Following the SteamOS announcement on Monday, Valve unveils the Steam Machine, the second out of three planned announcements by Valve in the move to expand its Steam digital game distribution.

steambox2 1024x517 Valve announces Steam Machine, a living room hardware in beta

Although the Steam Machine has been announced Valve, it is still technically a product under development. This year, Valve will be shipping 300 Steam Machine prototypes, which will be optimized for SteamOS, to Steam users for testing, with no cost. Sign-up information is available here.

Beginning in 2014, Steam Machines will be delivered by Valve’s hardware partners with an array of configurations, specifications, price, performance and quietness. Detailed size, hardware and software specifications are currently not disclosed. However, beta testers are allowed to share their insights with the general public.

The use of the Steam Machine will not be limited to the living room. According to Valve, the Steam Machines are fully hackable and upgrade-able with support for different operating systems and hardware. Hardware enthusiasts will also be able to build a system, using their hardware of choice to run the SteamOS, essentially creating their own Steam Machine.

The announcement of the Steam Machine is only the second out of three planned announcements from Valve. There are words from Valve’s website hinting that both Steam and SteamOS will work well with gamepads. Our guess is that the third announcement is going to be some sort of controllers to complete the Valve’s experience.

Source: Valve