Or at least say hello to a working prototype of a Steam Box. Website The Verge recently got to sit down and spend some time with the new Valve toy you see above; it’s one of the first Steam Box that Valve has produced. According to The Verge, the unit they were using was slightly larger than an Xbox 360, but that becomes impressive when you realise that it has a standard desktop CPU as well as a GeForce GTX Titan crammed inside it.
While that sounds like a recipe for melting hardware components, Valve has designed the steel and aluminium chassis so that none of the individual pieces of hardware exist in the same space. Basically, the CPU, power supply and graphics card all have their own housing as the entire unit is internally divided by a physical plastic divider. This results in each piece of heat-creating hardware being able to vent out different parts of the Box: the graphics card vents out the back, the CPU out of the top and the PSU out of the side. And, to top it all off, The Verge highlighted that this particular prototype was “already surprisingly cool and quiet”.
Valve is about to fire out 300 prototype Steam Boxes with various specifications so that Steam users can beta test them and provide feedback. That was revealed along with the Steam Box back in September of this year.
Of course, the Steam Box itself is almost peripheral to that wild Steam Controller. According to The Verge, the touchpads work well but take some getting used to: “it wasn’t that the controls didn’t work well, they were simply unfamiliar. The touchpads are surprisingly accurate, and they make first-person shooters and other mouse-friendly games far more accessible than any analog stick can afford.”
The prototype that Valve has on display was developed internally. Obviously it uses third-party hardware, but the design and chassis was constructed by Valve technicians in order to give third-party Steam Box manufacturers an idea of where to go when they piece together their offerings. Apparently, we’ll see what other companies have in store for the Steam Box in January next year. The multitude of Steam Boxes will then go on sale later in 2014 but it’s still uncertain which third-party companies will be working with Valve. There’s also still no indication of pricing for either the Steam Box or its standalone Steam Controller.