Valve’s living-room friendly hardware could be in tester’s hands in just a few months.
Speaking with the BBC, Valve founder Gabe Newell said he doesn’t have a firm timeline yet – of course – but may have something to show quite soon.
“We’re working with partners trying to nail down how fast we can make it. We’ll be giving out some prototypes to customers to gauge their reactions, I guess, in the next three to four months,” he said.
“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.”
As for the tech itself, Newell reiterated his interest in some sort of biometric sensor.
“If you think of a game like Left For Dead – which was trying to put you into a sort of horror movie – if you don’t change the experience of what the player is actually feeling then it stops being a horror game,” he said.
“So 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.”
After months of rumours, Valve made its Steambox plans public during the CES this year. It’s also keen to encourage competitive “Steam box” offerings, going so far as to invest in the Xi3. Microsoft has said it’s not at all concerned, and much more worried about Apple, something Valve agrees with.