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More on Valve's Hardware Plans

A listing for an Industrial Designer position on the Valve Corporation Job Postings Page has a very interesting description that expresses Valve's frustration with the progress of hardware development and offers more on their plans to address this (thanks Computer and Video Games). Here's word:

Valve is traditionally a software company. 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’re 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.

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18. Re: More on Valve's Hardware Plans Sep 4, 2012, 13:33 Cutter
 
Apart from mucking around with the aesthetic there isn't a lot you can do. Angled keyboards and strange mice never did for most people and what we have now works pretty well. Devices like Kinect are wholly impractical for the average user and most people don't want to stand around using their entire body as a controller when 2 hands will do. so yeah, I'm really curious as to what they think is being overlooked.
 
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"Bye weeks? Bronko Nagurski didn't get no bye weeks, and now he's dead… Well, maybe they're a good thing." - Moe
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17. Re: More on Valve's Hardware Plans Sep 4, 2012, 13:10 NewMaxx
 
Thinking more along the lines of Tobii's eye tracker.  
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16. Re: More on Valve's Hardware Plans Sep 4, 2012, 12:56 Dev
 
mouse/keyboard isn't very interesting. Valve wants to spice it up.  
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15. Re: More on Valve's Hardware Plans Sep 4, 2012, 12:52 SimplyMonk
 
Get back to me when you have something that I can plug directly into the base of my skull. Till then I'll be waiting here watching Ghost in the Shell and wishing I also got a degree in biology as well as computer science. Then again, that degree might just tell me why that shit will never work, which would just make me sad.  
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14. Re: More on Valve's Hardware Plans Sep 4, 2012, 12:09 El Pit
 
nin wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 11:28:
One of their initial drawings had a game pad where you could swap out various pieces to your liking (specifically a trackball attachment, I'm assuming for aiming). I'd be very curious how that turns out.

Not familiar with the site, but here are the images.

Thx, nin. I would rather have my kb/m instead of this game controller. I don't like holding a controller in my hands, I rather have something lying on a desk in front of me, e.g. the old trackballs that could be placed on a table. But I know I'm in a minority.
 
Consoles? I owned two: a Pong clone and an Atari 2600. And that's it.
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13. Re: More on Valve's Hardware Plans Sep 4, 2012, 11:53 Yakubs
 
I think it's fairly obvious that Valve plans to release a piece of hardware running their own custom distro of Linux and the recently announced Linux version of Steam.  
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12. Re: More on Valve's Hardware Plans Sep 4, 2012, 11:33 Mr. Tact
 
Verno wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 11:01:
Ideally they would have some sort of Steam set top box that you could buy and throw onto your TV.
Initially I was going ask "Really?" in response to this. But after thinking about it for a bit you are probably at least partially right. As much as I have avoided XBox, PS3, Wii, and whatever, they have grown significantly over the last few years. I just always preferred the keyboard/mouse over the controllers. Guess I just didn't have any interest in games which work better with controllers.
 
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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11. Re: More on Valve's Hardware Plans Sep 4, 2012, 11:28 nin
 
El Pit wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 11:24:
Dear Valve, some of us HATE gamepads. Keyboard and mouse are just fine with me. Nevertheless, I am interested in your ideas, as long as they're OPTIONAL and kb/m is still supported. Kthxbye, a loyal customer.

One of their initial drawings had a game pad where you could swap out various pieces to your liking (specifically a trackball attachment, I'm assuming for aiming). I'd be very curious how that turns out.

Not familiar with the site, but here are the images.

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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10. Re: More on Valve's Hardware Plans Sep 4, 2012, 11:25 nin
 
Fibrocyte wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 11:16:
Mr. Tact wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 10:58:
Their bread is buttered in the computer hardware space? Uh, pretty sure that isn't true.

I don't think that's what he's saying. He's saying their bread and butter is game/app sales and content delivery when in the past it was game development.


That's what I took away as well...

