Valve is one of the big players in the gaming software industry. They’re the same company that brought us the Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress and Portal franchises, which are all amongst the most played games in the world. However, when CEO Gabe Newell told gamers that Windows 8 was “a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space”, Valve decided to throw their hat into the computer hardware market by obtaining a patent for a controller with swappable parts, pushing along the so-called “Steam Box” rumors. Valve themselves have confirmed this by putting in a job opening for an “industrial designer”.
In the job opening description, Valve says, “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.”
We could see the so-called “Steam Box” in the near future, however, most consoles’ development cycles are unpredictable, and we don’t really know when it will come to fruition. Valve has denied working on a “Steam Box” in the past, but recent developments such as this job opening may be saying otherwise.