Newell: Steam Box prototypes coming in 3-4 months

This is a pretty exciting year for gamers. Sony has unveiled the PlayStation 4, Microsoft is about to do the same with the next Xbox, and of course, Valve is hard at work on its Steam Box system.

In an interview with BBC News yesterday, Valve founder and fearless leader Gabe Newell offered an update on the Steam Box's status. Apparently, customers can expect prototypes by July or so:

"We're working with partners trying to nail down how fast we can make it," Mr Newell told the BBC.

"We'll be giving out some prototypes to customers to gauge their reactions, I guess, in the next three to four months.

The Steam Box's hardware remains a work in progress, however. Newell went on to say, "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." He suggested that the controller isn't finished yet, either. (Apparently, Valve is still deciding whether or not to use motion controls à la Kinect.)

None of this tells us when the system will hit stores, of course. One has to wonder whether Valve is gearing up for a holiday release... but then again, "three to four months" in Valve's calendar probably works out to some time in 2016. Either way, it'll be interesting how the Steam Box stacks up against the latest hardware from Sony and Microsoft. It's starting to look like all three systems might be x86-powered, which could be particularly exciting for us PC gamers.

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