Valve’s “Early Bird” Steam Machines sold out

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I still don’t really understand the appeal of Valve’s Steam Machine. Yes, I get the small form factor is appealing for a living room, but mini PC’s have been available for forever. The Linux-based SteamOS that the things run have a limited (though increasing!) playable game library, so their appeal, as far as I’m concerned, is limited – unless you want to use one as a go-between for your uber-powerful desktop and your TV. Limited Appeal hasn’t stopped them from selling out.

For a short while, Valve offered the initial run of Steam Machines to early adopters who could pre-order the things from Steam’s website. Those things are all done. For some reason, people actually seem to want to shell out money for Steam Machines.

Joining the “sold out for now” queue is the genuinely appealing Steam Controller, and the far-more-sensible Steam Link which functions as a little standalone proxy betwixt TV and Desktop.

Of course, Valve and its partners (Like Alienware and Syber) haven’t said how many made up the initial allotment in the first place. It could have been 5, 50, 500 or 5000 (Which, I’ve double checked, aren’t the same things) so it being sold out is relatively meaningless.

Those who did manage to get in at ground level will get their Steam Machines (or its peripherals) will start getting theirs in mid-October, while everyone else who wants one will have to wait until an unspecified date in November.

Neither the Steam Machines, nor its controllers nor even the Steam Link were available to pre-order from within South Africa. The Controllers at the very least will be available locally thanks to Dell, who’ll also be punting their own Alienware Steam Machines.

Poised by Valve as a device to take over the living room, I honestly don’t think console platform holders have much to fear. High prices, patchy Linux support and (as a result) a lack of big blockbuster games means Steam Machines will only ever be a niche product for now. Until Half-Life 3 is a Steam Machine exclusive, at least.

Last Updated: June 30, 2015

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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