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.


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



  1. Interesting stuff. As for the target market. Well, if many of the roumors about the next gen playstation/xbox turn out to be true, then I’ll seriously consider making the jump to a steam console.

    Sure, may of the DRM elements also exist on Steam, but at least they have proved to have excellent price points for what they offer. As well as regular sales. Seeing some 8+ month old mediocre games on PSN and XBL for £59.99. Makes me worry for if we have no choice but to pay what they ask for due to always on internet requirements/Locking games to consoles.

  2. Make Half Life 3 a launch title, make it Steam box exclusive and they’re onto a winner.

  3. cant wait, I’ll deffo jump ship to this if it really happens. surely they would want to be out in time to compete with PS and MS late next year though?

  4. Well it will put all other online services to shame if it is a direct competitor to Playstation, Xbox, and especially Nintendo.

  5. Am becoming less & less enamoured with console gaming as time goes by, as the majority of games appeal to Michael Bay like sensibilities. Yes, there’s interesting stuff happening digitally, but only at a fraction of the pace as happens on PC.

    My laptop is very capable but I’m thinking of getting some sort of PC set up again, so am very interested in how this compares to building my own/buying an off the shelf rig.

    • Same here. I run a work machine and a media machine and I have no qualms looking into a Steam-approved/built machine for the media entertainment. I’m also assuming that if I didn’t actually want the hardware itself (built by them) I could easily replicate it by buying in my own components so I meet their spec (and thus games look suitably great).

      I am very interested in what develops.

  6. I think for me to drop money on a console designed to play PC game the console would have to do normal PC stuff as well eg Internet Browser, Word Processing, Video, Music, Other Programs like Itunes etc

    • It will, I’m sure. It’ll be more about standardising the hardware inside than the software on it. That’s already a given on the likes of Windows 7, etc.

  7. if it can do everything my PC can then why not will still be getting a console as well Playstation is where my heart is.

  8. The only thing Valve have that i might not be able to live without is HL3… so if they keep that as their own steambox exclusive… i’ll have to wait and see before i start calling them names! ;)

  9. Valve are heavily researching wearable computing according to a blog post by them, in they talk about how it’s only research so may be some way off or nothing may come out of it all.

    I’d be very surprised now if they were to make a Steambox or something that sits under a TV, when mobile is where it’s at… No I’m not on about some strokey screen game, but games which even naysayers would believe were proper games which are appearing on tablets already… but will be become wearable in the next couple of years.

  10. I don’t think it will be a streaming service, perhaps it’ll just be a box you stick next to your existing PC. But I wouldn’t rule out a standalone unit.

    Normally with this sort of thing I’d be pretty sceptical, this sort of thing could potentially be a anti piracy box, where you have to download games through your PC onto it and play them from the box. But this is valve so I’m not too worried

    • Neither, if it’s anything at all it will be a wearable device, see my link in the post above.

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