Rumors of Valve's plans for a Steam Box console have been doing the rounds for a while. Things got started back in February when Gabe Newell said in an interview that while Valve had no reason to believe it was any good at selling hardware, they had to continue to innovate, and if that meant developing and selling hardware, then so be it. In April, a job posting points to the existence of said hardware, which could be either a game console or a PC. Now it seems Valve doesn't care who knows about its plans to build hardware.
CVG points to a job posting published by Valve on its website that details the company's need for an Industrial Designer. The posting for the job first mentions "defining new entertainment experiences through both hardware and software." If that's not enough for you, Valve goes on to say it is 'jumping in' to the hardware space because it's frustrated by the lack of innovation.
"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," the posting reads. "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 is looking for someone with more than six years of experience shipping "world-class, high-tech hardware products." Earlier this year, rumors emerged that said the company was working on a hardware spec and associated software that would make up the backbone of a "Steam Box."
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This is the ONLY way. ;)
There are other input methods, such as speech, kinect, leap motion, web cameras, touch-screens, EEG, and other great innovations which are all either working products now, or will be available very soon, but the OS does not properly support such input devices yet because the interface is made for keys/mice. MS is making strides at making the OS more open to these new input methods with win8... but we all know how Valve feels about that.
Mac is an open platform?
Yep it is. Bend over and open...
Open platform, yes.
Open source, no.
I am glad Valve is throwing themselves into the game. Whether or not their product(s) succeed or not I think is irrelevant. Like Gabe Newell said, the lack of innovation is frustrating and if nothing else, Valve's entry into the competitive pool will make a splash and hopefully give the other companies a boot in the rump to get the ball rolling on some new stuff.
Also, why not partner with an OEM like Dell and churn out something sort of like the X51? That's the closest you'll get to console form factor with a true PC these days.