Valve's prototype SteamBox looks like a 360

At least it does in this first image that the Seattle Times seems to have gotten ahold of. It's black sure, which isn't the typical 360 colour scheme, but the latter versions all came in that hue and the circular bottom/left hand portion is very reminiscence of the 360's green (or likely at some point, red) ring.

This is apparently the high end version, with all the really expensive hardware, featuring some really powerful stuff. We're looking at a GTX Titan, an i7-4770 CPU, 16GB of DDR3-1600 and a terabyte of storage with an SSD for caching the most often access files. This isn't the final spec or even the guaranteed specifications for this box, but it's likely to be something along those lines, as that's what Valve previously said would go out in this early beta test hardware. Other options will include cheaper variants, featuring GTX 780, 770 and 760 GPUs, as well as weaker CPUs and less RAM.

Unless one of those 300 feels like breaking the presumably iron-clad NDA Valve will have made them sign, it's unlikely we'll hear any more about this hardware in the near future. However, it seems likely that CES next year will see the unveiling of either some official hardware, or at least more concrete versions of the final release systems.

Along with these 300 systems (and the several hundred differently spec'd SteamBoxes)Valve is also sending out hundreds of its prototype touch pad controllers so people can have the full Steam living room experience and report back on what they think.

Next year certainly is going to be an exciting time to be a PC gamer. Will we all move over to Linux? Will we all begin playing our most beloved games in the lounge and will someone finally have created a controller that can rival a mouse and keyboard for FPS and RTS titles?

What do you guys think?

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