Gabe Newell discusses Valve’s Steam Box console plans
Valve’s highly anticipated Steam Box game console will be ready for testing in a few months time. The Steam Box is designed to make it easy to access the service via living room televisions posing a challenge to Nintendo’s Wii U, the upcoming Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s next Xbox.
“We’re working with partners trying to nail down how fast we can make it,” Mr Newell told the BBC.
Speaking to the BBC in an interview published recently, Valve CEO Gabe Newell said that the console should be ready for testing “in the next three to four months,” adding that his company will pass out the device to customers to try out.
“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,” Newell told BBC, adding that Valve still hasn’t been able to finalize the device’s controller design.
“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,” Mr Newell explained.
“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.”
As far as the price it is unclear what players will expect to see. One industry analyst said Valve’s effort to transform itself from a games creator to an online marketplace is impressive, but added that it is still too soon to know if the Steam Box will be a success.
“I don’t have any doubt they will put forth an impressive machine and it’s pretty clear that at launch they will have a significant games catalogue,” said Lewis Ward from IDC.
“But the surrounding app ecosystem is unlikely to match other consoles which have Netflix, video conferencing tie-ins and other non-gaming aspects.
“And we still don’t know the price – Valve will be unable to subsidize its console in the same way the other manufacturers do, so that remains a major unknown.”
Gabe Newell Wins BAFTA games Academy Fellowship
If you weren’t aware the British Academy of Film and Television Arts or BAFTA Games awards were last night. Among the awards handed out is the Academy Fellowship, it is a lifetime achievement award presented by BAFTA since 1971 “in recognition of outstanding achievement in the art forms of the moving image”, and is the highest honor the Academy can bestow. Gabe Newell, was honored with the 2013 Academy Fellowship at the event.
You can read more about Gabe Newell’s acceptance of an Academy Fellowship award on the Bafta games official site.