Despite previously shooting down rumours that the company was working on a Steam-powered console that could prove a worthy rival to the Xbox 360 and PS3, a new job listing spotted online now seems to confirm Valve Corporation is thinking extremely seriously about hardware in some form, whatever that may bring.
The job listing posted over on Coroflot expresses Valve – a company, lest we forget, behind the likes of Half Life 2, Portal, Left 4 Dead and digital distribution service Steam - is “[frustrated] by the lack of innovation in the computer hardware space” and is already “[busy] defining new entertainment experiences through both hardware and software”. It hopes “the new post will add expertise in product design and manufacturing, ergonomics, usability, aesthetics, and surfacing to [the] team.”
“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”.
It’s unlikely we’ll see anything of Valve’s mysterious hardware project any time soon, but speculationValve filed a patent for a controller with interchangeable parts last year. Is this Steam Box's proprietary controller? over what it will be continues to boil over. A ‘Steam Box’ would certainly make a lot of sense, bringing the delights of the gaming service that currently burgeons on PC and Mac to the living room and delivering content to a whole new audience along with it. But Valve's assurances seems to put paid to that idea, while crowd-funded console Ouya (built on Android and coming in at $99) seems to have taken on similar ideas.
Elsewhere, we're still yet to see anything of that controller with interchangeable parts that Valve Corporation applied to patent, and nothing has been heard of the 'wearable computing' project the company is rumoured to be working on since tech developer Michael Abrash revealed its origins in a blog post on the official Valve blog earlier this year.
In actuality, the job listing could be any of the three hardware projects mentioned thus far, a combination of the three, or more than likely a piece of hardware that the bloggosphere still has yet to pick up on, one still shrouded in the kind of mystery Valve Corporation is known for. Half Life 3 a launch title for Steam Box? Heck, who knows.
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I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.