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Valve won’t make you dig through hundreds of chocolate bars to find a golden ticket, but you’ll still need a lot of luck to get picked for its hardware beta later this year.

Earlier today, the developer and digital-game distributor talked about Steam Machines, a slate of devices (including Valve’s prototype) made by various manufacturers that will run the company’s SteamOS, a customized Linux-based operating system. Steam Machines and SteamOS are just the first parts of Valve’s three-pronged attack on living room entertainment, with the third and final piece of news coming this Friday at 10 a.m. Pacific.

In the meantime, you can try to snag one of the 300 spots for beta testing Valve’s “high-performance” Steam Machine box. Assuming you already have a Steam account, here’s how to enter:

  • Go to the Badge section of your profile page to see what you have left to do to earn the Steam Hardware Enthusiast badge
  • Make sure you have at least 10 people on your friends list
  • Make a public Steam Community profile
  • Join the Steam Universe group
  • Connect a controller to your PC and launch a game while using Steam’s Big Picture mode
  • To reach the Level 2 Badge, complete the entry form

And that’s it! As long as you do it before Oct. 25 — when Valve closes off entry — you’re good. Valve does have a few caveats, however: Creating more Steam accounts won’t increase your chances of getting into the beta, and a very small amount of people (up to 30) “will be chosen based on their past community contributions and beta participation.” Valve will pick the rest at random.


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The odds don’t seem too bad, but it decreases exponentially by the minute. After I finished registering, Steam said I was one of 65, 309 eligible beta candidates.

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