Full Steam Ahead for Valve's Steam Machines
Update: After Valve's press conference, the total number of partners has been confirmed as 13. The complete list of manufacturers producing Steam Machines is as follows: Alienware, Alternate, CyberpowerPC, Digital Storm, Falcon Northwest, Gigabyte, iBuyPower, Materiel.net, Next, Origin, Scan Computers, Webhallen and Zotac.
The Steam Machines unveiled range in size from tiny console boxes to more traditional PC towers. Gabe Newell has restated Valve's commitment to openness and has also indicated that manufacturers might be producing their own controllers for their products. No release date has been given for the Steam Machines.
Around the end of September 2013, Valve unveiled a one, two, three punch combo outlining their efforts for the future. Not just content with being the de facto place for online distribution of games, they wanted to take the next step and Valve announced their own gaming console, the Steam Machine. Along with it came an operating system, the SteamOS, as well as a new controller.
Valve shipped out 300 beta units of their Steam Machines near the end of 2013. But with the SteamOS platform being open source, it was expected that other parties may take up the task of producing their own Steam Machines. According to Engadget, a total of 12 partners may be revealing Steam Machines of their own over the course of CES 2014. These 12 players are Alienware, Falcon Northwest, iBuyPower, CyberPowerPC, Origin PC, Gigabyte, Materiel.net, Webhallen, Alternate, Next, Zotac and Scan Computers.
Valve is scheduled for a press conference at CES 2014 and perhaps more information will be divulged at the event. For now though SteamOS and Steam Machines remain in beta, which is expected to end in the second half of 2014.