Feeds

Proto Steam box may feel your arousal, hints Valve daddy

'Noise, heat issues' challenge for gaming console - Gabe Newell

Security for virtualized datacentres

Game developer Valve will be pushing out prototypes of its living room download-and-play games box sometime in the next “three to four months”, company chief Gabe Newell has revealed.

The machine, dubbed the Steam Box, is essentially a Linux PC linked to Valve’s online games shop, Steam. Being a PC, it’s easy to build, but Newell admitted that making it suitable for living room use is proving tricky.

“There are noise issues and heat issues and being able to [cope with] that while still offering a powerful enough gaming experience is the challenge in building it,” he told the BBC.

And Valve wants to do more than push out a PC in a console-style casing, Newell hinted, perhaps even including sensor measuring the physiological state of the player.

“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.”

So can we also expect electric shocks when we’re slammed by a plasma bolt, eh, Gabe?

Valve will need this kind of gimmick if it’s to make any significant headway against the likes of Sony and Microsoft. Redmond has yet to detail the next version of its Xbox platform, but Sony’s PlayStation 4, set to ship before this coming Christmas, is itself a high-end PC that will be dropped into a slim-ish black case. The new Xbox won’t be much different.

Valve is a well-respected name in PC gaming, and Steam is a strong brand in that segment of the games market. But Valve will have a tough time matching the mass-marketing muscle Sony and Microsoft will employ battling each other to win the next-gen console fight.

Of the first Steam Box units, Newell said: “We’ll be giving out some prototypes to customers to gauge their reactions, I guess, in the next three to four months.” ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD to DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get the parts for HDD models
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.