Earlier today, Valve made its second Steam Universe announcement with the Steam Machines reveal and an upcoming hardware beta program. This news moves the Steam Box from rumor into reality! The Steam Machines are hinted to be manufactured computers running SteamOS, Valve’s Linux operating system revealed in the first Steam Universe announcement. Valve has shown clear interest in bridging console and PC gamers first with Big Picture,  then improved multiplayer interface options for Portal 2, and controller support for a number of Source games.

The Steam Machines and SteamOS are not ready for order. Valve actually hasn’t released images of a Steam Machine or Steam Box yet making unclear what form factor goals are in mind amongst other anticipated features. Much of today’s announcement from Valve regards an upcoming hardware beta testing program for the “boxes.” Steam users can opt-in by agreeing to terms and conditions and complete a small set of tasks on Steam. 300 eligible users will be selected on October 25th to receive a machine with SteamOS installed free of charge for testing.

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The last of the three Steam Universe announcements will be revealed this Friday September 27th at 10:00 AM Pacific time.

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