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Steam Machines and Steam Controllers set to ship this Friday for beta testing

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Friday the 13th is more than a day of remembering a horror classic, it’s the day Steam consoles, controller and all, ship out.

The next wave of next-gen consoles, Steam Machines and Steam Controllers are slated to ship out to beta participants this Friday, Valve announced today. 300 select users will be the recipients of the company’s first home system offering.

All 300 beta testers will be notified today around 2:00 p.m. Pacific Day Time that they’re receiving the fresh hardware, including SteamOS. The operating system will be made available when the forerunning hardware ships. Individual users and OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) will be able to download the OS; though Valve warns that if users are not accustomed to navigating through Linux to wait until 2014 before giving it a go.

Currently, the Steam Machine beta test is limited to the U.S. only, “because of regulatory hurdles,” Valve explains. “This was not in our original plan, and it means we can’t collect beta feedback from Steam customers world-wide, which is pretty unfortunate.” However, had Valve not opted to proceed with the beta phase, it would’ve been delayed, which would have affected the 2014 consoles. Alas, next year’s retail hardware will not suffer any repercussions.

As for other features, such as Steam in-home streaming, Valve says the beta for this draw will “begin soon”.

Be on the look out for beta participants, who will be marked with a special badge on their Steam Community profile, signifying their beta participation. More information to follow at this year’s CES (consumer electronics show) on Jan. 6.

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