Valve to ship Steam Box prototypes in 3-4 months

Gabe Newell has revealed customers can expect to get their hands on an early version of Valve’s Steam Box hardware in the next three to four months.

Speaking with BBC, the company’s founder explained what point in the process the hardware is at, as well as touching on some of the challenges being faced in building a machine that balances performance with durability.

"We’re working with partners trying to nail down how fast we can make it," Newell said. "We’ll be giving out some prototypes to customers to gauge their reactions, I guess, in the next three to four months.”

"There are noise issues and heat issues and being able to [deal with] that while still offering a powerful enough gaming experience is the challenge in building it."

Newell added that Valve is still finalizing how the console’s controller will work – confirming that it’s still specifically exploring the possibility of including sensors to measure body states.

"If you think of a game like Left For Dead – which was trying to put you into a sort of horror movie – if you don’t change the experience of what the player is actually feeling then it stops being a horror game," Newell explained.

"So you need to actually be able to directly measure how aroused the player is – what their heart rate is, things like that – in order to offer them a new experience each time they play."

Valve’s ‘Piston’ Steam Box prototype was unveiled in January at CES 2013, following the firm’s declaration in September that it was crashing the computer hardware party.

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