If you were enamored by Valve’s concept of the Steam Box, a console device that would allow the playing of games via Steam in the living room, then you might be pleased to learn that despite several layoffs, the company is still on track with their Steam Box project. In fact according to an interview with the BBC, Valve’s Gabe Newell revealed that they will be handing out prototypes of the Steam Box to some of their customers in the next three to four months. It is unclear as to what sort of requirements one would need in order to be considered eligible for this beta testing, but hopefully we will be able to learn more about the device and its capabilities, assuming there is no NDA involved.
Newell admitted that there were some challenges when it came to developing the Steam Box, “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.” He also talks about the controller of the console and claims that Valve has yet to finalize the design, but did talk about the possibility of using sensors to measure the body state of the player in order to adapt the gameplay accordingly, making it an immersive experience.
Of course the big question here would be price for if and when Valve decides to release the Steam Box to the masses. One industry analyst raises a good point which is that Valve, unlike Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo, will not be able to subsidize their console in the same way those big companies do, meaning that the Steam Box could be one expensive gadget when it goes on sale. Either way it’s too soon to tell, but it’s good to know that the Steam Box project is still on track.