Valve's much-anticipated 'Steam Box' should be ready for testing within the next few months, company boss Gabe Newell has confirmed.
Prototypes will be given to customers "within the next three or four months," Newell, who created the Half Life franchise and was last night awarded a BAFTA Fellowship, told the BBC. Those early-stage consoles will be used to gauge reaction to the new system ahead of its launch.
"We're working with partners trying to nail down exactly how fast we can make it," Newell said, hinting that the system's challenges so far involved keeping heat and noise issues to a minimum, while still making it powerful enough to tackle modern graphics.
When asked whether the Steam Box would basically be a condensed PC that plugs into your TV, the popular games industry bod said, "Exactly. I think your average gamer has a pretty good idea of what it would be like."
How you'll control the Steam Box is still up in the air. "We have a couple of different controller prototypes that we're using," Newell said, suggesting that the controller could feature biometric sensors to measure a player's heart rate.
"You can directly measure player state, and it turns out to be very useful," Newell stated, also saying that the controller would also be released separately to the Steam Box console.
The system would almost certainly have access to Valve's library of Steam games, which can be downloaded from the good ol' Internet, eschewing boring old discs entirely.
It'll need plenty of other features if it wants to take on the next Xbox and freshly unveiled PlayStation 4, however. Would you buy a Steam Box, and how much do you think it should cost? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.