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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 weíre developing hardware to enhance those experiences, and you can be a key part of making that happen. Join our highly motivated team thatís doing hardware design, prototyping, testing, and production across a wide range of platforms. Weíre not talking about me-too mice and gamepads here Ė help us invent whole new gaming experiences.

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87 Replies. 5 pages. Viewing page 2.
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67. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 19:19 Dev
 
elefunk wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 19:03:
http://blogs.valvesoftware.com/abrash/
Good link.

More confirmation that valve has no management (making it a GREAT place to work)
Consequently, Valve has no formal management or hierarchy at all.

Now, I can tell you that, deep down, you donít really believe that last sentence. I certainly didnít when I first heard it. How could a 300-person company not have any formal management? My observation is that it takes new hires about six months before they fully accept that no one is going to tell them what to do, that no manager is going to give them a review, that there is no such thing as a promotion or a job title or even a fixed role
[...]
if they decide that they should be doing something different, thereís no manager to convince to let them go; they just move their desk to the new group (the desks are on wheels, with computers attached) and start in on the new thing. (Obviously they should choose a good point at which to do this, and coordinate with both groups, but thatís common sense, not a rule, and isnít enforced in any way.)
[...]
That any part of the company can change direction instantly at any time, because there are no managers to cling to their people and their territory, no reorgs to plan, no budgets to work around. That there are things that Gabe badly wants the company to do that arenít happening, because no one has signed up to do them.
I'm not sure if thats a good thing or a bad thing lol.


 
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66. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 19:10 Dev
 
Cutter wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 19:04:
particularly from a group of people who claim to be doing what they do because they enjoy it and it's not about the money.
That would be why they are doing it.
 
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65. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 19:04 Cutter
 
Moreso than anything else, I'm curious as to why Valve even wants to go down this road. I mean, it's not like they need the money and Gabe doesn't strike me a guy who even wants the sort of money that Apple/MS/Sony has atm. Let's face it, they're making a fortune as is not really doing all that much. This just seems like more of an unnecessary headache than a good business opportunity - particularly from a group of people who claim to be doing what they do because they enjoy it and it's not about the money.
 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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64. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 19:03 elefunk
 
It's amazing how narrow-minded people are about these things. Console? Cheap Steam PC? Really? That's all you can think of?

Broaden your minds, folks. Valve is planning something much more ambitious.

http://blogs.valvesoftware.com/abrash/
 
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63. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 18:47 StingingVelvet
 
It's gonna be a cheap PC with Steam branding I would guess. The wildest I could see it going is a custom built OS that runs Steam rather than it being an actual PC.

Anything else sounds kind of conspiracy-theory-like.
 
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62. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 18:43 Dmitri_M
 
Dev wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 18:38:
Dmitri_M wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 18:32:
Microsoft ran Xbox at a loss for years.
Actually I don't think MS ever did make any money on xbox. They lost something like $3 billion overall on it by the time the xbox 360 came out, and thats including all software sales. To them that was the price of entering the market. And since that's like only a quarter or so of their profit, it didn't exactly hurt them.
All the more reason for me to doubt this is a console.
 
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61. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 18:42 NegaDeath
 
To me it sounds like accessories rather than systems. When they mention "me-too mice and gamepads" and "new game experiences" it sounds to me that it's an interface device but different from what's on the market. Like the wiimote and kinect are when compared to a gamepad. And that's a hell of a lot easier and safer to get on the market (pack-in?) than a system box.

So naturally that means Half Life 3 is coming Tongue
 
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60. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 18:38 Dev
 
Hellbinder wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 16:09:
dont know if this has already been said, but this would seem to provide a reason for the HL3 delays and silence.
Yeah its called "valve isn't interested enough"
CJ_Parker wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 16:13:
Nah. Seriously. No way. There is absolutely no way they are doing a Steambox PC. Why the hell would they do that anyway?
[...]
There is zero reason for Valve to become a (HT)PC builder
Because thats interesting to them right now? Remember the employees can do WTF ever they want.
Dmitri_M wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 18:32:
Microsoft ran Xbox at a loss for years.
Actually I don't think MS ever did make any money on xbox. They lost something like $3 billion overall on it by the time the xbox 360 came out, and thats including all software sales. To them that was the price of entering the market. And since that's like only a quarter or so of their profit, it didn't exactly hurt them.
CJ_Parker wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 18:32:
More fragmentation of the gaming market as a whole would almost certainly mean an even smaller share for traditional PC gaming.
If they did a PC and redressed it as a steam front end, there wouldn't need to be any fragmentation, but would possibly draw in some of the console crowd. Everyone else could keep using steam as they have been. Games would still come out on steam, there would just be an extra "platform" to play them on (by platform I mean a windows PC).
 
