Valve's Steam Box prototypes going out in the next four months

Gabe Newell says Valve is still trying to finalise specs of the upcoming machine, but there's still no news on anything to do with Half-Life 3.

Valve's upcoming Steam Box will see prototype models in the next "three to four months," according to company boss Gabe Newell.

"We're working with partners trying to nail down exactly how fast we can make it," Newell said to the BBC before last night's BAFTA awards. "We're also working hard on the input side to try to take a step forward in terms of the kinds of games you can play. So very much on the development side, and we'll be giving out some prototypes to customers to get their reactions, I guess, in the next three to four months."

Newell added that the machine's biggest challenges are noise and heat but that most gamers already understand the concept behind the device. "I think your average gamer has a pretty good idea of what it'd be like," he said. "The openness and flexibility of the PC, yet done in a way that makes it work well in a living room, so there are noise issues and heat issues. Being able to do that while still offering a powerful enough gaming experience is the challenge in building it."

Steam Box prototypes would come with a few different controllers so Valve could gauge how its users would be using the equipment; the company is looking into biometric sensors as a way of monitoring players, for instance. Left 4 Dead was used as an example of how understanding heart rates could make a more effective horror game.

"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 continue to offer them a new experience each time they play," he said.

Valve's biometrics work will be seen away from the Steam Box, too. "You'll see [biometrics] outside of Steam Box as well; we're working with general PC controller manufacturers."

No details about price were mentioned. Earlier this year PC manufacturer Xi3 unveiled its own unofficial Steam Box, code-named the Piston.

While Newell wouldn't mention anything along the lines of Half-Life 3, he did briefly ruminate on how the games industry is heading towards PC-style development. "The nice thing is all the consoles are moving in the direction of PCs," he said.

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168 comments
raduz123
raduz123

Great promises that never happen


Dr Dre releasing Detox 

Peter Jackson directing a Halo movie

Half-Life 3

June-GS
June-GS

I love Mr. Gabe Newell. So I don't know if it's his seriously goofy photo or the fact that Valve wants to "directly measure our arousal" or a combination of both, but while I was reading the article above, I kept glancing at the calendar to make sure it's not April Fool's Day.

AlexFili
AlexFili

Should definitely be an interesting choice of consoles this year

uchihasilver
uchihasilver

don't know why i just don't like this guy xD even though i'm a pc gamer ¬.¬ and as the person before me said learn to count to 3 damn it!

princetom
princetom

Gabe can't count to 3. LEARN TO COUNT!!! 

grasshopper6
grasshopper6

 "be able to directly measure how aroused the player is"  hmmmmmm saints row character with big melons oh yea 

H4num4n
H4num4n

Beware MS and Sony. Hopefully they step it up and counter the steambox with the only real weapon they have: good exclusives. But i'm afraid in the end it all will come down to who spends the most on marketing.

Fursnake
Fursnake

Just as long as it has a Valve on it that shoots out Steam every now and then.

BlendThree
BlendThree

I don't know, I'm actually looking forward to this thing.  Especially with the disappointing news that seems to be coming out of Microsoft and Sony's next gen platforms.  Only time will tell but the idea does have premise. I'm always all for innovations that bridge the gap between PC and living room (TV) gaming.

youngzen69
youngzen69

Newell, shut up about the Steam Box already! I think its a big mistake to keep talking about the Steam Box well before you guys are ready to release it out onto the market. Right now Newell you are doing so much talking that by the time the Steam Box is completed people will have loss interest. Wait until the Steam Box is close to completion then begin awing people with it

Lost_Omega
Lost_Omega

I'm behind anything Valve does 100%!

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

not buying the biometrics thing....

bledsoe45sbc
bledsoe45sbc

i love that picture of gabe , reminds me of a frightened owl

makryu
makryu

So that's why they didn't make HL3 yet, it will come packed with an Alyx inflatable doll- I mean, biometric arousal sensor controller...

tommy_boy9999
tommy_boy9999

I dont want any systems Measuring my heart rate etc.  its a little too Big Brotherish for my tastes.  Will it measure if I scratch my nuts

RockySquirrel
RockySquirrel

Gabe looks like he just read an email from EA...

"Hi Gabe, we HATE you..."

4-Legged-Shark
4-Legged-Shark

Gabe wants to directly measure how "aroused" I am? This I am looking forward to. Will we meet in person or....

wexorian
wexorian

Hey gabe What about kicking out Half life 3 team, fans did not  liked game.

Dougsmoog
Dougsmoog

I love this in the news above;

'You need to actually be able to directly measure how aroused the player is'

Any interestingly shaped peripherals?  m....? any1?

sieg6529
sieg6529

My adoration for the Gaben knows no limits, but my PC is already my Steam Box.  

Celsius765
Celsius765

so he's gonna get some gamers to beta test it

N0tYrBeezin
N0tYrBeezin

Has he fired all those guys who worked on HL3 yet?

