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Valve releases Steam Machine specs, promises the console will be 'fully upgradable'

A console from the legendary game developer could shake up the current duopoly of Microsoft and Sony

Video game developer Valve has revealed some details about its prototype Steam Machine gaming console.

The announcement, made via a post on the Steam blog, outlines the specifications of the three hundred prototypes that Valve intend to send out to gamers for testing.

Valve intend to manufacture the Steam Machines, which will be available in 2014, through a number of different companies, meaning that each of the consoles will differ, “in many cases substantially”, from Valve’s prototype.

Furthermore, gamers who receive the prototypes can modify their machines, a significant departure for the console industry. Writing on the blog, Greg Coomer said: “The prototype machine is a high-end, high-performance box, built out of off-the-shelf PC parts. It is also fully upgradable, allowing any user to swap out the GPU, hard drive, CPU, even the motherboard if you really want to.”

The individual specs of the prototypes can be changed too. Units will come with an NVidia Titan, GTX780, GTX760, or GTX660 GPU. Additionally, they will come with an Intel i7-4770, i5-4570, or i3 CPU. The dimensions are said to be approximately 12 x 12.4 x 2.9, and there are further details on the blog.

As far, there are no pictures of the prototypes – “just because they’re not finished enough” says Coomer – but Valve plans to shed some light on the look of the box soon.

Those interested in applying for a prototype will have to join the Steam Universe community group, agree to terms and conditions, make ten steam friends, create a public profile and then play a game using a gamepad in Big Picture mode. All of this needs to be done by October 25, after which the lucky three hundred will be chosen out of all of those who have applied.