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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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87 Replies. 5 pages. Viewing page 3.
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47. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 15:52 nin
 
Cutter wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 14:07:
nin wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 13:22:
So you'd be willing to pay Valve $300-$400 for a PC-compatible console, sans monitor, as opposed to spending $600-$700, sans monitor, for a PC with at least 10x the graphics and computational power and maybe 100x + the storage capacity? Not I...;)

Holy Wild Assumptions, Batman. We know next to nothing about what specs it might have...much less the price.


edit:
It we were the Simpsons, I'd be Fritz and you guys would be Homer.

I'm pretty sure you'd be the comic book guy.


Haha! Douchebag!

Hey, at least you're not Poochy or the guy in the bee suit!

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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46. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 15:46 Optional nickname
 
I am all for this, in fact, if I were to open a new simulator development studio, I would plunk down gobs of money on my own hardware to run the game as it should, for everyone to enjoy.

We need proper car, motorcycle, flight, games, with dedicated hardware, no windows, no sony, no nvidia, no ati. (edit oops almost forgot, Fuck off Apple)

may history finally repeat itself with dedicated ROM and Hardware at the core level.

The giants such as EA with ad spam and beancounting, Microsoft with their diseased Games for Windows Live, Sony and their lack of fundamental interests to the gamers that throw money at them, and Nintendo that has all the experience in the world, but delivers nothing over and over.

These giants need to cease and decist. It's way past their fucking bedtime.

It's time, I hope Valve reads this post, and makes good simulator games.

I am a gamer since pong, and am waiting for this to happen, you have a customer in me. I am excited such a news post came to be, what fucking luck this Friday the 13th. Awesome!

This comment was edited on Apr 13, 2012, 15:53.
 
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45. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 15:32 Dev
 
Eh, valve employees getting bored again.

If they did do a PC, they are screwing themselves if they sell below cost.

I think they could help PC gaming if they did a fairly standardized PC game setup, they could update it every year and mark it "generation 1" "generation 2" etc, and put a note on every game page which generation of hardware they need to run each game. Then, if they rethemed windows and made it all about steam, it would make it easier for people to use as well. Basically like trying to get a console ease of use experience for PC gaming. Since they are making the money on steam and game sales, they could sell the PC at cost.
CJ_Parker wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 13:29:
If there is one area where Valve is right at home it's gotta be server farms. They are very experienced in running an extremely large network by now.
HAH HAH HAHAHAAHAHAHA.

Yeah no. They have problems EVERY SINGLE MAJOR RELEASE and EVERY SINGLE BIG SALE. And its always load balancing and store front end problems, which is the worst place to have problems when thats what you need to work to actually get the money.

This comment was edited on Apr 13, 2012, 15:40.
 
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44. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 15:28 wtf_man
 
If it IS a console... they can call it a "Steaming Pile"  
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43. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 14:07 Cutter
 
nin wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 13:22:
So you'd be willing to pay Valve $300-$400 for a PC-compatible console, sans monitor, as opposed to spending $600-$700, sans monitor, for a PC with at least 10x the graphics and computational power and maybe 100x + the storage capacity? Not I...;)

Holy Wild Assumptions, Batman. We know next to nothing about what specs it might have...much less the price.


edit:
It we were the Simpsons, I'd be Fritz and you guys would be Homer.

I'm pretty sure you'd be the comic book guy.


Haha! Douchebag!
 
Avatar 25394
 
James Woods: Oh that's fun. That sounds like you had a fun time. Where would I fit in with the fun time, huh? Where does James Woods fit into the fun?
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42. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 13:57 rist3903
 
Okay. it took me to get off my butt and do a google search, but I found the penny arcade interview that is the source of my info:

http://tinyurl.com/7e9z5y4

We’re also looking at some of the emerging output technologies that are coming along and trying to figure out how much of an impact that they’re gonna have on our designs. So we mock stuff up in our hardware labs and try and figure out different, sort of game fragments and see how those things work. But it does tend to be pretty focused on trying to get things to the point where we can get it in front of customers so they can start showing us what are the good ideas and what are the bad ideas.
We’re trying to get our–the experiments we’ve been doing in–you know we did a ton of work on biofeedback, on biometrics, and that’ll, you know, from our point of view we were like “okay, this is all sort of proven out” and we’re just sort of scratching our heads trying to figure out the best way to get that hardware out to customers without something where we’d just say “okay, this works.”
Now do you see a future where Valve is actually selling hardware or do you just want to have things that could take advantage of that technology should it be popular?

Well, if we have to sell hardware we will. We have no reason to believe we’re any good at it, it’s more we think that we need to continue to have innovation and if the only way to get these kind of projects started is by us going and developing and selling the hardware directly then that’s what we’ll do. It’s definitely not the first thought that crosses our mind; we’d rather hardware people that are good at manufacturing and distributing hardware do that. We think it’s important enough that if that’s what we end up having to do then that’s what we end up having to do.
So I very much think that it is going to be biofeedback oriented from this and I fervently hope they aren't trying to make their own console. Ergo, peripheral that can be attached to both PC and consoles.
 
