The time is soon upon us. Come December 13th, 300 lucky Steam gamers will have a Steam Machine shipped out to them this Friday. What’s that? You didn’t get an email? Well that’s cause Valve hasn’t sent them out just yet and everyone who was selected will be sent an email today, starting at 2PM PST /5PM EST .
The 300 selected beta testers are being notified today (at about 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time) that they’ll soon receive Steam hardware and SteamOS for testing. Each selected user is also being awarded a special badge on their Steam Community profile, indicating that they’re a beta participant. In addition, a number of games that run natively on SteamOS are being added to each selected user’s library.
We’ve had to make the difficult decision to limit our beta to the U.S. only, because of regulatory hurdles. This was not our original plan, and it means we can’t collect beta feedback from Steam customers world-wide, which is pretty unfortunate. All things considered, we’re sure it was the right decision, because the alternative was to delay the whole beta beyond the point when we’d be able to incorporate any feedback into the 2014 products. This decision only affects Valve’s 300 prototype units; the commercial versions of Steam Machines that are for sale in 2014 won’t be affected by this. More information on those will be announced at CES on January 6.
SteamOS will be made available when the prototype hardware ships. It will be downloadable by individual users and commercial OEMs. (But unless you’re an intrepid Linux hacker already, we’re going to recommend that you wait until later in 2014 to try it out.) We’ll post info soon about that. Oh, and stay tuned for the in-home streaming beta to begin soon, too!
Happy holidays. And happy unboxing to our beta testers. See you on Steam.
Here’s to hoping I get one or know someone who does so I can check this out. And if any of our fellow readers gets one, please let us know how it is. Ok?