them Linux powered HTPCs before. I'm genuinely confused as to why people think these will do well. I don't see how they are better in any way to a Windows powered PC that can run a massive library of games already and comes in a multitude of form factors from hundreds of manufactures.

You can walk into any independant shop right now and they will build a gaming HTPC for you no problem. Plug in an xBox controller and install Steam and job's done.

SteamOS is not meant for you or me. It's meant for people who want a console-like "plug and play" user experience, with powerful pc-like hardware, the option to change and customize stuff should they ever want it and upgradeability in the future.
I think it's a bit too early to judge whether or not Steam Machines and SteamOS are something people will want to buy. Maybe it'll be like when the first tablets came out: everyone thought "why the hell would you ever want that?", and now they're everywhere.

i think his point is that it already is plug and play. get someone to build a pc and slam steamOS on it, and buy an xbox360 controller or just wait and grab the steam controller... you literally would have no real differences in the experience. just plug everything up and shoot stuff/solve puzzle/free hyrule.... that easy.
erratum1 6th January 2014, 23:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAimNE
i think his point is that it already is plug and play. get someone to build a pc and slam steamOS on it, and buy an xbox360 controller or just wait and grab the steam controller... you literally would have no real differences in the experience. just plug everything up and shoot stuff/solve puzzle/free hyrule.... that easy.

You say that as someone who knows about computers your average joe can only walk in a shop and ask for an xbox one or ps4...Steam are hoping to persuade them to ask for a Steambox.

Many will have never heard of Steam.
Pliqu3011 7th January 2014, 00:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAimNE
i think his point is that it already is plug and play. get someone to build a pc and slam steamOS on it, and buy an xbox360 controller or just wait and grab the steam controller... you literally would have no real differences in the experience. just plug everything up and shoot stuff/solve puzzle/free hyrule.... that easy.
And this is exactly what Valve wants. What you are talking about is the concept of a "Steam Machine". What's the difference between buying it from a manufacturer or from a local computer store, or even building it yourself if you know how? In the end it's still a plug-and-play machine that gives the comfort and user experience of a console, with the functionality of a PC.

I don't think Valve's main aim is to get those pre-made boxes in everyone's livingroom, but instead to spread "a PC with SteamOS" (aka Steam Machine) as a valid, simple and well-recognised alternative to consoles (and by consequence push more games towards Linux).
SexyHyde 7th January 2014, 00:49 Quote
The best way to look at it is Valve are building a console. An open console. You could make your own, pay someone to make a similar one or just buy one in a box at a gaming shop. Valve are looking at expanding their market with this.

I'm interested at the price points these will be retailing for. And the controller needs to be out yesterday.
Vallachia 7th January 2014, 02:59 Quote
The one thing I am most excited about with SteamOS is the one that seems to get almost no attention:
Valve are working towards vastly better Linux driver support for Nvidia GPUs and for Nvidia digital audio under linux. Imagine a proper Nvidia driver with full surround sound over HDMI instead of stereo only. And if AMD want any of the SteamBox pie, they will have to come to the table with decent drivers too.
Corky42 7th January 2014, 08:58 Quote
AMD are beavering away on new Linux Drivers, they released 13.12 last month with a bunch of fixes.
If anyone is interested arstechnica has a gallery and most of the specs from each of the announced partners.
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