Here's Your First Look at Valve's Prototype Steam Box

Details have been dribbling out bout the Valve's new push into living room gaming. First we got the announcement, then the specs, and now the first prototype boxes are showing up in the wild.

Engadget got a look, and it's a strikingly minimalist box, but a pretty large one. Of course, it's worth noting this is far from final hardware. This is but one of the 300 early prototype boxes going out to winners of Valves big beta hardware raffle. And by the time these things make it to sale, who knows what they'll actually look like, especially since they'll come in a number of different hardware configurations. But we should see some announcements coming through at this January's CES.

As for actually using the thing, Engadget says SteamOS is unsurprisingly similar to the couch-and-controller-centric "Big Picture Mode" the service has had for a couple of months now, an interface that trades tiny lists of text and buttons, for a bigger tiled interface that's viewable at a distance and thumbstick friendly. But we had a feeling that would be the case. It only makes sense.

So now the only real questions remaining are price and availability, both of which are going to play a huge factor, what with the next generation of traditional game consoles right on the horizon. We'll have to wait and see if Valve has any more tricks up its sleeve. [Engadget]