Steam Box will not be released yet
The Verge report said the Steam Box would “likely” launch with a proprietary controller that may allow for swappable components (analogue sticks, etc.). Valve filed a patent for such a device last year.
It also heard that some of these devices – maybe the controller itself – could be (or include) biometric sensors. These could measure heart beat (via a bracelet), skin galvanic response (sweaty hands) and feed that information back into the game. Sources intimated to The Verge that the technology was so good, “You won’t ever look back.”
This, Valve marketing chief Doug Lombardi told Kotaku at GDC, was simply a test unit for the company’s new user interface, designed to make playing Steam games through a PC connected to a telly easier.
“We’re prepping the Steam Big Picture Mode UI and getting ready to ship that, so we’re building boxes to test that on,” Lombardi said.
“We’re also doing a bunch of different experiments with biometric feedback and stuff like that, which we’ve talked about a fair amount.
“All of that is stuff that we’re working on, but it’s a long way from Valve shipping any sort of hardware.”
However, Lombardi refused to rule out such a device for the future.
“Whether we’re talking about Valve making hardware or partnering with others, nothing like that is happening any time soon,” Lombardi confirmed.