Tuesday, September 4

Valve Jumping into Hardware Business

Valve is making lots of buzz lately. It launched a public blog, announced Steam for Linux and Steam Big Picture Mode, applied patent for a game controller that can use keyboard and mouse as interchangeable parts and of course Gabe Newell publicly slammed Windows 8.

All this fueled speculation about possibility of Valve jumping into hardware business and it seems to be true.

Valve has posted a new job opening for an 'Industrial Designer'. The description says:

As an Industrial Designer at Valve, you will join a world-class group of electrical, mechanical, software engineers and designers who are busily defining new entertainment experiences through both hardware and software. We’re hoping to add your expertise in product design and manufacturing, ergonomics, usability, aesthetics, and surfacing to our team.

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.

So, it is almost confirmed now that Valve is getting into hardware business. Earlier this year, Gabe also said that: 'If we have to sell hardware, we will'.

The question is what will it be, Valve making a Steam OS with Linux as base or Valve developing a Linux based Steam console or something else.

Considering Gabe's dislike of Windows 8, its licensing fees and Valve's recent investment in Linux, it is quite likely that Valve's upcoming hardware, whatever it is, will be Linux based.

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