Looks like Valve's upcoming console "Steam Box" should be ready within the next three to four months, though that only refers to the prototype. It's big news, regardless, and Gabe Newell confirms that these prototypes will be shipped out to customers to test how well folks might react to the console.
And no, Newell did not specify what "customers" means. He could very well be referring to developers and publishers, rather than regular ol' mass consumers.
"We're working with partners trying to nail down how fast we can make it.
"We'll be giving out some prototypes to customers to gauge their reactions, I guess, in the next three to four months.
"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."
As of now, Valve is still trying to iron out some issues with the controller, which seems to be giving the studio the most trouble. That, and developers really are trying to get creative with it. Right now, there's an idea to add a sensor to measure a user's body status. Why? To enhance the gaming experience, according to Newell.
"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.
"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."
If you're still waiting for a price tag, well, that's still a big mystery for now.