Valve Probably is Getting Into Hardware After All

Valve are cheeky tricksters, aren’t they? Remember back at the start of March, when rumours arose that Valve were making a “Steam Box”? The company denied that at the time, saying that it was just Gabe Newell talking in general terms when he hinted at it in an interview with Penny Arcade in February.

Well, those sneaky geniuses at Valve are now advertising a position with the company for an Electronics Engineer. The role is buried among their other vacant positions on their jobs page and, judging from the description, it is quite obviously attempting to find someone who can build consoles.

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The main duty of the role requires the applicant to “Work with the hardware team to conceive, design, evaluate, and produce new types of input, output, and platform hardware.” Sounds like they’re producing some sort of new platform, doesn’t it? Further to that, the responsibilities required involve “Hands on prototyping experience”, “System level design experience” and “Knowledge of embedded systems/microcontrollers”.

Recommended experience includes knowledge of Hardware Definition Languages and chip design, power supply and thermal management and manufacturing pilot runs.

So, Valve is prototyping some new hardware of its own then. Exciting.

Update: We’ve found, via lambdageneration, some more evidence in the form of a tweet from Jeri Ellsworth, a computer chip designer who was recently hired by Valve:

“I’m working at Valve on nextgen gaming hardware.”

So there we go.

Source: Valve via VG247

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48 Comments

  1. Bring it on!!

  2. I wonder how OnLive is doing in the UK? Never seen any of their boxes in GAME.

    • To be fair though, Game don’t really have any games either. :)

    • I got my onlive box from eurogamer expo last year for free. I haven’t played it that much due to the bulky joypad and graphics. I hope steam do a better job, at least with the joypad.

      • Surely it needs storage? Even my Virgin media XL connection is oversubscribed and drops off the cliff during peak hours, streaming just isn’t something that will work properly in the UK. Yet.

      • From what I’ve played on onlive (around 10 hours) its been almost perfect, my only complaint would be the texture pop and the graphics take a bit of a hit due to the streaming however it does seem to be lag free.

    • Why on earth would GAME sell them?

      • I was wondering the same thing. It’s basically a ticket for people to never buy from them again.

      • They could sell OnLive vouchers just like music stores sell iPods and iTunes vouchers, although thanks to iPod’s dominance they had little choice in the matter.

  3. Interesting times ahead then?

  4. Sounds a long time and a whole load more people before that’ll be ready.

    • yes, it sounds like early days. On the other hand, it’ll have to be PC architecture so could theoretically be turned around reasonably quickly.

      • And also hacked pretty easily, like the original Xbox. Although with it being valve I’d expect it to be pretty open anyway.

  5. Bring it on

  6. If they manage to stuff it all in an Alienware X51-esque case or anything that I would be able to set up next to my living room TV like any other console (size wise) and price it under 500€ I’ll definitely get it. I’d sell my current gaming tower (too big to fit next to the livingroom TV) and replace it with whatever Valve throws at me.

    • i`d be up for that but only if your existing Steam Account is carried over, like hell am i buying over 117 games all over again.

  7. I don’t really know a lot about steam but I understand that it’s a PC/Mac application for computers. Is that right? And if so, why would they need to make a console?

    • to put it on people’s TVs and make huge piles of money.

      • Not to mention making it more accessible, standardising PC hardware so devs have a decent machine to aim their games’ requirements at, and what will end up being an amazing product for the consumer, too.

      • But my PC is already connected to my TV ;)

      • Mine is connected to my TV too.

  8. One of the positions they’re looking to fill is psychologist.

    What?

    • Awesome, where do i apply?? ;)

      • If you were a true psychologist, you would’ve inferred that from the text…

      • Ah, but games psychology is a totally different beast.

        I mean, i have never even heard of it before today! ;)

  9. This could go either way in my opinion. Just wondering who it would appeal to, since people are already invested heavily in Playstation/Xbox/Nintendo and wouldn’t want to leave that behind, and the PC guys would probably want the best, rather than a standardized platform, or at least, the graphics junkies would.
    Depending on their approach, I would consider getting one, but would also probably be drawn away by current style platform exclusives for the next gen consoles.

    • I think it’s appealing to console gamers who might like to dip into PC gaming without leaving their comfort zone, casual gamers (if priced right) and people like me who just hope that the Valve Box will be small enough to not stand out like a sore thumb next to their living room TV… :D

      • Might they make Valve games exclusive to PC? (and that platform). If they did, it could do well.

  10. I bet it will take valve years to release a game for their system due to Valve time. ;)

    This is interesting, i can see why Valve would release a console but it could annoy MS and thus result in any MS studio games getting pulled from Steam. However, if they use Steam’s pricing structure, i can see it succeeding. Oh and Half Life 3 would probably be a launch title with a lot of game that have 3 in the title. ;)

    But i hope it’s not going to be a streaming service as the UK is not ready for it.

    I wonder if they would try to make sure that games before a certain date will be able to run on the Steam box? As that would help to draw in more customers.

    • Why would Microsoft be annoyed? As long as Valve’s creation runs some kind of Windows MS will get paid. I can’t imagine they are opting for a custom OS out of fear of backwards compatibility problems.

      • Valve could easily make their own OS I remember reading a while back they already have people porting games over to Linux so that seems more likely than Windows.

      • I really can’t imagine they’d go that far. The number of games you would not be able to provide to people would be just too high. Porting the better half of the Steam library? Not even Valve can pull that off.

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