USAPATRIOT21
USAPATRIOT21

Finally, a console that can sense my sweatiness.

okassar
okassar

Silence, everyone, Gaben has spoken. 

Dougsmoog
Dougsmoog

I'm tempted to say 'what's the point?' Just looks like the biggest waste of time and money ever! All the menagerie of components and the PC gaming industry still trying to have a baseline specification that will run any game... Good luck with that... For accessibility it's never going to compete well with the big boys, they should get on board with the nextgen of consoles coming out and continue on that route, I don't want yet another box, I want one box of delights that does it all!!!!

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

Wonder if they intend to make it a Linux-based console or if they'll work something out with Microsoft so it can play Windows games.

Using Windows sounds like it would substantially add on to the cost of the console, but otherwise its library of playable games is going to be very limited, at least when it launches.

Cloud_imperium
Cloud_imperium

Holy shit . It's E3 after like 3 months . Will they be revealing SteamBox and Half Life 3 at E3 .?

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@Bl4KD37H I think the idea is a combo of DDL/Streaming (Though, LOCAL streaming). Can't remember which article it was, but Gabe was talking about how "cloud streaming" introduced unnecessary lag/network cost, and that people should be able to stream locally running games from their PC to the Steam Box.

Ah, here it is.

Anyway, I'll see what it does and how it goes.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@tommy_boy9999 Yeah, kinda was thinking "That's the info you run (And pay) studies for, don't pester me for all that crap".

Dougsmoog
Dougsmoog

@sieg6529 - There has to be a need and as far as I can see there is no innovation for people to say 'mmmmm I want it!', what you will find them saying is 'no thanks I've got it'

Cloud_imperium
Cloud_imperium

@sieg6529 It's for gamers who were former console owners and want to enter in PC gaming . No one is stealing  your rig from you dude . Their target is different kind of audience and that's better for PC gaming revenue and future in long term .

Dougsmoog
Dougsmoog

The different tiers of boxes does sound interesting however for me it's got to take something special like how Apple cornered the market out of the blue with the iPhone etc...  Sony and Microsoft totally took gaming to the next level.  Don't get me wrong I have a lot of respect for the guys working hard and brining new innovations to the market thats what its all about but I don't see any earth shattering innovation here for console gamers to consider making the move to this new platform.  I think steam has about 50 million subscribers worldwide which is a huge achievement in anyones book and I'm sure there's lots of money to be made but success doesn't necessarily follow.  Don't mind me I'm still bitter over Aliens Colonial Marines....

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

@Dougsmoog the Steam Box doesn't need to compete with the big boys of the PC world. Nor does it have to run all games on Ultra high settings. It just has to be able to run all the games.

It does make you wonder what the components will be. I think there will be different tiers of Steam Boxes; some more powerful than others. On the low end your probably looking at an AMD APU configuration and on the high an Intel Core i5/7 with a dedicated Nvidia card (GeForce GTX 660?)

Cloud_imperium
Cloud_imperium

@Dougsmoog Valve is in gaming industry more longer than you can imagine . Guys like you and me can only post comments , they have been in the industry for way too long . They probably understand this stuff better than us .

Cloud_imperium
Cloud_imperium

@Dougsmoog @sieg6529 People always say that and when something gets revealed they say "That's day one buy for me" . Let's wait and see . It's too early to say anything . I hope VALVE succeeds .

jedediahpelland
jedediahpelland

@sieg6529 LOL, what??? I think you missed his point.

sieg6529
sieg6529

@Cloud_imperium stealing my PC rig?  What the hell are you talking about? My point, which you seemed to have missed in your desire to post your own comment, is simply that I won't be buying it.  Period.  That's it.  Finito.  

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

@Dougsmoog The Steam service is a big part of attracting console gamers. It's a revolution in PC game delivery and management. It's got the amazing deals, a huge library of indie titles, and an even bigger library of AAA titles from the biggest publishers.

Games may continue to be cheaper on PC than console, they may not. If they do then price of games is a big advantage.

I can't think of much else. They don't have the exclusives that consoles have yet. Their community stuff is good, but I'm not sure how competitive it is with XBL and PSN. It will be interesting to see the configurations and to hear their pitch for each box announced.

blklizrd
blklizrd

@nameaprice @Cloud_imperium I wonder how that would measure on the arousal meter?

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

@N0tYrBeezin @Hvac0120 Halo Wars, LotR Battle for Middle Earth... Aren't these RTS titles? Maybe referred to as "tower defense?"

A few MMOs have found audiences on consoles, such as Final Fantasy XI or DC Universe Online.

With the new controllers and systems we may see less genre exclusivity between PC and console. You are right hat majority are on PC, but mainly due to controls.

N0tYrBeezin
N0tYrBeezin

@Hvac0120 All RTS and most MMOs are PC exclusive although not outright declared  but they are exclusive in practice.

theend3r
theend3r

@nameaprice @Cloud_imperium @Dougsmoog Lol, how many language do YOU speak? I can speak five and thus I know that laughing at someone because of his language is just stupid (unless he stated it's his native language).