In a recent BBC interview, Valve’s Gabe Newell revealed the company is on track to distribute prototype Steam Box units as early as this summer. Newell didn’t specify which companies will receive prototype units, but he did say there are still issues to overcome before more information is shared.
More specifically, Newell said there are noise and heat problems Valve is still trying to work out as the company refines a “powerful enough gaming experience.” In addition, Valve is still toying with the idea of including biometric sensors in the company’s custom controller, Newell said.
“You need to actually be able to directly measure how aroused the player is — what their heart rate is, thing like that — in order to offer them a new experience each time they play,” Newell explained. Boy, if that’s the case, the controller will probably think I’m running a marathon while playing Left 4 Dead 2’s Follow the Liter Mutation mode.
Once Steam Box prototypes are handed out, Valve intends on gauging reactions of the companies that receive them. If reactions are good, perhaps Valve’s journey to your living room will be swift and short. If not, plan on Valve spending more time refining the experience. Because if there’s any company notoriously known for taking its sweet time, its Valve.