After two years of waiting and endless speculation about Valve’s "Steam Box" project, it has announced the release of Steam Machines. These are small personal computers running Valve’s SteamOS operating system is designed to function directly with your television.

Valve will be shipping out 300 Steam Machines by different manufactures later this year in a hardware beta test to a very lucky few that make it. See details for entry into the Steam Machine Beta here.

The Steam Machines themselves will be produced by several different manufactures with different speeds and specifications. Valve stated, "beginning in 2014, there will be multiple SteamOS machines to choose from.” Besides picking up one of these retail versions, tech savvy consumers can build there own machines and install Valve's free Linux-based SteamOS operating system.

Valve is one of the most successful and well-regarded software companies out there, known for putting out epic gaming experiences like Half-Life, Portal, Left 4 Dead but the game delivery service Steam has become its largest project. Valve-branded Steam Machines available to the public in price and power scalable models may really give the traditional ideas of consoles a run for their money.

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