Valve has announced it will release a variety of SteamOS gaming machines in 2014.
The line of living room 'Steam Machines' will be built by a number of different manufacturers, with an array of specifications, prices, and performances.
Steam Machines will run Valve's SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system designed for televisions, with the ability to play both games designed natively for the platform and wirelessly stream Windows and Mac titles from an existing PC.
To prepare for the launch Valve is set to ship 300 high-performance Steam Machine prototypes for free as part of a hardware beta test.
The specific machines Valve is testing are said to be "completely upgradable and open" and designed "for users who want the most control possible over their hardware".
Steam users can make themselves eligible for the beta test by completing the platform's 'Eligibility Quest'.
Steam users can complete the steps in the 'quest' in any order and once completed, will be awarded a special badge which signifies eligibility for possible participation.
A small number of users (30 or less) will be chosen for the beta based on their past community contributions, while the remainder will be chosen at random.
THE HARDWARE BETA ELIGIBILITY QUEST:
Before October 25, log in to Steam and then visit your quest page to track your current status towards beta test eligibility
1. Join the Steam Universe community group
2. Agree to the Steam Hardware Beta Terms and Conditions
3. Make 10 Steam friends (if you haven't already)
4. Create a public Steam Community profile (if you haven't already)
5. Play a game using a gamepad in Big Picture mode
Steam Machines are the second of three Steam-related announcements Valve plans to make this week.
On Monday the company revealed its SteamOS. The software, which is free, is hoped will remove hardware manufacturers' reliance on the paid-for Windows operating system.
There are four central SteamOS features for consumers; PC-to-television game streaming, music and video services, family control settings, and the previously announced free game sharing options.