Valve’s stake for the living room will begin officially in November, when the company’s console-like Steam Machines launch at retail.
Both the Steam Link and the hardware’s idiosyncratic controller – which has gone through numerous design revisions – will be available alongside the systems on November 10. Those eager to get their hands on the Linux-based devices have the option of pre-ordering either the Alienware or CyberPower model and receiving it a month early on October 16. Beginning at $499, what sets the Steam Machines apart from their console counterparts is the fact that Valve will release multiple SKUs, with various PC manufacturers offering their own take on the company’s blueprint.
In a press release, here’s what Alienware and Dell General Manager Frank Azor had to say about the launch:
“We have collaborated for years with Valve and GameStop to develop a platform with the best content, the best performance, and the best value compared to anything else on the market. Finally, with this preorder, we have a chance to address the building anticipation for the latest and greatest gaming system.”
Further in the statement, Azor touched upon the core goal of the Steam Machine: to simplify the process of buying and running a high-end gaming PC. Without the technical knowhow, experimenting with various components to achieve the best performance can be a daunting task indeed, and both Alienware and Valve will hope to attract the more casual consumer to PC gaming via these new-fangled devices.
Much like the PlayStation TV, Valve’s Steam Link will allow users to connect the micro hardware to their Steam Machine via Wi-Fi, before beaming the experience to any television within range.
It’s understood that Valve will begin accepting pre-orders for the Steam Machines later today via its official page. Those looking to secure their hardware will be told upon checkout whether they will receive the device in October or in November.