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Valve Software, a major developer of video games and the owner of Steam software distribution system, has officially confirmed its development of own hardware by posting a job offering. The company believes that the hardware innovation has stalled, which calls it to jump into the new business. Even though Valve did not reveal what exactly it is developing, it does not look like it is designing keyboards, mice and other gear, but something more advanced.

"Most people think of Valve as a company that makes video games - and we are. But we also built the software that powers those games and the platform that lets millions of fans play, share, modify, and build communities around more than 1800 titles. That makes us a full-spectrum entertainment studio. As such, our search for talent has taken us beyond the game industry and into the fields of architecture, economics, psychology, and industrial design. We’re not just growing. We’re diversifying," a statement by Valve reads.

Earlier this year a rumour transpired claiming that Valve may enter the market with its own game console. Valve's game console was projected to be based on off-the-shelf hardware, but which would allow it to ensure high performance in games provided that game developers design their titles with the system in mind. The prototype of what was supposed to be called Steam Box was powered by Intel Corp.'s Core i7 microprocessor, Nvidia Corp. graphics adapter and 8GB of memory. The company originally denied plans to create its own game system.

"Open platforms like the PC and Mac are important to us, as they enable us and our partners to have a robust and direct relationship with customers. We are 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," explained Valve Software.

Valve is looking forward various experts in product design and manufacturing, ergonomics, usability, aesthetics, etc.

Tags: Valve, Valve Software, Steam

Discussion

Comments currently: 3
Discussion started: 09/04/12 11:40:30 AM
Latest comment: 09/05/12 07:10:12 AM

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1. 
I think this is a mistake on Valve's part and that it's going to fail miserably.

Assuming they really are going to make another input device for PC/Mac I do not see why Valve's hardware would change what so much other hardware could not. I mean there are tons of other input devices for PC/Mac and a whole lot of them specifically for gaming as well (steering wheels, joysticks, webcams, tablets and pretty much every controller from today's consoles that can be hooked up fairly easily), but not a single one ever gained any big audience in the PC gaming community, let alone compared to consoles.

Also, from a development point of view it makes no sense at all. Why would you want to develop a game for a device not everyone has for their PC? It's far easier to just make the controls based on keyboard/mouse because that'll make your target audience a LOT bigger (it's basically 100% of PC owners vs everyone who bought Valve's thingy, that's going to be a big difference even if Valve has great success with it).

Hopefully Valve will prove me wrong (I don't like to see them fail), but I have serious doubts about how successful they will be.
0 0 [Posted by: whythisname  | Date: 09/05/12 05:34:01 AM]
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2. 
It's a joke that Valve wants their own hardware platform when their focus has always been software. Instead of wasting time on this pet project, Gabe should stop bitching about Windows 8 and embrace it as this new form of Windows should help companies like Valve with their Steam platform reach more and more people on the go. They want a new hardware platform? how about get behind Microsoft Surface instead of bitching about it? How about getting your developers to release Android and iOS compatible versions of their games so steam is a one stop shop for all your gaming needs across all platforms?

Cross platform compatibility is what consumers want and is how you will reach the most people the quickest. They are a business with the goal of making money, right? This would be the quickest way to larger profits. Reach more people with the product you have. Not start something completely new and work from the ground up.

Yet another place that valve should spend some time and effort is in their support services for their steam customers with issues. My brother basically lost his steam account and all access to it because his email address associated with the account got shut down before he could update it with steam. Is there a phone number to call to fix these issues? Of course not. Instead, lets spend time, money, and energy on get another piece of hardware that nobody needs.
0 0 [Posted by: Wag  | Date: 09/05/12 07:10:12 AM]
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