tile-templateThe Linux-based gaming platform SteamOS will be available to download on December 13.

The announcement comes as Valve ready their Steam Machine and Steam Controller prototypes for shipping on the same day. Though only 300 people will be getting the prototype devices, Valve will be offering its Linux-based OS to everyone when the devices ship on Friday.

If you joined the pool of potential hardware testers, you’ll be notified at around 2:00pm Pacific Time in the US if you’re receiving one. For the rest of us, Valve are planning on announcing more about what to expect of the Linux-toting hardware at January’s CES.

Valve are recommending that the SteamOS download available later this week only be used by the “intrepid Linux hacker” – that means all of you! – and recommend everyone else wait until later in 2014 to give it a go once the rough edges are sanded down a bit.

Valve have certainly ushered in a new era for Linux gaming – and Linux as a whole – by bringing better drivers and bigger game titles to the platform than ever before. With optimistic words from Battlefield developers DICE and Total War developers Creative Assembly, 2014 and beyond are set to be some of the most exciting times ahead for both Valve and Linux gamers.

Steam Machines and SteamOS Announcement

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