I got an email on Wednesday which I immediately regarded as spam. The title had that familiar soulless tone to it:
You will forgive me if I have become a little cynical in my years on the internet. I decided on a whim to read the email, and as it turns out I actually did win something!
A few months back, Valve announced that it would be sending out 300 "Steam Machines," the prototype set-top box that is being developed to run SteamOS, to beta testers around the world. To apply, one only needed to follow a few simple steps in Steam, such as running Big Picture mode with a controller. At the time I figured "what the hell," chances are slim-to-none that I'll win, but it never hurts to apply. Seems I was right.
That email from Anna was a notification that I had been selected, along with 299 others, to be beta testers for the new hardware. In total, 421,847 people were eligible for the beta, though that number is a little misleading as Valve limited access to only U.S. residents right before selection (due to the regulatory problems involved with shipping hardware outside of the U.S.).
As part of the program, each tester will be given a few linux-compatible games on steam to try out on the new hardware:
- Metro: Last Light
- Arma Tactics
- Serious Sam
- Hotline Miami
- Strike Suit Zero
- Don't Starve
- Painkiller: Hell and Damnation
The boxes shipped -- for the most part -- on Friday. I personally received my tracking info this morning, and it looks like it will arrive on Tuesday. The box weighs 35 lbs (~16 kg), which for comparison is about 25 lbs heavier than an XONE shipping box (11.3 lbs). I wonder what's inside...
Expect more soon.