At long last, Steam Machines have finally hit the market alongside Valve's unique new controller, giving gamers yet another way to enjoy their favorite pastime.
At this point, it might feel like Steam Machines were announced 10 years ago, but that's because we've heard lots and lots of little details spread across the past couple of years leading up to today's big launch. The devices, which vary in price and capabilities depending on who made them, as well as the controllers are now available to the public.
Rather than foot the bill and effort to develop their own dedicated gaming device, Valve took the route of making the tools available to other developers and having them provide their own products perfect for streaming your Steam library to other devices around the house or basically serving as an extra computer that's perfect for playing games, too.
Valve has provided loads of details on the various products releasing today, starting with that bizarre-looking Steam Controller. This new game pad will set you back $49.99 and introduces a new way to play your games. Geared more toward PC gamers who want to experience their games with a controller in their hand, the design boasts two trackpads instead of the traditional thumb sticks. There's still a single thumb stick nestled off to the left, with the fact buttons on the right, below the right trackpad. That's backwards from what you get out of most controllers, and the whole thing is capped off by a pare of triggers that rest on the grip. Games like Alien Isolation, Street Fighter V, Grand Theft Auto V and Cities Skyline are just some of the ones being used to promote this new controller.
Today's other big launch is the Steam Link. This box will also set you back 50 bucks, and its purpose is to stream your Steam games to other devices, like your TV. It's got a plug 'n play setup for ease of use and, save the expected light lag from these kinds of systems, reactions seem to be that it handles everything except for super twitch-focused shooter and the like with no problems.
Finally, there are those Steam Machines we've heard so much about. Coming from just about every major computer manufacturer out there, these things are designed to be gaming beasts, and some of them sport the price point that typically comes with that claim. Depending on what you are specifically looking for, though, there's probably a model that meets your needs and the limits of your wallet.
If you decided to pick up anything listed above, we'd be interested to hear how you're liking it so far. Please let us know in the comments below.