Even as Valve is trying to ease access to PC gaming in the living room, its plans for the Steam Machine won't be held up by an adherence to a single manufacturer of graphics hardware. The proposed SteamOS-based systems will support a variety of graphics builds with GPUs from AMD, Intel, and Nvidia when they launch next year, according to a report at Maximum PC .
After the specs for the 300 prototype beta builds set to make their way into some lucky homes were revealed last week , it was easy to speculate that the new systems might—at the very least—be Nvidia-centric. In a nod to hardware flexibility, Valve has now addressed this possibility directly:
“Last week, we posted some technical specs of our first wave of Steam Machine prototypes,” said Valve spokesman Doug Lombardi at Maximum PC. “Although the graphics hardware that we've selected for the first wave of prototypes is a variety of Nvidia cards, that is not an indication that Steam Machines are Nvidia-only. In 2014, there will be Steam Machines commercially available with graphics hardware made by AMD, Nvidia, and Intel. Valve has worked closely together with all three of these companies on optimizing their hardware for SteamOS, and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future.”
It's a move that reinforces what we've been hearing since Valve's holistic, living room-based concept was first announced. Allowing for the use of different GPUs, which as a consequence points toward a variety of possible pricing options, means a certain amount of the flexibility that PC gamers currently enjoy will be carried over to the new, Linux-friendly Steam Machines.