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Third party iBuyPower unveils its first Steam Machine prototype (update)

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Custom gaming PC maker iBuyPower is one of the first hardware partners to unveil its own take on the Steam Machine, Valve's upcoming gaming platform designed for playing games in Big Picture mode and in the living room.

Unlike Xi3's Piston hardware, iBuyPower's offering appears to be officially licensed, based on images and new details posted by Engadget. The white box, with a glowing colored center strip, is emblazoned with a Steam logo on top, but is otherwise unadorned.

According to Engadget's report, iBuyPower has two versions of its box, codenamed "Gordon" and "Freeman." Hardware specifications weren't provided, but the manufacturer claims its Steam Machine is capable of running all Steam titles at a minimum of 1080p and 60 frames per second.

Valve unveiled the prototype version of its Steam Machine earlier this month. The company's own hardware is a sleek black box, reportedly designed to give third-parties a model on which to design their own Steam Machines. Last month, Valve released hardware specifications for the hardware beta test program that 300 entrants will take part in this year.

Steam Machines are expected to be released in 2014, alongside Valve's operating system, SteamOS, and a new, dual-touchpad controller.

More details about Valve's plans for Steam Machines are expected at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, which takes place in January.

Update: The Verge reports that iBuyPower's machine will go on sale next year for $499, although it is not clear which model. Featuring an internal power supply, the machine will tout a multicore AMD CPU, a discrete AMD Radeon R9 270 graphics card and a 500GB hard drive. The box will include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support and Valve's Steam Controller will be included in the package.

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