Valve will be selecting users who will receive 1 in 300 prototype units later this year, but recently the specifications of those 300 prototypes were put up in public, raising a lot of eyes and even more interest than before.
The following was posted:
So for our own first prototype Steam Machine ( the one we’re shipping to 300 Steam users ), we’ve chosen to build something special. The prototype machine is a high-end, high-performance box, built out of off-the-shelf PC parts. It is also fully upgradable, allowing any user to swap out the GPU, hard drive, CPU, even the motherboard if you really want to. Apart from the custom enclosure, anyone can go and build exactly the same machine by shopping for components and assembling it themselves. And we expect that at least a few people will do just that. (We’ll also share the source CAD files for our enclosure, in case people want to replicate it as well.)
And to be clear, this design is not meant to serve the needs of all of the tens of millions of Steam users. It may, however, be the kind of machine that a significant percentage of Steam users would actually want to purchase – those who want plenty of performance in a high-end living room package. Many others would opt for machines that have been more carefully designed to cost less, or to be tiny, or super quiet, and there will be Steam Machines that fit those descriptions.
After posting the specifications, it continued:
As a hardware platform, the Steam ecosystem will change over time, so any upgrades will be at each user’s discretion. In the future we’ll talk about how Steam will help customers understand the differences between machines, hardware strengths and weaknesses, and upgrade decisions.
So, Steam Machines will allow system upgrades at user discretion. But what’s really surprising is that the dimensions along with the specifications that will pull a lot of attention:
- GPU: some units with NVidia Titan, some GTX780, some GTX760, and some GTX660
- CPU: some boxes with Intel i7-4770, some i5-4570, and some i3
- RAM: 16GB DDR3-1600 (CPU), 3GB GDDR5 (GPU)
- Storage: 1TB/8GB Hybrid SSHD
- Power Supply: Internal 450w 80Plus Gold
- Dimensions: approx. 12 x 12.4 x 2.9 in high
These units will be pre-installed with SteamOS. Though the cost of this unit isn’t revealed, but it was said that the Steam Machines will “bridge the gap into the living room without giving up their existing hardware and without spending lots of money”.