The first units of Valve's Steam Machine gaming devices have begun arriving on the doorsteps of beta testers. Engadget on Sunday pointed to reports from a number of sites showing that beta units have begun showing up at a few households of the 300 beta testers Valve has signed up to try out its new device. The units are arriving in a wooden crate, which opens to reveal a padded interior with the gaming device and its novel gamepad tucked inside.
The beta kits include the console itself, a prototype Steam controller, and cables for HDMI, USB, and power. They also come with a USB Steam OS recovery thumbstick, as well as a removable Wi-Fi antenna module. Valve includes instructions on how to disassemble the device in order to troubleshoot or repair it.
Valve sent out notifications to the 300 chosen beta testers last week, telling them that they could expect their devices in the mail in the near future. The included devices are fully upgradeable, and users can swap out the GPU, hard drive, CPU, and motherboard.
Steam Machines will not see an official launch for quite some time, possibly in mid-2014. When they do launch, Valve is expected to offer them in multiple configurations, with the power of each machine increasing along with its price.