Valve 'jumping in' to hardware development

Citing frustration with the market, Valve has opened a job listing for an industrial designer, hinting that the company may bring out its own hardware box eventually.

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Valve has decided that if it wants a job done right, it will just have to do the job itself. A job listing seeking industrial designers has confirmed the company is working on its own hardware, and it even expresses some reasoning behind the decision. Specifically, Valve says it is "frustrated" by the lack of innovation in the hardware space.

"Valve is traditionally a software company," reads the listing (via CVG). "We're frustrated by the lack of innovation in the computer hardware space though, so we're jumping in. Even basic input, the keyboard and mouse, haven't really changed in any meaningful way over the years. There's a real void in the marketplace, and opportunities to create compelling user experiences are being overlooked."

The listing requests more than six years of experience, a degree in industrial design, and confidence in 2D and 3D design visualization tools.

This news comes only a few months after rumors surfaced of a Steam Box, which Valve denied. This is also coming very near the launch of Windows 8, which Valve boss Gabe Newell has called a "catastrophe" for its moves toward a more closed platform. The company recently revealed it has been researching wearable computers.

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  • reply
    September 4, 2012 7:15 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Valve 'jumping in' to hardware development.

    Citing frustration with the market, Valve has opened a job listing for an industrial designer, hinting that the company may bring out its own hardware box eventually.

    • reply
      September 4, 2012 7:16 AM

      Valve is making their own Sybian

      spoiler: there are hats

      • reply
        September 4, 2012 8:56 AM

        It turns off abruptly right before you climax

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      September 4, 2012 7:32 AM

      Great news!! I hope it is more than a controller design though. We all can agree that consoles are holding gaming back, unfortunately, making better/different hardware is not really going to make a difference if the game engines remain optimized for 9 year old console hardware. If anything I would love three choices for video card manufacturers, and god damn I cannot stress how much I have creative sound cards.

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        September 4, 2012 7:33 AM

        ...and god damn I cannot stress how much I HATE creative sound cards.



        Stupid no edit.

    • reply
      September 4, 2012 7:32 AM

      Next 3DO?

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      September 4, 2012 8:05 AM

      Interesting...

      I hope they lean more towards peripherals. I'm not sure that I'd be interested in a console/all-in-one PC, even from Valve. It'd be nice to be able to buy a keyboard and mouse that don't look like they were designed by a 14 year old, though. They should also make a VR headset and have it ready in time for Half-Life 3, kthx.

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        September 4, 2012 8:57 AM

        I don't think it will be any of that. There are already people doing fine with keyboards, mice and even a VR headset. They'd only do this for something nobody else is doing yet IMO. Or at least something that hugely improves what already exists.

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      September 4, 2012 8:17 AM

      Hmmm. Perhaps related to their recent dabble into Linux?

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      September 4, 2012 8:18 AM

      K nice. So where's Half Life 3 or Episode 3?

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        September 4, 2012 9:54 AM

        If all those hardware devs were working on Episode 3, we would have had it by now!

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      September 4, 2012 8:34 AM

      Smells like failure. Better stick to making games....wait, they don't do that either.

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        September 4, 2012 8:36 AM

        yeah, TF2, Half-Life, Portal, none of those count.

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        September 4, 2012 8:52 AM

        Didnt they say that about microsoft and the xbox? "Stick to making software"

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          September 4, 2012 10:44 AM

          We're STILL saying that to M$, the xBox sucks and is the reason that we are having this conversation in the first place.

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          September 4, 2012 11:00 AM

          [deleted]

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            September 4, 2012 11:27 AM

            I don't know, but the Xbox and the 360 were big wins for consumers regardless.

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            September 4, 2012 1:52 PM

            For hardware, yeah, for games licensing, they're way up IIRC

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            September 4, 2012 10:23 PM

            their xbox devision is one of the only hugely profitable groups at MS...... it has been a HUGE success. they not only went head to head with Sony, they are arguably the top of the console market now.

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          September 4, 2012 1:54 PM

          Microsoft had already made hardware for years with their keyboards, mouse, joysticks, etc. It was a totally new avenue for them, at least not nearly as much of a direction change as it would be for Valve.

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        September 4, 2012 9:06 AM

        When has Valve made anything that failed since since steam's initial release?

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          September 4, 2012 9:10 AM

          Steam Friends.

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          September 4, 2012 11:14 AM

          stuff from valve (that aren't actual games) tends to take a while to get off the ground.

          like usually the thing they have is kinda shitty for several months to a year+, but then they fix it. greenlight is the latest, great example of that. that thing is super rough right now, but it has the potential to be awesome, if they fix it up.

          the thing is I wonder if they can afford to do that with, say, a mass-market console (assuming that's what they're doing). my guess is they're gonna do a console that has yearly hardware/model updates, like mobile phones/tablets.

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            September 4, 2012 11:37 AM

            That would be alright with me, actually. Games can continue to take advantage of improved hardware, while having a set base in which to scale back to.

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              September 4, 2012 12:37 PM

              yeah. Also the way they're talking about it makes me think they don't want to make it a totally closed system and shy away from established PC hardware standards. The proprietary part is probably going to be the control/input mechanism.

