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.