Gabe Newell: Some people will get Steam Box prototypes this summer

In September, it was revealed that Valve would begin the first beta test of its hardware product sometime in 2013. Today, Valve founder Gabe Newell seems to have confirmed the timetable was still in place for a public beta test of its "Steam Box" gaming PC.

In an interview with the BBC, Newell said, "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." That would put the beta timeframe for sometime this summer in June or July.

Newell said that one of the company's current sticking points with the Steam Box are what kinds of controllers would be included. He stated that the lucky folks who get a Steam Box prototype will also get two different kinds of controllers to guage their feedback on which one works best. The controllers might even have some kind of biometric support to get information about the player's state. Newell also said there are heat and noise issues that Valve still has to deal with to make the Steam Box a PC that can be hooked up to a television.

Valve plans to sell its Steam Box with a version of the Linux OS. It has also invested money in PC maker Xi3 that is developing a small PC that will run the Steam client in its Big Picture mode.

Source: BBC | Image via Xi3

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13 Comments

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How do we get signed up to possibly beta test one of these things?

It would be pretty cool to get in on it

I'm sure people were similarly cynical when Steam first came out. Look how that worked out.

Just give it time and see what Valve do with it, and then see if developers start to come round to it. If its priced well it could stand to be a pretty big hit.

who is going to buy these? console gamers are console gamers for a reason. they want to pop in a disc and play. parents,kids,teenagers, its idiot proof. there are a lot of games missing on PC,including popular games like madden,nba live,nhl, ufc, wwe, and so much more.

PC gamers already have their gaming rig. Why would they spend money for something so inferior to what they have? Why wouldn't they use that money instead to upgrade their own rig and make it even more badass?

And most of the games don't and wont run on Linux. You want the general consumer to install windows on some black box? keep dreaming. even if they do, the whole experience is cumbersome.

there are things that don't make sense. this is a dumb idea,and its a waste of money and talent. such a shame.

vcfan said,
who is going to buy these?

as far as I can tell it has no market segment at all. seems a bit like a gaming version of a fax machine.

Valve plans to sell its Steam Box with a version of the Linux OS

Well that will make it nice and consumer friendly, let alone leave consumers with pretty much no AAA titles. Then of course there's the problem of what happens when there is a problem...

Install Windows 8, the start screen actually works really well with controller.

ingramator said,

Well that will make it nice and consumer friendly, let alone leave consumers with pretty much no AAA titles. Then of course there's the problem of what happens when there is a problem...

Install Windows 8, the start screen actually works really well with controller.

What's to say that won't change when actual HW shows up?

Snake89 said,

Since when wasn't half-life 2 a triple A title?

Well right now HL2 isn't available for linux, only HL1 is. I'm sure Valve eventually make Hl2 available too but what about companies like EA, Ubisoft and Activision? I don't see them making linux versions of their games.

-Razorfold said,

what about companies like EA, Ubisoft and Activision?

What about them? Hopefully they stick to consoles where they belong

Snake89 said,

Since when wasn't half-life 2 a triple A title?

HL2 isn't on Linux. But it was released in 2004 anyway! As good as HL2 is who's going to buy Steam Box to play a game that old, especially when it's already on PC, Mac and consoles.

Out of the whole Steam catalogue probably less than 1% of all games will work on Linux. This machine is going to fail.

Valve have said you can install Windows on it, but then if you're going to do that you may as well just build your own PC for the same purpose.

-Razorfold said,

Well right now HL2 isn't available for linux, only HL1 is. I'm sure Valve eventually make Hl2 available too but what about companies like EA, Ubisoft and Activision? I don't see them making linux versions of their games.

HL2 isn't available on linux but the source engine is completely ported over so it wouldn't take much to release HL2 for linux, maybe they're waiting for the next HL installment and having a bundle?