Gordon Freeman: it’s not just the name of a video game protagonist anymore. Gaming PC manufacturer iBuyPower has a pair of Steam Machines currently in development, and they’re nicknamed “Gordon” and “Freeman” (via Engadget). At least one of them is due in 2014 with a $499 price tag – same as an Xbox One and $100 more than a PlayStation 4 – and will be powerful enough to run all Steam titles in 1080p resolution at 60fps. The Verge adds that the launch model will be equipped with a “multicore AMD” CPU, an AMD Radeon R9 270 graphics card, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth support, a 500GB hard drive, and a packed-in Steam Controller.

Valve’s plan all along with Steam OS and the dawn of the Steam Machines has been for third-party manufacturers to handle the bulk of the hardware offerings. The Steam gatekeeper intends to release a machine of its own, but the Steam OS is something more akin to a Windows-like product. One company builds the software and support while a host of others use that software as the foundation for their own hardware. 

Gordon here (or is it Freeman?) is our first example; with CES slightly more than a month away, expect others to follow soon.