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                September 4, 2012 8:15 PM

                I think they'd have to go with some kind of new operating system, obviously Linux based. Using a competitor's operating system in their own hardware would be result in a really, really bad product.

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        September 4, 2012 9:11 AM

        You seem a bit of an idiot, rtricoche.

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        September 4, 2012 9:52 AM

        smells like failure...INDEED

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        September 4, 2012 10:55 AM

        didn't they release something last month? something to do with terrorists and counter terrorists and striking i forget its name.

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          September 4, 2012 11:09 AM

          Oh, you mean a rehash of a rehash? Yeah that was released.

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        September 4, 2012 11:31 AM

        sick burn

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        September 4, 2012 12:21 PM

        Yeah it's not like they have released at least 1 game a year since Half-Life 2 came out. Although you could argue that in 2005 they only released some mods.

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      September 4, 2012 8:46 AM

      [deleted]

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        September 4, 2012 1:33 PM

        This is how most reasonable people should be responding.

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      September 4, 2012 9:00 AM

      I would like for them to make a box that would stream games from your main PC to your TV, kinda like Onlive, but your PC is the muscle behind the box.

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        September 4, 2012 9:06 AM

        Connect the PC and TV via a HDMI cable?

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          September 4, 2012 9:12 AM

          NO HDMI cable could handle my rig's muscle.

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            September 4, 2012 9:14 AM

            They need an HDMI cable with molded muscles like Batman's suit.

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              September 4, 2012 9:43 AM

              I'd buy this if it visibly flexed when transmitting 1080p/60fps.

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          September 4, 2012 9:14 AM

          I would rather stream it somehow. I have my PC in my office and do not want to bring it into my living room.

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          September 4, 2012 9:15 AM

          Valve needs to make some HDMI cables.

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          September 4, 2012 12:24 PM

          Not everyone has their PC near their main TV, a simple box that I could take to any TV in the house and enjoy PC games could be a cool idea.

    • reply
      September 4, 2012 9:49 AM

      TOMORROW: should be hearing the list of applications that they are adding to steam.

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      September 4, 2012 11:05 AM

      I like Valve, but this seems pretty arrogant. Hopefully they don't overreach.

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        September 4, 2012 12:22 PM

        Yeah I really don't want their console before they've even addressed digital rights and being able to sell the stuff you buy from them.

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        September 4, 2012 1:34 PM

        You mean their frustrations are arrogant, or their foray into the hardware market is arrogant?

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          September 4, 2012 8:39 PM

          With that kind of investment in hardware, what's their incentive to support the pc platform - the one that got Steam to where it is today?

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            September 4, 2012 8:51 PM

            Valve is everything that they are partially because of their games and partially because of Steam on the PC, and I don't believe they'd do that. Few companies in the industry have earned my trust as much as Valve.

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              September 4, 2012 10:09 PM

              I'd go farther in saying that the companies that DID earn my trust, most have lost it or it has wavered a tad (Bioware, Blizzard, etc) Not so with valve.

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        September 7, 2012 8:32 AM

        I doubt Valve would pull a Microsoft. "Here's Halo 2 for the PC but it only works on Directx11. Oh and directx11 will only be on our new OS which you have to also buy. Even though Halo 2 does not take advantage of any DX11 effects. Why did we do it this way? Because Microsoft supports PC gaming. That is why."

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      September 4, 2012 11:21 AM

      Sounds like they're going to bring their patented controller to life --- AND IT'S ABOUT TIME

      I can't wait to get my hands on it. It will open up a much better foundation to a range of gameplay compared to what we've seen this generation on consoles.

      I welcome a future gamepad with modular configs.

      Dual analog for sports / driving
      Analog + Trackball for FPS & RTS games

    • reply
      September 4, 2012 8:41 PM

      Valve will be on their 3'rd console before HL3 is released.

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        September 4, 2012 10:09 PM

        I'd laugh if it was the console named "Half Life" so when HL3 was released, it was the new console revision and not the game :(

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      September 4, 2012 8:41 PM

      lol this thread.

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      September 4, 2012 9:35 PM

      who's to say this isn't just developing server hardware?

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        September 4, 2012 10:37 PM

        In a stunning about face today, Valve announced that, effective immediately, the Steam service is to be shut down and all game development ceased, in order to focus the company's efforts on creating a line of colorfully themed pet headware. Asked for further comment, Gabe Newell said "Look, we're going to do what we love. I've been building towards this day my entire life. We've reached a 9 figure licensing agreement with the Dr Seuss estate for our first line of animal friendly clothing, which we've colorfully named 'Cats in Hats'. You'll be able to pick them up at your local pet emporium within the month."

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        September 4, 2012 10:38 PM

        Valve is. They gave their reasons and it's clearly not server hardware.

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      September 10, 2012 6:55 AM

      I call bullshit. In my head, all this translates to is "Hey look at me, I'm Valve, I've got a big cock, pay attention to us and innovation or we're coming after you M$ft"

      We all know that at the end of the day anything they make has to have a big sticker that says "Compatible with Windows 8" and there is nothing they can do about it.

      Who are they really going after? when it comes to peripherals, there are tons of controllers and devices for the PC. Newell can feed his fan boys all the "hurrah!" he wants but I call bullshit.

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