Steam Machines, Controller, Link up for Order

In addition to refunds, we have pre-orders available for the first three pieces of Valve’s Steam-appointed hardware.

Steam Machines. They’re from third parties like Alienware, they run Valve’s SteamOS variant of Linux and play games on Linux via Steam or can stream games from a Windows desktop in another part of your home. If you pre-order you can get one a month early on October 16th The machines available for pre-order today a range of prices from $450 to $1,419. Everyone else can get them when they’re released November 10th.

It’s still ridiculously awesome to see hardware manufacturers shipping a Linux-based gaming computer. After buying boxed games over a decade ago for Linux, watching it all burn down only to be resurrected through downloadable ports via Valve and the Humble Bundle. Not since the days of Civilization: Call to Power have Linux gamers had this much reason to be hopeful for the future. The Linux-based computers are almost as strange as the fact that some of the pre-orders are being handled through GameStop.

The second item in the pre-order lineup isn’t as hopeful. For those that want to spend far less and just want to stream from another gaming computer in their home to their TV there is the Steam Link. At the moment though, people who order the Link won’t be running any version of SteamOS’ Linux and won’t be downloading Linux games. Maybe in the future it’ll seem like a better option to get a Steam Link and stream games from a more powerful Linux machine. The Link is $50. Just like with the Steam Machine, the Steam Link can be pre-ordered for arrival on the 16th of October. Everyone else has to wait for the tenth of November.

Finally we have the controller. I’ve had the prototype model along with the Gigabyte Brix Steam Machine for over a year. This controller design looks incredibly different from the prototype and I don’t know what to expect at all in terms of usefulness. The prototype ended up being fun to try for a while but was only a stepping stone to this final design. The Steam Controller is $50 and has the same mid-October availability for pre-orders and November for not-pre-orders.

Sensing the potential for maximum confusion at the Steam Controller’s presence in a world dominated by 360, Xbox One and Playstation 4 controllers, Valve has created a trailer for potential controller purchasers to make up their minds. I don’t recall ever watching a trailer with this much production expense having gone into it just for a controller. Unless they were up for crowd funding. Almost more ridiculous than Valve’s foray into the living room involving Linux is that these cross-platform supporters still require Adobe Flash plugin in Apple’s Safari web browser to watch videos or you get this unplayable mess:

Steam controller flash failure

Author: Jack Slater

A Philadelphian exiled to Hawaii. You can follow or contact me on Twitter where I’m @TimeDoctor, via the contact page, or via e-mail to zjs AT zacharyjackslater dot com

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