Valve Reveals Fourteen Steam Machine Systems
Valve's upcoming PC brand, Steam Machine, isn't quite a console, but the company hopes to attract consumers from that market. During a media event at CES 2014, Valve announced that it has 14 different PC manufacturers working to make systems that will run the developer's specially branded Steam OS.
Gabe Newell briefly took the stage during a Valve event at CES to talk about the future of gamers' living rooms. Valve doesn't think that there is only one way to play games in the living room, which is why the company has partnered up with a number of different PC manufacturers who are all making "different takes on the right solution for the living room," said Newell.
The full list of hardware manufacturers includes Alienware, Falcon Northwest, Digital Storm, iBuyPower, CyberPowerPC, Origin PC, Gigabyte, Materiel.net, Webhallen, Alternate, Next, Zotac, and Scan Computers. A lot of the machines are priced around the $500 to $700 range, but prices can soar as high as $6,000 for the Falcon Northwest Tiki. The middle ground puts systems in the $1,400 to $2,500 range.
In addition to a variety of different Steam Machines, consumers can expect a variety of different controllers somewhere down the line. Valve announced that its partners will be able to create their own Steam Controllers, further diversifying the Steam OS ecosystem. Valve didn't announce a release date for any of the systems or the OS, but it hopes to have systems on the market by the end of the year, and says it already has 250 titles supporting the new OS.
Valve's approach to the hardware market is certainly unique. I think it may have attracted more console players if it had stuck to one manufacture or at least one unified design. I think this many systems might lead to market confusion, but with this many machines, players should have plenty of options to choose from when they start hitting the market. I'm still interested in Steam OS and the controller, but I'm not sold on a Steam Machine yet. Check out the images below to see which system might be right for you.