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41. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 13:51 Frags4Fun
 
Necrophob wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 10:05:
nin wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 09:54:
I can't wait to see how this will play out. I don't think it's something they'd jump into unless they had a long term plan.


The hardware will be released in episodes.

Brilliant reply! LMAO!!!
 
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40. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 13:45 Orogogus
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 13:29:
All of that totally aside from the very likely legal action that Valve would face from Microsoft or that Valve might have to take against Microsoft to make that Valve PC become a reality. Or legal action from publishers who might be OK with their game on Steam in a free PC market but don't want their game on a Steambox PC. Remember that Valve does not own the games they sell.

What publishers would that even be? There are, I think, two Microsoft games on Steam (Fable 3 and Microsoft Flight). Who else would be all, "Oh no, please, please don't sell our game to people who want to give us money?" And even if it came up, why would it go to legal action? Why wouldn't Valve honor the publishers' requests?

I think the threat of legal action from Microsoft is farfetched, too. What legal leg would they have to stand on to not allow someone to sell PCs with Windows? Do they want to get a DoJ investigation for abuse of monopoly powers?
 
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39. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 13:33 Verno
 
To expand on one of your points a bit though CJP, it would be interesting if they introduced a set top box for the purposes of streaming or even a lite gaming box. They could sidestep the whole Microsoft licensing issue easily enough and not use Windows at all if it was a little gaming machine. It could easily run a small embedded "Steam" OS much the same way someone built OpenElec around Linux and XBMC. They've put out the call for Linux devs recently, I thought it was for porting even. Maybe they would offer a cut down "app" type library of ported titles, Peggle type stuff to keep them relevant in this age of tiny little $5 games and whatnot.

I still think streaming is ahead of its time in terms of gaming, the quality of the experience just isn't there yet. Games would have to be a lot cheaper for many people to accept the lesser quality both visually and in terms of loss of ownership.

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. I'm not a fan of this approach personally but they could do it at a much lesser price with a small embedded STB as opposed to designing a full blown console. Maybe a light HTPC even, who knows. Anyways interesting stuff.

This comment was edited on Apr 13, 2012, 13:42.
 
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Playing: Fire Emblem, Diablo 3, Bravely Default
Watching: The Machine, After the Dark, Devils Due
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38. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 13:29 CJ_Parker
 
Razumen wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 12:06:
Streaming is more niche and unreliable than either consoles or PC...

Are we entirely sure about that? OnLive seems to be working fairly well and who says that OnLive is doing it all right? Maybe Valve could do it all much better and bring streaming out of its niche. Everyone was lol'ing at Steam in the early days. No one would have ever thought it would ever become what it is now.
Valve think long term, not like most people just a couple of weeks ahead, and streaming will become a major part of the media landscape. There's no doubt about it. Microsoft is really keen on the whole streaming biz and who knows maybe Valve is going to pwn them a second time (the first time being when Steam became what GFW(L) was supposed to be from the start).

... plus they'd still have to invest in a server farm to render those games and pump it them to the players. And did I mention streaming is shit?

If there is one area where Valve is right at home it's gotta be server farms. They are very experienced in running an extremely large network by now. Will it be a technical challenge? Yes. Will it be worth it if the end result is you can give Microsoft and other big media corps the finger? Fuck yeah.
And streaming doesn't have to be shit. As I said the tech is relatively new and hasn't nearly been fully explored yet. There's a good chance that Valve could find ways around the usual issues like lag by syncing input devices and the display in all new ways (see here for a vague reference that this can generally be done: Lucid MVP and HyperFormance).

No, I think it's more likely it's a standardized barebones PC that you can play Steam games on out of the box on your TV - They already have the infrastructure, a HUGE library of games, they've admitted to developing a Big-TV mode for Steam and have a decent name for themselves, I'd say it's very much possible.

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.
Then there's the even bigger -MUCH BIGGER- issue of Microsoft who will not watch idly as Valve brings PC gaming to the TV. Because that's exactly what the Xbox is all about. It's Microsoft's core Xbox philosophy actually.
Also Steam isn't an OS and Microsoft owns Windows. There are a million ways they could make life a real bitch for Valve like requiring a fee for the sale of each Windows game or slipping some "oops code" into a DirectX or Windows update that "accidentally" messes with the Valve PC. Network hacks and attacks... you name it.

All of that totally aside from the very likely legal action that Valve would face from Microsoft or that Valve might have to take against Microsoft to make that Valve PC become a reality. Or legal action from publishers who might be OK with their game on Steam in a free PC market but don't want their game on a Steambox PC. Remember that Valve does not own the games they sell.

Forget it. There's no way that Valve is doing a Steam console or a Steam barebone PC. Valve's philosophy right now is "games as a service" and a St(r)eambox as a set-top box would be just the thing they need to become a leading player in bringing that market to the mainstream before anyone else does.

