Online games specialist Valve has started its search for engineers to help build hardware to play the latest computer games, with a public listing showing its plans.
Valve, the company behind the hugely popular Steam platform for PC, Mac and Mobile, recently posted an advertisement for an “industrial designer”. While Valve is a software company, creating both games and software for downloading and playing them, it has plans for developing some equally great hardware, as it explains in the advert posted on its own website:
“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.”
Not so long ago rumours were rife that the company was already developing a games console for streaming games from the web, similar to the service that OnLive currently offers. Despite a very real patent for an interesting gamepad controller with interchangeable parts appearing online, Valve was insistent that it was up to no such tricks.
The job requires 6 plus years of professional experience with high tech hardware products, so it seems that the company is really looking to get started on making something to impress.
With the likes of OnLive already offering and OUYA looking to offer fairly cheap micro consoles for streaming the latest games from the web, Valve has fallen behind in an area where it already has the software and games side nailed. Should the company produce either a home console or a gamepad to use with tablets, smartphones and Smart TVs, it would be almost certain that the existing Steam platform would be utilised to provide a games store with the latest titles available for download or for streaming.
Valve’s Steam platform currently has over 50 million users and provides somewhere in the region of 1500 games. Most of its userbase is PC based, with the platform providing online gaming for some of the world’s most popular ‘eSport’ games, such as Counterstrike and Half Life. Whether dedicated PC gamers are likely to switch to console gaming remains to be seen, but it’s likely that Valve wants to go after the likes of OnLive and OUYA rather than luring PC gamers away from their desks.