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First picture of the Steam Machine prototype + new info


Valve employees, from left, Eric Hope, Anna Sweet, Greg Coomer and D.J. Powers hold a prototype of the company’s new Steam Machine high-end gaming computer. The first batch will be introduced soon with an open-source operating system Valve developed in-house.

Valve’s many prototypes for gaming controllers included, at one point, a model with a trackball accessible underneath (as shown by a designer) as well as on top.

These souped-up boxes work with an entirely new game controller that Valve designed and built from scratch in workshops the company cobbled together in Bellevue, partly with tools scavenged from co-founder Gabe Newell’s garage.

Apparently, Valve is a believer in the old saying, if you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself. Early on, it worked with design and prototyping vendors, but decided that it could learn more doing it all in-house.

Valve also is redefining the PC industry term “original equipment manufacturer,” or OEM.

Its offices in a downtown Bellevue high-rise now have 3-D printers whirring away printing PC components, right next to a room full of programmers intently peering into their big monitors.

There are also laser-cutting machines and other tools for designing, building and testing prototypes. The landlord said no to a full-blown factory, so the game controllers that Valve is providing to 300 testers this fall are being produced by employees at a shop in Overlake.

If the platform takes off, Valve eventually will contract for large-scale manufacturing of controllers.

A variety of Steam Machines, and entertainment applications for the new platform, are likely to be unveiled in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and go on sale by mid-2014.

So now about 40 of Valve’s 330 employees are tinkering with hardware and trying to make the PC platform better for entertainment.

The approach is similar to the way Amazon.com used a version of Android to build the operating system for its Kindle Fire tablets. Android is completely wrapped in the bright and simple Kindle interface, so it doesn’t feel like a computer.

Users who poke around the SteamOS can still get to Linux, though. They can also load Windows and productivity software onto a Steam Machine and use it for work as well as play.

But it’s not ideal to use a mouse and keyboard on the sofa, even though they’re required for most of the 3,000 PC games in Valve’s library. So the company designed a controller that can mimic mouse and keyboard commands.

“It isn’t until this coming year,” Coomer said, “when there are going to be enough of those pieces that all work together that we can say in a credible way to all of our customers — ‘Hey, if you’re one of the people who likes to play games in the living room, and we know there are a lot of you — now we have enough dots connected that we think you should try this.’ ”

More at: http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2022180559_briercolumn04xml.html


Is the market usually saturated with this many consoles? Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, Valve, Ouya, and even Madcatz all have a console this cycle.
yep that looks like a prototype


Is the market usually saturated with this many consoles? Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, Valve, Ouya, and even Madcatz all have a console this cycle.

yeah ouya and madcatz are competing with this brand new hot never before seen console called the steambox which is a whole new thing and not a pc that has been around forever


Kinda surprised they were able to make it so small given what's supposed to be inside the prototypes. Hopefully cooling won't be too much of an issue.


Strap on your hooker ...
Absolutely 100% not striking or memorable in the least.

You wanna take consoles' throne in the living room, you're probably gonna want to have a bit more presence than a CD-i.


41 > 38
It seems to me that the only people who would be in the market for something like this are the types of people who are already building their own PCs and don't really need Valve to do it for them. I could be wrong though.
Not that it really matters to me how it looks. But this is a prototype and there probably will come a whole lot of versions, so you'll probably get something looking different.
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