Feeds

Proto Steam box may feel your arousal, hints Valve daddy

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

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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.” ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
End of buttons? Apple looks to patent animating iPhone sidewalls
Filing suggests handset with display strips
One step closer to ROBOT BUTLERS: Dyson flashes vid of VACUUM SUCKER bot
Latest cleaner available for world+dog in September
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Tim Cook in Applerexia fears: New MacBook THINNER THAN EVER
'Supply chain sources' give up the goss on new iLappy
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.