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Valve announces Steam Machines game consoles, coming in 2014

Valve has announced its eagerly-anticipated living room games consoles for the Steam platform in hopes of make a play against the forthcoming Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

The new Steam Machines will go on sale sometime in 2014, running the Steam OS announced earlier this week, and will hook up to living room television sets.

The company is running a hardware Beta test scheme, offering prototype consoles to 300 lucky subscribers who perform well in an eligibility quest.

You’ll also notice we used the used the plural rather than the singular for the new console hardware. That’s because there’ll be a variety of Steam Machines made by different manufacturers.

“Beginning in 2014, there will be multiple SteamOS machines to choose from, made by different manufacturers,” the company wrote in a press release on Wednesday.

The company said its built-in-house hardware beta will enable it to conduct a beta “of the overall Steam living-room experience, so we needed to build prototype hardware on which to run tests.”

“At Valve we always rely on real-world testing as part of our design process,” it added. “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.”

Valve is promising to share more information when the time is right, but presently, there are no specs, no pictures, no sizing information or anything else of note.

The announcement of the Steam Machines is Valve’s second of three big announcements this week. On Monday it announced the SteamOS, which will allow subscribers to play games on “any living room machine.”

The final announcement will be made on Friday, with all signs pointing to a new game controller. We’ll be in touch.