Nestled in the Steam Machines Beta Test Agreement, like a babe in swaddling clothes, is the news that Valve is making a controller to compliment its recently-announced PC-console-Linux chimera.
Here's the salient quote, as pointed out by GameInformer and re-verified when I signed myself up for the Steam Machines beta:
1. Valve Corporation ("Valve", "We", "Us" or "Our") has developed and produced prototypes of entertainment system hardware and software, including a set-top box running custom software and a game controller (collectively: "Beta Products"). These Beta Products are currently being prepared for a limited beta testing program ("Beta Program") involving select end users of Our online service known as Steam ("Steam").
On Monday, Valve announced SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system that allows for game streaming. On Wednesday, the company announced Steam Machines, prototype hardware designed specifically for SteamOS.
They'll be announcing something else tomorrow, but it's unclear if it's controller-related or not. Details on the whole SteamOS shebang are still a little spotty, though the company promises more specifics "soon."
On the one hand, I can't imagine a hardware manufacturer not making its own controller. On the other, SteamOS streams computer games -- a handful of USB ports for mouse, keyboard, and the occasional wired Xbox 360 controller will (hopefully) be a viable alternative if the Steam Machine controller turns out like the Ouya's.
Joseph Leray is a freelance writer from Nashville. Follow him on Twitter