Valve's hardware beta is apparently getting underway ahead of schedule, as a recent 4chan group interview with company head Gabe Newell revealed that the beta's already in user testing. Moreover, Newell says that three different controller prototypes are in circulation. He echoes Valve hardware engineer Jeri Ellsworth's words from earlier this year, saying controllers are yet another step in Valve's journey with Steam from desktop PC to living room. He also says that the options currently available simply aren't good enough. "The reason we're doing controllers is we didn't think there was enough interesting innovation going on."

We've yet to see any of Valve's hardware prototypes, but the last word was it shouldn't be too long before they're ready for consumption ... in one form or another. Be sure to let us know if you spot one!