While Microsoft and Sony are preparing to launch new consoles in November, Valve is attempting to return PC gaming back to the glory days when it was the dominant force above all. The company has already begun taking steps to execute this plan with the announcement of SteamOS and Steam Machines for the living room.
After the announcement of SteamOS, NVIDIA in a blog post said it has collaborated with Valve on bringing SteamOS together, which led some to believe all Steam Machines will come with an NVIDIA GPU preinstalled. However, this is not the case, says Valve spokesman Doug Lombardi to MaximumPC. SteamOS and Steam Machines will all have support for AMD, Intel and NVIDIA hardware, so that should quell the fears of some.
"Last week, we posted some technical specs of our first wave of Steam Machine prototypes," Lombardi said. "Although the graphics hardware that we've selected for the first wave of prototypes is a variety of Nvidia cards, that is not an indication that Steam Machines are Nvidia-only. In 2014, there will be Steam Machines commercially available with graphics hardware made by AMD, Nvidia, and Intel. Valve has worked closely together with all three of these companies on optimizing their hardware for SteamOS, and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future."
Lombardi's confirmation follows that of NVIDIA's announcement last month that spoke of the collaboration between both companies on the development of SteamOS.
"The collaboration makes sense as both companies strongly believe in the importance of open-platform innovation, and both companies are committed to providing gamers with a cutting-edge visual experience," says Mark Smith, Nvidia's senior technical evangelist in a blog post.
After announcing SteamOS and Steam Machines, Valve took the time out to highlight the controller that will be the central part of every Steam Machine in the living room. This controller is unlike anything you've seen before because it doesn't have D-pads or thumb sticks. Instead, the controller has two touchpads that work as thumb sticks but with accuracy allegedly similar to that of a keyboard and mouse.
Moreover, there's also a touchscreen on the face of the controller. The controller is the central aspect of any video game hardware, which means if it fails, the system fails as well. Valve has a lot of work cut out - it has to convince gamers, who are used to the traditional controller, to make the switch to something that comes off as odd.