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Valve: no Steam Box "any time soon"

Coomer's PC a test unit for Steam Big Picture Mode.

Valve has poured cold water on the rumour that it is making a Steam Box console.

Last week The Verge reported that Valve was working on a console to be developed in partnership with manufacturers.

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."

Backing up its report, The Verge pointed to a tweet from Valve's Greg Coomer, who posted a picture online of a PC he had built, complete with specifications.

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.

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Wesley Yin-Poole avatar

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editorial Director

Wesley is deputy editorial director of ReedPop. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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