Following Valve's announcement of SteamOS, a free Linux-based operating system that's intended for living-room PCs, the company has divulged more details about its hardware plans. As expected, it'll be partnering with multiple manufacturers to deliver a range of options in 2014. "The specific machine we're testing is designed for users who want the most control possible over their hardware. Other boxes will optimize for size, price, quietness, or other factors."
In typical Valve fashion, there's going to be a beta test complete with a quest and everything. 300 prototype SteamOS machines are being shipped later this year, free of charge, and to get on the eligibility list, there are some requirements to complete before October 25. Nothing too fancy, thankfully. There's not much in the way of specifics yet -- Valve calls this "a high-performance prototype ... designed for users who want the most control possible over their hardware" -- but we'll be hearing about system specs soon.
As for Friday's announcement, it sounds like Valve will finally talk about its plans for a new input method. While these SteamOS boxes support mouse and keyboard, "Steam and SteamOS work well with gamepads, too. Stay tuned, though -- we have some more to say very soon on the topic of input." Super curious to see what that's all about.