September 4, 2012
Is Valve Ready To Make Their Own Console?
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Claiming to be disappointed with the current state of hardware, a traditionally software-only company could be looking to enter a new market. Based on an interesting job posting on Valve´s website, rumors have begun to heat up about Valve soon producing their own, presumably game-focused hardware.
Anyone with a BS/BA/BFA degree in Industrial Design can throw their hat in the ring to become Valve´s new Industrial Designer. They´ll also be looking for more than 6 years of professional experience, as well as a certain commitment to quality and attention to detail.
Valve does a pretty good job of explaining their position and reasoning behind this new move in the job posting:
“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.”
Valve fans and watchers have long been expecting the company to release some sort of hardware option, be it a PC built to exacting specifications which can run the Steam software, or a standalone console, like the PlayStation or Xbox.
Valve´s own co-founder and managing director, Gabe Newell has even been quoted as saying, "Well, if we have to sell hardware we will."
Newell has also recently made some disparaging remarks about the upcoming Windows 8 OS, calling it "a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space.”
Valve has even been granted a patent for their very own controller wherein users can swap out their own parts as need be, likely specific to whichever game is being played.
This announcement has come during a time of expansion for the video game company. Tomorrow, Valve will begin selling regular, non-gaming software in addition to their video game staples.
Categories for this software will span the gambit between creativity and productivity. Sold through Steam, Valve´s parent company, this software will offer easy installation, as well as automatic updates and autosaving abilities thanks to the Steam cloud. In many ways, this new software shop will resemble Apple´s own Mac App Store.
“The 40 million gamers frequenting Steam are interested in more than playing games,” said Mark Richardson at Valve in a statement.
“They have told us they would like to have more of their software on Steam, so this expansion is in response to those customer requests.”
Valve can currently be used on both Mac and PC machines, while a Linux port of the software has also been rumored before.
With so many users, their own software, a marketplace to buy more software and a possible hardware solution, Valve could be leveraging themselves against the likes of Microsoft and even Apple.
Valve has denied earlier claims about their own hardware solution, though this job posting adds a bit of confirmation to these longstanding rumors.