Valve Will Give Out Prototype Steam Boxes Within The Next Few Months, Gabe Newell Says

At least a few lucky customers will get their hands on prototypes the Steam Box within the next few months, Valve boss Gabe Newell says.

Speaking to the BBC at the BAFTA awards show in the UK today, Newell said the company is still trying to figure out just how quickly they can crank out their new living-room-friendly PC machines.

"We'll be giving out some prototypes to customers to gauge their reactions, I guess, in the next three to four months," he said. "There are noise issues and heat issues and being able to [deal with] that while still offering a powerful enough gaming experience is the challenge in building it."

How many models will there be? How much will they cost? What will they look like? Details are slim right now—but Newell has hinted that they're looking into biometric controllers in some form, and he reiterated that desire while chatting with the BBC today: "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."

Earlier this year, Xi3 showed off the first unofficial Steam Box, called Piston, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Last December, Newell told me that the company plans to release their own line of Steam Boxes in 2013.

Valve readies prototype Steam Box video game console [BBC via Polygon]