 
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37. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 13:24 Verno
 
rist3903 wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 12:26:
I thought I heard that it was going to be a peripheral that would monitor various aspects of the player such as heart rate and perspiration that would then feed back into a director type ai to adjust the gaming experience.

I did not get the impression that this was going to be a standalone console type product, but rather something you plugged into your PC.

Are you thinking of the Wii Vitality Sensor maybe instead? I don't think Valve has been associated with anything like that.
 
Avatar 51617
 
Playing: Fire Emblem, Diablo 3, Bravely Default
Watching: The Machine, After the Dark, Devils Due
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36. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 13:22 nin
 
So you'd be willing to pay Valve $300-$400 for a PC-compatible console, sans monitor, as opposed to spending $600-$700, sans monitor, for a PC with at least 10x the graphics and computational power and maybe 100x + the storage capacity? Not I...;)

Holy Wild Assumptions, Batman. We know next to nothing about what specs it might have...much less the price.


edit:
It we were the Simpsons, I'd be Fritz and you guys would be Homer.

I'm pretty sure you'd be the comic book guy.

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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35. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 13:22 Cutter
 
Burrito of Peace wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 12:05:
nin wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 10:57:
Cutter wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 10:54:
No sir, I don't like it.

Well, your dislike to like ratio is about 10 to 1...




Let's be fair. If it came with a belt that had an onion attached to it, Cutter would be all over it like white and rice.

Look, it's not my fault I aspire to higher standards and have better taste than most.

It we were the Simpsons, I'd be Fritz and you guys would be Homer.

Homer: Have a Duff, boys!

Fritz: Thank you. My English is not perfect, but…I have to tell you…your beer is like *swill* to us. Do I have zat right? I’m saying zat only a swine vould drink zis beer?
 
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James Woods: Oh that's fun. That sounds like you had a fun time. Where would I fit in with the fun time, huh? Where does James Woods fit into the fun?
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34. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 13:13 rist3903
 

I don't think a peripheral would make sense because hardware just isn't that profitable on its own, and it wouldn't strengthen Valve's core business.

The only way Valve can grow its revenue is by yadda yadda yadda.
Valve makes money hand over fist. I don't think that making money is their ultimate goal. If their goal was to make better games and their logic is that this peripheral would help them make better games, then that is what they will do. They have enough money to basically do whatever they want. They are privately owned and so are not beholden to shareholders.
 
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33. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 13:10 WaltC
 
I wonder if this is some sort of Kinect adjunct? Obviously that would translate both to Valve's current PC & xBox business. I agree with those who've said Valve would have "fat chance" (pardon the pun, Gabe) of designing and bringing to market a console--by hiring one (1) hardware engineer...;)  
Avatar 16008
 
It is well known that I do not make mistakes--so if you should happen across a mistake in anything I have written, be assured that I did not write it!
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32. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 13:01 Quboid
 
Necrophob wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 10:57:
Eirikrautha wrote on Apr 13, 2012, 10:46:
The hardware will be released in episodes.

Well, they darn well better not release the motherboard and CPU in the first 2 episodes, then never get around to releasing the graphics card...

Before releasing the graphics card, they will get sidetracked by peripherals, leaving the graphics card left for dead :/

The RAM will be left for dead too.
 
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- Quboid
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31. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 12:58 Matshock
 
Big +1 on not a console.

No idea otherwise...
 
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30. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 12:58 The Pyro
 
I don't think a peripheral would make sense because hardware just isn't that profitable on its own, and it wouldn't strengthen Valve's core business.

The only way Valve can grow its revenue is by selling more games on Steam. Their existing customers already buy lots of games, so Valve needs to grow their customer base. That means increasing the number of gaming-capable machines. A bare-bones PC/SteamBox which connects to a TV is a logical choice.

Although hardware isn't profitable (Apple products excepted), Sony and Microsoft are unlikely partners; the PlayStation and XBOX platforms are direct competitors with a strong interest in controlling digital distribution. Therefore Valve needs their own box to ensure that they can control the digital distribution service (i.e. Steam), which is how they make all their money.

I doubt Valve would want to compete with Dell et al for sales of actual PCs. Therefore it's more likely that Valve is working on some sort of Steam-enabled console with a price point similar to the XBOX.
 
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29. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 12:51 zombiefan
 
I wish Valve would stop dicking around with hardware and episodes and get back to doing what they used to do: releasing games.

I'm gonna be in a retirement home by the time release Half Life 3.
 
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28. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 12:50 rist3903
 
Nothing they said spells out console or platform. They say:
We’re not talking about me-too mice and gamepads here – help us invent whole new gaming experiences.
When you talk about mice and gamepads, that means peripherals, not full systems. They will be making a peripheral that they want to be compatible with pcs and consoles.
 
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87 Replies. 5 pages. Viewing page 3.
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