Several new job listings posted on Valve's site have revived the rumors that Valve is considering getting into the hardware business.
Valve's not even tip-toeing or hiding its intentions. Here's the description under the position for an electronics engineer:
For years, Valve has been all about writing software that provides great gameplay experiences. Now we're developing hardware to enhance those experiences, and you can be a key part of making that happen. Join our highly motivated team that's doing hardware design, prototyping, testing, and production across a wide range of platforms. We're not talking about me-too mice and gamepads here - help us invent whole new gaming experiences.
Work with the hardware team to conceive, design, evaluate, and produce new types of input, output, and platform hardware.
Exactly what does "whole new gaming experiences" include? It could be Kinect-like gestures, 4D virtual reality, or even those "wearable computers featuring high resolution displays" that Valve CEO Gabe Newell says the company's got in its labs.
The ideal candidate would also know the ins and outs of ARM and X86 system design according to the job description. FYI, ARM systems are usually used in mobile devices and X86 for laptops and desktop computers.
Keep your eyes locked on Valve. It's going to be the company to watch. As I've suggested before, the company could look to take on Razer to create a new platform of PC gaming. Razer's already doing so via programmable touchscreen mice, motion gaming (Hydra) and breakfast tray tablets. There's plenty of room for Valve to squeeze in.
What "new gaming experiences" would you want beyond grittier graphics? A controller like the Wii U's tablet-style controller? Augmented-reality gaming?