Valve is collaborating with 12 hardware vendors in launching Steam Machines later this year.
Gabe Newell took to the stage today at the Consumer Electronics Show, and detailed his vision for the Steam Machine ecosystem.
Currently, there are over 250 titles that run on SteamOS, and Steam itself has over 65 million users. Newell said that Valve will strictly be an enabler in the manufacturing of the Steam Machine process, and that the 12 hardware manufacturers essentially have free reign in designing the hardware that their Steam Machines run.
The official vendors that will be manufacturing Steam Machines are Alienware, Alternate, CyberPowerPC, Digital Storm, Falcon NW, Gigabyte, iBuyPower, Maingear, Material.net, Next Spa, Origin PC, Scan, Webhallen and Zotac. Each manufacturer can choose how their Steam Machine looks, and the form factor it is offered in. And already, we are seeing a lot of variation, with Digital Storm going the route of a traditional chassis with its Bolt 2 Steam Machine that dual-boots SteamOS and Windows.
Other vendors like Maingear are going for a more diminutive form factor, with their offering packing a lot of hardware in a small chassis. Origin PC’s Chronos Steam Machine, on the other hand, looks like an elongated Xbox One, and comes with high-end hardware in the form of an Intel Core i7-4770K processor, a multitude of video card configurations that feature Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 780 Ti, and a maximum of 16 GB RAM at 2133 MHz.
Considering the various form factors and sizes these Steam Machines are offered in, it is only logical that they would be priced very differently. For instance, Digital Storm’s Bolt 2 will start from $1,899, and other manufacturers that are offering high-end hardware will likely price their Steam Machines accordingly. iBuyPower, meanwhile has a Steam Machine that costs $500.
Valve will be making just the Steam Controllers for now, and will decide later on if it wants to create its own version of the Steam Machine.