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Valve's Steam Box is almost ready for testing

In an interview with the BBC, Valve’s managing director, Gabe Newell, revealed a few small details about the company’s new Steam Box—and at the same time avoided answering some other key questions about the console.

Three to four months is the expected time for Steam Box prototypes to arrive at testers’ doors. Newell told the BBC that Valve is “working with partners trying to nail down how fast we can make it,” and noted that the company is still working to beat noise and heat issues while balancing performance. He also mentioned that the prototypes may come with several different controller options, giving testers the option to give feedback on which they prefer.

One of the most interesting bits of the interview concerns one possibility for the system’s controller. Newell mentions that one possible design would give the controller the ability to read a gamer’s “body state” through sensors on the device. The example given was measuring heart rate for feedback into a survival horror title, changing the gameplay according to the player’s reaction. This could mean some really interactive gameplay could be on the horizon, provided that Valve sticks with the idea.

The look of the console itself and its cost are still a mystery. Then, there’s the matter of a new Portal and Half-Life, two franchises with fans just begging for a sequel. Unfortunately, Newell didn’t give an inch when the BBC questioned him about the games. Is there anything on the drawing board for either franchise? If so, will the games be available for the Steam Box? Looks like all we can do right now is wait for more information.


Angela Hinck
Former Contributor: Content Manager- Situated in sunny Florida, Angela spends plenty of time watching anime and playing video games. RPGs and survival-horror are her go-to genres; but if it's weird or different, she's willing to give a shot. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a BA in Creative Writing and now puts her skills to good use writing about the nerdier things in life, including news and game reviews for Operation Rainfall.