Valve to Distribute Steam Box Prototype Soon
Valve will be handing out Steam Box prototypes to customers within "three to four months", co-founder Gabe Newell said to BBC in an interview.
Valve is still tweaking the system for optimal use, and by handing out prototypes, the company aims to "gauge their reactions" towards its PC-console. Some of the challenges Valve is facing is finding the correct balance between noise and heat output while still maintaining enough power to run modern games.
"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 said.
Another challenge is designing the controller. Valve is looking to implement biometric technology into its controller to explore the possibility of reading the gamer's 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."When and how the Steam Box will be available is uncertain for now. Valve previously said it will partner with hardware manufacturers to produce different versions of its Steam Box, and also plans to distribute it themselves. At CES, Valve had announced their first partner, the mini PC maker Xi3.
As for the price, Valve isn't sure yet. "And we still don't know the price - Valve will be unable to subsidise its console in the same way the other manufacturers do, so that remains a major unknown."
Newell also did not clarify if the prototype distribution plan within "three to four months" is based on a normal time frame or Valve Time.