300 Machines are Shipping Soon! USA Only
Valve just announced that the 300 prototype Steam Machines are almost ready for some lucky beta participants. Unfortunately, if you are outside of USA, you are not among those lucky "Spartans". Due to some regulations, it would have taken Valve much longer to ensure worldwide shipping. As they want to get some feedback for the products due to 2014 release, they have decided to sacrifice the scope of the beta instead of speed. Our USA readers can hope for the best in less than an hour – at around 2 PM Pacific Time. Valve will announce the lucky beta testers and give some additional Linux games to their Steam accounts.
While the geographical limitation is unfortunate for many of us, there is good news as well. The prototypes will ship on Friday and at the same time SteamOS will become available for the public download. However, Valve only recommends it for the Linux-friendly gamers to try it at this point. It is likely, that some of the simplifying features of SteamOS are still a work in progress. We will try to give you more details as soon as possible after the release. For people without Linux experience, Valve recommends waiting until some other announcement in 2014 for the easy-to-use release.
Finally, Valve has told that there will be interesting announcements at CES 2014 on January 6th. We will definitely hear a lot more about Steam machines during the event, so stay tuned.