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SteamOS launching December 13

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Steam Machine
Steam Machine prototype

Valve has revealed that it will launch its new SteamOS platform on December 13, which is also when it will send out prototype Steam Machine consoles to 300 customers.

The company recently posted an announcement over on the official Steam community website claiming: "The time has come! We are ready to begin shipping Steam Machines and Steam Controllers to the 300 selected beta participants. The machines are due to leave the factory on Friday!"

The post also includes some images of the Steam Machine production line, which you can see a snippet of above.

As well as the machine itself, which is effectively a relatively high-end PC bundled up into a console-like shell for living room media consumption, and the Linux-based SteamOS, beta users will receive a smattering of games that run natively on the new platform.

Unfortunately the beta testing has been limited to the US only owing to "regulatory hurdles," which wasn’t Valve’s initial plan. However, there is something positive on offer for the rest of the world.

Valve also confirmed that SteamOS would be made available to download "when the prototype hardware ships" - so tomorrow, then. However, it did warn that "unless you’re an intrepid Linux hacker already, we’re going to recommend that you wait until later in 2014 to try it out."

Valve has confirmed that there will be more information on SteamOS and the Steam Machines that run it at CES on January 6. This should see the unveiling of the company’s initial batch of commercial Steam Machine models.

Next, read our Xbox One vs PS4 comparison

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