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Valve: We’ll have prototype Steam Box consoles to test in four months

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The first Steam Box games consoles from Valve are just four short months away, says CEO and Founder Gabe Newell.

Speaking exclusively to the BBC just before the BAFTA Games awards which took place last night, Newell said that his company would be giving out prototypes of the console to customers for testing within three to four months.

Valve is currently working with its manufacturing partners to “nail down” how fast they can finalise the Steam Box console ahead of launch, says Newell. The first prototypes will be ready for testing by June – July time, although there’s no clear information as to how the first Steam Boxes will be available.

“We’ll be giving out some prototypes to customers to gauge their reactions, I guess, in the next three to four months” he confirmed.

Newell admitted that there are currently manufacturing problems with the console, mostly related to noise and heat. The current challenge for Valve is to build a console that’s powerful enough to play the most demanding titles, yet is quiet and cool – Valve’s current heat and noise issues suggest that there are some powerful components inside, which we’re excited about.

Whilst the console itself is in the works, the controller is still far from finalised. Newell says that the company is still working on the controller and still exploring the possibility of putting motion and other sensors inside for Wii-style control.

Interestingly, Newell mentioned measuring the gamer’s heart rate and other surroundings whilst they play – perhaps wearable tech will play a part in the Steam Box experience after all.

Elsewhere at the video game BAFTAs, Dishonoured scooped Best Game whilst the Indie title Journey took home five awards including Best Online Multiplayer.