Valve working on hardware for 'whole new gaming experiences'

Valve's hiring for an electronics engineer to work on designing and producing actual physical things. "We're not talking about me-too mice and gamepads here," Valve says in the job listing, "help us invent whole new gaming experiences."

14

Valve Software's esoteric research has spread to making hardware, with a job listing seeking an electronics engineer to work with its team on designing and producing actual physical things. "We're not talking about me-too mice and gamepads here," Valve says, "help us invent whole new gaming experiences."

The lucky engineer's job will be, the listing (via VG247) says, to "Work with the hardware team to conceive, design, evaluate, and produce new types of input, output, and platform hardware."

One potential avenue is biometrics, which Valve has been interested in for several years. In 2008, co-founder Gabe Newell mused about measuring players' brain activity with EEG scans, to see how they react to games. Dota 2 can track the pulse rate of players hooked up to the appropriate gizmo, too.

It had been rumoured in March that Valve was working on a 'Steam Box' standardised PC, but the company has denied that, saying it's simply building test PCs for Steam's Big Picture mode.

"We're also doing a bunch of different experiments with biometric feedback and stuff like that, which we've talked about a fair amount," Valve's Doug Lombardi said at that time. "All of that is stuff that we're working on, but it's a long way from Valve shipping any sort of hardware."

Or they could be hiring for something entirely new and wonderful.

Filed Under
From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 13, 2012 9:45 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Valve working on hardware for 'whole new gaming experiences'.

    Valve's hiring for an electronics engineer to work on designing and producing actual physical things. "We're not talking about me-too mice and gamepads here," Valve says in the job listing, "help us invent whole new gaming experiences."

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 9:58 AM

      So... the Valve/Steam console resurfaces?

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 9:59 AM

      valve console with cloud gaming !

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 10:12 AM

      please no

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 10:18 AM

      real turrets

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 10:20 AM

      A single electronics engineer? Must be for a big project!

      • reply
        April 13, 2012 10:22 AM

        if there were more, valve time would rear its ugly effect, and they'd engineer one thing for a decade

      • reply
        April 13, 2012 12:23 PM

        efficiency in small numbers

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 10:21 AM

      Hopefully to be called the "Play Steam 1"

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 10:34 AM

      kinect for steam so you can dance at your desk

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 10:34 AM

      why.....

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 10:43 AM

      lol the future of PC gaming is the Steam Vitality Sensor.

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 10:46 AM

      would be interesting to see if they could use their clout to sell a haptic type controller as a pack in with their next big title

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 11:25 AM

      Valve always has always had a thing for... different input devices. They seem to support the Novint Falcon in many of their games and most recently they worked with Razer for their Hydra controller and Portal 2 integration -- even going as far as creating a level pack just for the thing.

      I like that they're exploring these ideas and have the financial capability to do so.

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 11:33 AM

      Remember Phantom?

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 11:41 AM

      Like that goofy ass gun controller? http://www.novint.com/index.php/novintfalcon

      • reply
        April 15, 2012 2:42 PM

        that goofy ass controller is actually a ton of fun :D

      • reply
        April 13, 2012 12:16 PM

        Haha, god the rumor mills are going to burn from this shit.

      • reply
        April 13, 2012 1:11 PM

        Also, famed designer Philippe Starck's loose lips let out that he's been working with Apple on a "revolutionary" new product he's expecting to launch later this year.

        • reply
          April 13, 2012 1:52 PM

          Raymond Luxury Yacht

        • reply
          April 13, 2012 2:54 PM

          Apple shot that down, he was working on a yacht for Jobs

          • reply
            April 13, 2012 3:14 PM

            This is both disappointing and cool.

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 11:49 AM

      yes, they're going to make a real H.E.V. Suit!

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 11:52 AM

      In the future, hats will be used instead of mice and keyboards.

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 12:03 PM

      They are also looking for Economists, Statisticians and Psychologists among other things.

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 12:14 PM

      neural synaptic gaming input, a la the matrix? i want to know kung fu, too :(

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 12:18 PM

      HL3 + CRO-MOTE

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 12:35 PM

      SOMETHING IS HAPPENING. SOMETHING IS HAPPENING!!!!

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 1:20 PM

      I don't think its a console. I think its more the biometric feedback related hardware.

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 1:30 PM

      USB VAGINA!!!

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 1:32 PM

      Firmware engineers are a clear indication they are doing a large hardware push. What this doesn't necessarily mean is they are making their own console. It's highly likely they are working on next gen consoles that could take newer peripherals.

      • reply
        April 13, 2012 1:54 PM

        If they could get a couch-ready mouse/keyboard replacement to market, you'd figure the value of their product would increase quite a bit.

        • reply
          April 13, 2012 3:19 PM

          I'm not entire convinced that a keyboard+mouse (even over low-lag wireless) is the way to convince a bunch of people their SteamBox is going to be the bees knees that kills other systems.

          This is what I envision they'll do/want:
          - Help standardize the "lowest denominator" hardware (minimum specs, XYZ outputs always there, etc).
          - Help standardize a set of controllers for OOTB support.
          - Help standardize a bunch of defaults for controls (inverted settings is an OS-level change, fire is always X button, etc)

          Firmware designers could be doing things like certification of controllers/peripherals to help "lock down" what can get plugged in, but that's about as far as I'd guess they want to tie things down. Ultimately, they'd publish/update the specs regularly (SteamBox certified 2012, 2014, etc), so people can really see the gains.

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 1:34 PM

      As I mentioned last night, nothing there looks like they're creating a discrete system but instead a peripheral or sensing device.

      x86/ARM experience would be useful for driver and interface work.
      Low frequency analog would likely be the human interface portion.

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 2:04 PM

      if valve hadn't shut down my skyrim when i went on a business trip i might have considered applying. THEIR LOSS!

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 2:22 PM

      Couldn't it just be for specially designed gaming interfaces? Like feel-based mice or something like that? Or maybe some kind of a specially designed touch pad interface for gaming? I dunno... just wondering if maybe this isn't for a gaming system.

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 2:58 PM

      hats 360

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 9:19 PM

      Abrash's blog about Valve mentioned he was working on wearable computing / augmented reality. So, that would seem to kinda fit, wouldn't it?

    • reply
      April 13, 2012 9:35 PM

      wearable gaming platform? mario pants!

    • reply
      April 14, 2012 1:05 PM

      The Oasis?