Yesterday in an interview with BBC, Gabe Newell spoke about Valve's upcoming "home console," tentatively called the "Steam Box." Valve has been extremely quiet (as usual) regarding the details about their new hardware endeavor, but one thing stood out; he claims the prototypes will be in "customers" hands to test in about 3 to 4 months.
Normally the word's "customer," "prototypes" and "test" don't go hand in hand, but after re-reading it, it's pretty hard to mistake:
"We'll be giving out some prototypes to customers to gauge their reactions, I guess, in the next three to four months."
So what does this mean? Well, it turns out customers CAN actually sign up to test the "Steam Box." The final pieces are still a couple months out, as Gabe reports some issues in terms of "noise issues and heat issues and being able to [deal with] that while still offering a powerful enough gaming experience" but if any company can pull this off, it's Valve.
Also important to note is that if chosen to be part of this "prototype" program, you will be receiving two controllers that Valve will monitor to see which people prefer and how play style differs before choosing a final design choice. I'm going to assume at least one of them includes some form of biometric data sensing, as Valve has mentioned that as well as discussing how important the controller will play a roll in the experience.
If you want to be a part of the program, you can sign up here: Valve Testing Survey. As always, I'm interested in what everyone things, so either subscribe to me here or follow me on twitter @NicholasGigante and let me know!