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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9. Re: More on Valve's Hardware Plans Sep 4, 2012, 11:24 El Pit
 
Dear Valve, some of us HATE gamepads. Keyboard and mouse are just fine with me. Nevertheless, I am interested in your ideas, as long as they're OPTIONAL and kb/m is still supported. Kthxbye, a loyal customer.  
Consoles? I owned two: a Pong clone and an Atari 2600. And that's it.
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8. Re: More on Valve's Hardware Plans Sep 4, 2012, 11:24 Creston
 
You want to sell me your hardware? Make a replacement for the mouse. Something so that I can just move my hand around without holding anything, and the mouse responds appropriately on screen.

Make it so I don't have to lift my arms all the way off my desk (don't laugh, you'd get tired in 10 minutes) and can use minute movements, and I'll sign up for it on day one. Hell, I'll even Kickstart it.

The mouse is the most unhealthy device invented since the fucking cigarette.

Creston
 
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7. Re: More on Valve's Hardware Plans Sep 4, 2012, 11:16 Fibrocyte
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 10:58:
Their bread is buttered in the computer hardware space? Uh, pretty sure that isn't true.

I don't think that's what he's saying. He's saying their bread and butter is game/app sales and content delivery when in the past it was game development.
 
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6. Re: More on Valve's Hardware Plans Sep 4, 2012, 11:06 Hyatus
 
I'm curious to see what Valve comes up with.
I don't think there's much you can change in regards to 'basic input'. The keyboard is a great invention. Just because it hasn't changed doesn't mean it should. The mouse could use a little overhaul. They could maybe add a trackball on top instead of a scroll wheel. That would be the one thing I would change and I'm sure someone has tried that already.

In any case, I don't feel a void when it comes to new hardware for gaming. Game consoles have been trying new interactive devices for the last system incarnations and they've failed. I have yet to try a motion control system that felt flawless and honestly, necessary.

I believe we've come to a great point in PC gaming where the video card is the only thing you need to add to a system to make it worth it. If anything, the software needs to be better and more compelling.
 
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5. Re: More on Valve's Hardware Plans Sep 4, 2012, 11:01 Verno
 
They can't stay married to Wintel without some diversity and Microsoft is being a bunch of dicks with their ARM efforts in terms of creating an Apple-like platform. Hence all of their efforts with Macs, Linux and now their own hardware efforts. It's a smart move, they just need to be careful to partner up instead of trying to manufacture themselves which I'm sure is what they will do.

Ideally they would have some sort of Steam set top box that you could buy and throw onto your TV. The difficult part is accommodating the input controls. Gamepad is fine and all but many games are better with the KB/M and I don't doubt a significant portion of their potential customers would want to play them that way.
 
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Playing: Dragon Age Inquisition, Far Cry 4, This War of Mine
Watching: The Walking Dead, The Fall, As Above So Below
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4. Re: More on Valve's Hardware Plans Sep 4, 2012, 10:58 Mr. Tact
 
Their bread is buttered in the computer hardware space? Uh, pretty sure that isn't true.  
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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3. Re: More on Valve's Hardware Plans Sep 4, 2012, 10:43 killer_roach
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 10:26:
I really don't understand where they're going with this. Seems like a bit of lark and I hope it doesn't cost them too much...

Like it or not, this is Valve's core business anymore. They're not a developer, they're not a publisher - they're a retailer and marketer. That's where their bread is buttered.
 
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2. Re: More on Valve's Hardware Plans Sep 4, 2012, 10:26 Mr. Tact
 
I really don't understand where they're going with this. Seems like a bit of lark and I hope it doesn't cost them too much...  
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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1. Re: More on Valve's Hardware Plans Sep 4, 2012, 10:04 finga
 
Maybe instead of making their own PC-type hardware, they intend on playing with input devices? That Phantom lapboard thing never really panned out; maybe Valve can make headway merging "comfy couch" gaming with PC gaming in a way that's more convenient than current hacked-together bullshit people do in their living rooms.  
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