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Steam Machines and Steam Link will be out in time for the holidays

Valve Software’s play for the living room is about to begin.


Dennis Scimeca

Internet Culture

Valve has announced a Nov. 10 release date for the Steam Controller, Steam Link, and one of the first Steam Machines, manufactured by Alienware.

Valve is offering pre-orders online for the Steam Controller and Steam Link. GameStop beginning today will accept pre-orders for the Steam Controller and Steam Link, as well as for the Alienware Steam Machine. Anyone who pre-orders through GameStop will have their order filled early, on Oct. 16.

The Steam Controller and Steam Link will run you $50 each. GameStop is currently advertising four different configurations for Alienware’s Steam Machine, ranging from $450 to $750. Processor speed and hard drive space are the main difference between models.

We had a hands-on demo of the Steam Controller at the Game Developers Conference this year, and the hardware was described as being close to the final version. We liked the Steam Controller’s trackpad that can substitute for an analog stick, mouse, or scroll wheel. The face button placement felt odd, however, and we imagine the configuration will take console gamers some getting used to.

Steam Link streams games to a television set, via either wired or wireless connections. It’s basically an option for anyone who wants to move their PC gaming into the living room, this being the thrust of the Steam Machine program. Our demonstration of the Steam Link at GDC was tough to qualify, considering all the conditions for a successful stream were obviously established specifically for our demo.

Steam Machines continue to be the biggest question mark in Valve’s plan to make PC gaming more accessible to fresh audiences, in particular console audiences used to playing games from the comfort of their couches.

The performance of the Steam Machines will vary just as greatly as the performance of traditional gaming rigs. It’s not only basic hardware configuration that matters in this equation, but the quality of the components will also play into how well any of the Steam Machines perform.

Image via Valve

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