collageEarlier this year, Valve unveiled Steam Machines and its accompanying software, SteamOS, both of which would be Valve’s attempt to enter the living room space and compete with the likes of Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo in the console wars. Valve expects the commercial Steam Machines to debut next year, but in the meantime they have announced that they will be shipping prototype Steam Machines to 300 selected beta participants, with the console and its accompanying accessories expected to leave the factory this coming Friday.

Now the good news is that if you weren’t selected to be a beta participant, you might be interested to learn that Valve will also be making the SteamOS available for download for everyone when the prototypes begin shipping out. However Valve cautions that this might not be for the faint hearted, or rather the inexperienced Linux user. “SteamOS will be made available when the prototype hardware ships. It will be downloadable by individual users and commercial OEMs. (But unless you’re an intrepid Linux hacker already, we’re going to recommend that you wait until later in 2014 to try it out.)”

Either way if you’re interested in learning more about Valve’s living room efforts with the Steam Machines and SteamOS, Valve has promised that more information will be unveiled at CES come January 6th 2014, so check back with us then for the details.

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