Update: In a new blog post, a Valve representative has cleared up the situation with Steam Machines, a story that developed "as a routine cleanup of the Steam Store."
Valve says that the Steam Machine section was removed from the navigation bar based on user traffic and admits that "While it's true Steam Machines aren't exactly flying off the shelves," Valve's commitment towards a competitive and "open gaming platform" haven't changed. Valve is still working on supporting Linux as a viable gaming operating sstem thanks to investements in Vulkan as a graphics API.
Valve also announced that it also has "other Linux initiatives" in the pipeline the company is not yet ready to talk about. But SteamOS is still very much a part of the company's plans.
Original Story:Valve appears to have sponged the listing for Steam Machines from its hardware tab, signalling that maybe it's time to move on from this particular project.
First spotted by the GamingOnLinux crew, the Hardware tab on the Steam store that once includes sections for Steam Machines, now only shows sections for the Steam Controller, HTC Vive, and Steam Link.
You can still find Steam Machines from Alienware, Syber, and a few others if you look up "Steam Machine" in the search bar, though you can only check prices for a couple of them. The removal apparently happened sometime in March.
Steam Machines were first announced back in 2013 alongside SteamOS as a new ecosystem where people could play PC games in their living rooms through a Steam Machine.
However, the marketing for Steam Machines were somewhat confusing with Valve allowing multiple hardware manufacturers to make their own Steam Machines at wildly different specs and prices. Some machines were delayed, others cancelled, and the whole project never really congealed in a way that made sense.
There was also the Steam Link which let players stream their PC games to their TV. The Steam Link proved to be more popular (and cheaper) than some Steam Machines. You can still reach the Steam Machine page externally, although the product pages for the remaining handful of listed Steam Machines will take you offsite from Steam.
In a recent press event for Valve's upcoming card game, Artifact, Gabe Newell revealed that Valve will be shipping games again. What's more, in the time that Valve was busy with projects like the HTC Vive, Valve now has a new hardware skillset that you'll see the company "taking advantage of subsequently."