The Steam Machines that Valve has been working on have unfortunately been delayed. This is primarily due to the unique controller that was said to be developed for the Steam Machines from inception. Valve said it wants to iron out some quirks to make sure it is ready to go before the Steam machines launch.
Even though gamers may be disappointed, Valve wants to make sure the controller works as flawlessly and intuitively as possible when released. This is due to it having to compete with the traditional mouse-keyboard set-ups that PC gamers are used to; and many games on Steam being first-person shooters or titles requiring both movement and free-look. Valve is gauging feedback form early testers and has been modifying it over time.
"Realistically, we're now looking at a release window of 2015, not 2014," Valve says on its blog. "As always, we love getting feedback on the Steam Machine and Steam controller from the community. After all, you're the people we want to be happiest when we release them."
The concept behind the Steam Machine is to allow PC games to be playable in front of the TV in a seamless fashion. They are pre-built gaming computers from different vendors, and with a controller designed for the experience to be just as intuitive as gaming with a traditional PC setup. It also is a way for Valve to get free of Microsoft's Windows operating systems chains and go with Linux.
There will be many different manufacturers releasing their own Steam Machines, however, and they will come with different price tags. They will be made with gaming primarily in mind, however.
What makes the Steam Machine controller unique is that its current design isn't based on having dual analogs like other gaming controllers in the video game market. It comes with two trackpads instead that are based on sensitivity and a 360-degree of movement precision.
Even though Steam Machines will come from various PC manufacturers, Valve will be supplying these propriety controllers for them. Another thing they will share in common is SteamOS, which again will be Linux-based. Some gamers already have been playing around with Steam Boxes since late last year when Valve sent out beta Steam Machines to testers in December.