Steam Box prototypes coming to 'customers' in '3-4 months'

It won't be much longer until a few lucky gamers will get a chance to try out an early version of the "Steam Box"

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It won't be much longer until a few lucky gamers will get a chance to try out an early version of the "Steam Box"--Valve's foray into TV-connected hardware. According to Valve head Gabe Newell, the company plans on "giving out some prototypes to customers to get their reactions in the next three to four months."

Assuming Valve Time doesn't strike, of course.

Speaking to the BBC (via Polygon), Newell said that "we're working with partners, trying to nail down how fast we can make it," adding that "the main thing that's holding us up right now is that we have a couple of different controller prototypes."

Valve has been working on a number of different control schemes, and has been very interested in biometric sensors. Newell said that a game like Left 4 Dead could benefit from biometrics by allowing for dynamic gaming based on player feedback. "If you don't change the experience based on what the player is experiencing, it stops being a horror game," he said.

While the Steam Box is still a bit of a mystery, Newell says that it won't be particularly surprising when it comes out. "Your average gamer has a pretty good idea of what it will be like," he said, pointing out that the device simply allows for your PC games to easily play on your TV.

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  • reply
    March 5, 2013 3:45 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Steam Box prototypes coming to 'customers' in '3-4 months'.

    It won't be much longer until a few lucky gamers will get a chance to try out an early version of the "Steam Box"

    • reply
      March 5, 2013 6:24 PM

      I'm still not seeing this work out very well :(

      • reply
        March 5, 2013 7:42 PM

        If it's a good product and priced competitively vs. consoles, I see it quite differently that you. The PC industry is in decline - there were less GPU's sold in 2012 than 2011, and less in 2011 than in 2010. The number of PC's sold has also declined for several years in a row. Valve needs a product to cement and expand it's customer base otherwise it will slowly capitulate over time. Waiting until it's too late to release a product that can address such an issue, would be... well... too late.

        If a customer can plug this thing in, get a completely setup-free experience (meaning future games will auto-set graphics settings), can do all the things on the web that a PC can do and gets the benefits that PC games have over consoles like higher resolutions, higher frame rates, steam workshop AKA mods, keyboard and mouse OR controllers, then what is not to like? I'd stop building a new rig every other year in favor of just buying the latest steambox iteration.

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          March 5, 2013 8:28 PM

          If they really can find some sort of appealing middle ground between PC and console that appeals to people, then sure.

          But at some point the Steam Box just becomes just another console and I don't really think Valve can go toe to toe with MS and Sony in that fight. Moving in the opposite direction they become just another PC builder.

          I'm eager to see what they've cooked up but they're going to have really manage to bring the best of both worlds with this thing, something that truly hasn't been seen before, or I think it will flop.

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            March 5, 2013 8:29 PM

            lol I botched that first sentence

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            March 5, 2013 8:42 PM

            "Here's a console which can play your entire Steam library with better graphics than the other consoles, guaranteed. Also, the next version you buy will also play your entire Steam library, guaranteed."

            There's definitely some ways they could boner this but there's definitely some ways this could be pulled off incredibly well. Just play to the strengths.

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              March 6, 2013 3:05 PM

              Except if it ships as Linux, that's not true. The majority of my Steam library would not be supported in that case, and for some titles (ME2), will never be.

              A Windows 8 version might be interesting, however.

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                March 7, 2013 7:41 PM

                Word on the strizz is that Valve is working on drivers for Linux, so that these games will play.

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            March 5, 2013 9:02 PM

            I agree they're going to have to differentiate. Gabe has said things like steam box acting as a local server, running multiple games at the same time on different displays. That is something consoles cannot do. And again, mods is something consoles will likely never have.

            I think there is a crowd of gamers out there who don't want to build their own rig but would game on a PC if the initial cost barrier wasn't so high (looking at boutique stores). Valve can essentially make that come true. No, not everyone is going to jump ship and become a PC gamer right away, but just like the original xbox did, it started out slow and built on it's own success to become as competitive and successful as it's competitors.

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          March 6, 2013 2:24 AM

          Perhaps I am missing something here but just how the hell would anyone know how many gaming PC's were sold in a year? Hell every PC gamer I know in my community of friends buys their own parts and builds a PC themselves or with help from a friend.

          How you can accurately say how many gaming PC's are sold in a year is beyond me, smells like BS to me. And as far as the GPU's being sold less I'm not really convinced that is data worth giving any mind to. Consoles being so far behind PC's and therefore the graphics staying relatively the same has made many PC gamers stick with their Mid-End PC's that they built in 2009 for no other reason that they can. Hell I have, built mine in December of 09 and I can run just about every game out there at max settings, aside from some horribly optimized ones.

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          March 6, 2013 6:53 AM

          I'm thinking of how it will upgrade. If it's going to play PC games it should be able to play them with max graphic settings. That won't be the case a year or two after it launches.

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        March 5, 2013 10:55 PM

        the question is: are there enough console gamers who want to get into PC gaming?

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          March 6, 2013 4:55 AM

          dont sell it as a PC sell it as a console, that can do everything a pc can, once people her PC they just lose interest in it and think it will be to complicated to work

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