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The Steam Clears From iBuyPower's SteamOS Machine

Valve’s already shown off a prototype of its mythical Steam Box, but what about all these third-party machines we keep hearing about? The hope is that they’ll offer price and versatility options where Valve can’t cut it on its own, so they could end up just as key in the FutureWar For The Living Room as GabeN’s boxy baby. Valve claims that numerous manufacturers are backing it up, but for now only iBuyPower has un-holstered its gleaming dust magnet of a secret weapon. Meet Gordon (or Freeman, depending on your preference for systems that look like glow-in-the-dark sandwiches). He will apparently be able to run all of your games in 1080p at 60 FPS.

iBuyPower made the above claim to Engadget, also noting that its box will launch sometime in 2014. Right now, however, the third-party Steam Machine is still “early,” taking the form of two prototypes. The version of SteamOS currently under its hood is also, rather unsurprisingly, unfinished.

While 1080p isn’t the craziest resolution by PC standards, iBuyPower’s white box of wonderment will still require decently hefty specs if 60 FPS for all games is the planned target. The short version? It probably won’t be cheap.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens when other manufacturers start breaking cover around CES. Will prices/specs skew higher? Lower? And what do the guts of Valve’s machine look like? These factors could all make or break SteamOS, but only time will tell how. Until then, though, does anyone have any good directives for the Speculate-O-Tron’s roaring gears?

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