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Valve Confirms Hardware Plans

The Valve Job Postings Page has a listing for an Engineer Electronics Engineer that seems a pretty concrete confirmation of hot rumors that Valve is planning to develop hardware of some sort (thanks Engadget). Here's the introduction with the pertinent information speaking of "whole new gaming experiences.":

For years, Valve has been all about writing software that provides great gameplay experiences. Now we’re developing hardware to enhance those experiences, and you can be a key part of making that happen. Join our highly motivated team that’s doing hardware design, prototyping, testing, and production across a wide range of platforms. We’re not talking about me-too mice and gamepads here – help us invent whole new gaming experiences.

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78. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 21:19 Mordecai Walfish
 
4D-Boxing wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 12:24:
Bill Gates realized 30 years ago that the money was in software and not in hardware. Valve would be better off striking a deal with Sony that would integrate steam to the PS4 and a similar deal with cable providers concerning set to boxes.

And then Apple later became the most profitable company in the entire friggin universe with a model based on hardware sales..

Funny how the answer wasn't just contained in one persons perception there. These are complicated matters and Valve has the talent pool to create and innovate, whether that means looking at the entire equation from the ground up, or just creating appealing hardware that reflects what their customers are looking for based on the data they collect from steam. (for which they have a upper hand on pretty much every other gaming software/hardware dev)

Does this mean new control interfaces? Likely.

A Steam console? Yes. They're not going to piggyback off someone else's set-top box/console. Perhaps the option will only be there for customers that do not have/wish their gaming PC hooked up to their large television. Streaming the data in the background at extremely high speeds from your home PC to the console is possible, but for truly massive, seamless worlds would probably take some amount of pre-loading.

Half Life 3 designed with not just software in mind, but with (optional) supporting hardware they have planned for around the corner? Possible. They've taken this long in planning, pre-production, etc.. I'm guessing they've brainstormed some pretty wild things by now.

The mouse is a very tried and true input mechanism that Xerox invented almost a half a century ago. It works wonderfully for many things, not so well for others. Thats not to say one control device should be perfect for everything, but there is much room for innovation in the interface design department, something I hope Valve will be keen to explore.

eunichron wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 16:52:
Mordecai Walfish wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 16:45:
4D-Boxing wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 12:24:
Bill Gates realized 30 years ago that the money was in software and not in hardware. Valve would be better off striking a deal with Sony that would integrate steam to the PS4 and a similar deal with cable providers concerning set to boxes.

And then Apple later became the most profitable company in the entire friggin universe with a model based on hardware sales..

Apples sales are based on image, it has nothing to do with their hardware. Just look at the recent fiasco with Instagram going Android; Apple hardware owners don't care about what hardware they're buying, all they care about is that it has an Apple icon on it.

Valve has quite an "Image" of their own, and thats completely besides the fact that Apple would not have gotten to the point they are at now if they were selling refurbished Amigas in tablet form. It's naive to think things like having a 2048-by-1536 pixel resolution on a tablet, or a convenient and small music player that holds your entire music library *and* has a decent interface for accessing it, has not helped their cause. People throw money at them because of the non-technical requirements of adoption, too. They feel they dont need a course in computers to take advantage of their device. This is the image they sell as well as partially a reality. My grandmother has an iPad and has no problem navigating around on it, with no previous experience with any Apple OS. This is a selling point for the non-technically inclined.

Remember, Valve is talking about advanced interfaces here too, and this was a starting point for Apple as well. It may hinder accessibility, but if it's done right, people will buy it. For instance, you may not be able to go into a file browser and locate all of your save games to backup, etc.. but with an interface that intelligently knows where all of this stuff is, without exception, and stores it in "cloud" for you, or allows a 1-click cd/dvd/thumb drive backup, is an improvement in the interface people use for saved games storage currently-- with crap strewn in "my documents", "steam/userdata", the program install directory, etc. There is much room for improvement here and I think Valve is fully aware, and willing to do something about that.

It's naive to think Valve doesnt have an eye on Apple in regards to what makes them so profitable and successful, especially with hardware endeavors in the pipeline.


And then: Apple's CEO Tim Cook visits Valve today

/tinfoilhat
 
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