On Monday, Valve announced the first step in its plan to take over the living room - SteamOS. Now an operating system is all well and good, but it needs hardware to run on. That's where the next step comes in.
Valve announced this afternoon that it intends to enter the hardware market with Steam Machines. The company says that it's partnering with hardware manufacturers to bring a variety of Steam Machines to market in 2014. Before that, however, it wants some of its most dedicated gamers to test out some prototypes.
While these products are still in development, we need your help. As always, we believe the best way to ensure that the right products are getting made is to let people try them out and then make changes as we go. We have designed a high-performance prototype that’s optimized for gaming, for the living room, and for Steam. Of course, it’s also completely upgradable and open.
There are 300 of these prototype Steam machines up for grabs, and Valve will be giving them out this year to a few lucky Steam users who fulfill some requirements. First, you're gonna need to join the Steam Universe community group. After that, you must agree to the Steam Hardware Beta Terms and Conditions. Once that is out of the way, you'll have to make 10 Steam friends, create a public Steam Community profile and play a game using a gamepad in Big Picture mode.
You have until October 25 to compete all the above. If not, you'll be locked out of the drawing for good. If you do happen to complete all the above in time, you'll be given a badge that marks you as eligible to receive one of the Steam Machine prototypes.
If you aren't selected for the Steam Machine prototype beta, you'll have to wait until 2014 like the rest of us. At that time, Valve's unnamed hardware partners will begin to release Steam Machines for public consumption. We don't know what the hardware will look like yet, but it might be pretty similar to what we saw at CES earlier this year.[Image: Steam]