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59. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 18:32 CJ_Parker
 
Overon wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 17:39:
If valve does this right they can make a console like PC hardware and compete with Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony. I want more competition because it's better for me and you!

Maybe for you and everyone else who is into consoles or closed systems gaming in some form or another but it's not good for "free" traditional Windows PC gaming. More fragmentation of the gaming market as a whole would almost certainly mean an even smaller share for traditional PC gaming.

 
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58. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 18:32 Dmitri_M
 
If this is a console, kiss Valve good-bye.

Microsoft ran Xbox at a loss for years. Sony and Microsoft are "mega corporations" that are diversified enough to support a console. Nintendo released a cheap piece of hardware that relied on a gimmick.

I really hope Valve don't try to release some kind of console box thing aimed at PC gamers. I have a PC. I'm quite happy with the little Steam icon on my taskbar being my PC's gaming hub. I don't need another dust collecting box I need to move to from my existing PC to play PC games.
 
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57. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 17:40 ItBurn
 
I really doubt that they'll make a streaming box or a console. They've been speaking for a while about testing hardware that monitors different stuff like how stressed you are. I'm guessing that this is what they want to make.  
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56. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 17:39 Overon
 
If valve does this right they can make a console like PC hardware and compete with Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony. I want more competition because it's better for me and you!  
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55. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 17:33 Smellfinger
 
Here are my predictions/wishes.

1. It's a hardware box running a Linux-based operating system designed by Valve to maximize game performance.

2. Valve will continue to support Windows. They will also make it as easy as possible for developers to port their Windows-based games to this new OS if they so desire.

3. The 'leaked' modular controller that allows users to swap a trackball into the right thumbstick position will potentially become the industry standard since it closes the accuracy gap between traditional dual thumbstick gamepad and keyboard/mouse. At the very least, it will be a popular option for gamepad users who play on the PC.
 
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54. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 17:23 Mordecai Walfish
 
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.

This comment was edited on Apr 13, 2012, 17:28.
 
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53. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 16:55 entr0py
 
My bet is that they will be making hardware designed to get into your living room, but not a console or PC. I think it's more likely they'll do a streaming set top box, and some fairly innovative controller that is comparable with games designed for a mouse and keyboard. Your gaming PC in another room will be doing all the work.  
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52. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 16:52 eunichron
 
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.
 
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51. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 16:45 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.
 
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50. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 16:13 CJ_Parker
 
Verno wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 13:33:
No way. Research, development and design of a barebone PC would cost lots of money for very little return since selling PCs has become a very low margin business.

They might try to follow the console model and just lose money on the hardware while making it up on the software.

Make it up on the software how? Valve can't collect a $10 fee for PC games from the publishers like MS and Sony are doing it for their closed Xbox and Playstation systems. Make it up on the software how in a very competitive environment with other digital download services? Make it up on the software how if it is the publishers who dictate the prices of their games and not Valve?
Maybe by charging for some of their own software? For what? For Steam itself? OK. Bye Valve. Hello Origin, GOG, GamersGate, Direct2Drive, Green Man Gaming and so on...

Nah. Seriously. No way. There is absolutely no way they are doing a Steambox PC. Why the hell would they do that anyway? To spread Steam to more PCs worldwide? It would be much easier to invest serious money into ad campaigns or to bribe some publishers to do more Steam-exclusive stuff or to call up Dell or HP or Acer and pay them some cash to ship every PC with Steam pre-installed. There is zero reason for Valve to become a (HT)PC builder with the low margins in that area of business and the ever growing popularity of gaming capable mobile computers and tablets. It would be outright retarded of them to even try to enter the hardware (HT)PC market.

If whatever it is they are hiring for is a box/platform then it's Valve's games-as-a-service streaming solution or if it isn't then it's some gaming peripheral as others have pointed out.
But it ain't a PC or a console - never ever.

 
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49. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 16:09 Hellbinder
 
dont know if this has already been said, but this would seem to provide a reason for the HL3 delays and silence.

Hl3 would be an epic launch title for a valve console/box/thingy
 
The Whales name is Bob.
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48. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 15:55 nin
 

So remember all those steam games that run on OSX?

http://kotaku.com/5901821

Connected? I doubt it - but that won't stop my wild speculation!

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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87 Replies. 5 pages. Viewing page 2.
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