Feeds

Proto Steam box may feel your arousal, hints Valve daddy

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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.” ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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 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
Microsoft fitness bands slapped on wrists: All YOUR HEALTH DATA are BELONG TO US
Wearable will deliver 'actionable insights for healthier living'
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.