Valve will be giving out prototype models of its Steam Box games console to customers within the next three to four months, according to company boss Gabe Newell.
Newell spoke to the BBC recently in a fairly wide-ranging conversation that touched upon Half Life 3 (no comment) and the Sony PS4 (it's essentially a PC), but the most interesting point concerned the status of the company's ambitious Steam Box console project.
Valve is still finalising design details for its new console, but Newell confirmed that his company was "working with partners trying to nail down how fast we can make it."
He also revealed that "We'll be giving out some prototypes to customers to gauge their reactions, I guess, in the next three to four months."
Valve is still honing an experience that Newell states will essentially bring "the openness and flexibility of a PC yet done in a way that makes it work well in a living room."
Valve Steam Box issues
Obviously there are age-old issues with this approach. "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." revealed Newell.
However, this isn't the thing that's holding up final production of the Steam Box. Newell revealed that pinpointing an appropriate controller design for the Steam Box was one of the key decisions yet to be made. The company will be giving out a couple of different controller types to customers along with the prototype consoles to "see what the difference is in their play patterns."
It's known that Valve is looking to implement biometric elements in its controller, which will be able to monitor a player's reactions.
"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," said Newell.
Are you excited by the prospect of the Steam Box, or will your next console come from an established console manufacturer such as Sony or Microsoft? Let us know in the comments section below, or use the Trusted Reviews Twitter and Facebook feeds.