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Valve developing “input, output, and platform hardware”

Friday, 13th April 2012 06:21 GMT By Brenna Hillier

A job posting for an electronics engineer has confirmed Valve is making a significant foray into the world of hardware design and manufacture.

The recruiting page calls for an electronics engineer to join Valve’s research and development team and is quite specific about the hardware side of things.

“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,” it reads.

“We’re not talking about me-too mice and gamepads here – help us invent whole new gaming experiences.”

Although several of the requirements suggest Valve is pursuing a line of peripherals, the successful candidate will help “conceive, design, evaluate, and produce new types of input, output, and platform hardware”.

See the full text of the ad below.

Earlier this year, rumours broke that Valve was developing some kind of set top console or micro PC system called a Steam Box.

Internet sleuths uncovered what was believed to be a prototype of the hardware, as well as a patent for a controller matching the rumoured system.

At the time, Valve denied any significant hardware plans, but Gabe Newell had said that if the company felt it needed to sell hardware, it would do it.

    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.
    Duties:

  • Work with the hardware team to conceive, design, evaluate, and produce new types of input, output, and platform hardware
    Requirements:

  • Hands on prototyping experience
  • Lab and measurement skills
  • System level design experience
  • Knowledge of embedded systems/microcontrollers
  • Experience with high speed serial interfaces
  • Experience with schematic entry
  • Experience with circuit simulation
  • Four years relevant experience
    Recommended:

  • Board layout (analog and high speed digital)
  • Hardware Definition Languages (HDL) for FPGA and chip design
  • Power supply management
  • Thermal management
  • Design for test
  • Low frequency analog
  • RF and antennas
  • Signal integrity analysis
  • DSP
  • ARM / X86 system design
  • Manufacturing pilot runs
  • Failure analysis
  • FCC/CE/UL certification

Thanks, Engagdget.

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32 Comments

  1. OlderGamer

    Good. If Sony doesn’t play the PS4 right, there could be an opening in the hardware market.

    I would be interested in buying Valve: Steam backed hardware. Then again, I sort of already did. I own a PC that I game on.

    I don’t see any way Valve gets Steam on a closed platform w/o streaming all of their content. That could work, but I think we are a few years away from being able to make that mass marketable. Onlive is a great service, if your lucky enough to have the bandwidth for it, and even then it isn’t perfect.

    Best bet for Valve is to work out a deal where Steam Stream/Cloud is an “App” on PS4. To be a gateway between consoles and streamed PC games. Guess we will just have to wait and see what they want to do and come up with.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Erthazus

    Excellent. Come on Valve, release the masterpiece and make Half-Life 3 as a launch title :D

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Brenna Hillier

    @2 *spit take* that’s … a very compelling thought

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Patrick Garratt

    O_o

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Erthazus

    @1, i’m not really sure that Sony must do PS4. From a business perspective they should, but they have no iP’s to sell a device + their Online Service is horrible.

    They can’t even sell Playstation Vita with Uncharted: Golden Abyss launch title. Ok, let’s just say that you can sell PS4 with Gran Turismo 6, but knowing Polyphony Digital they won’t make it for launch.

    Microsoft – Halo (XBL is popular and more or less works)
    Nintendo – Mario, Zelda, Pokemon
    Valve – Half-Life 3 (is enough for Steam Box) + Steam as a fantastic Online service. (+ Portal 3 and DotA 2)
    Sony – Gran Turismo 6 which is not going to be released at launch.

    Sony is screwed. Microsoft have a chance and Nintendo beat everyone in 7th generaton of consoles by selling 95 million Wii’s and even with Wii U which in my opinion is not really good can sell it with good marketing campaign and good games at launch.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Telepathic.Geometry

    Erthazus, you have an interesting take on Sony. ‘.-

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Telepathic.Geometry

    If they made a set-top box, I would probably buy it, and all the PC games I’ve wanted to play for ages, but couldn’t be arsed with because of the inherent hassle (at least for the likes of me) there is in PC gaming…

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Gekidami

    ^ You’d still have the hassle, this would be nothing more than the PC version of Steam on your TV, everything Steam does and has you do would still apply.

    I wouldnt even consider Valve in the ‘actual’ console space in till they show they can push a decent first party lineup. It took them literally years to release 4 games and they’ve spent most of their time just rereleasing one of them. Their platform would have the worst first party support in the industry. And i dont care how good HL & Portal are, it takes Valve way to long to actually make them to count on those alone.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Maximum Payne

    Does anyone really think Sony will not make PS4 ?
    When you calculate , they earn over a billion dollars just for royalty(like cod,fifa,other multiplatform) and then they earn from their games like Infamous,Uncharted,Gran Turismo…
    After Xbox 1 was everybody : ”oo Microsoft console is dull no way they will release another mess”….(not implying that ps3 is mess)

    #9 3 years ago
  10. polygem

    this really is big news. so rumors are finally kind of confirmed. it´s good news indeed!

    #10 3 years ago
  11. polygem

    the ps4 discussion: sure ps4 will come. who questions that? gaming is one of the core business fields for sony. they just recently said (because of their rather huge loses atm) that they will focus on their main business fields – such as videogame entertainment.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. manamana

    @2 It’s kind of seldom, that I agree with your comments but this one’s actually a good one! ;-)

    #12 3 years ago
  13. The_Red

    Here we go again. Steambox returns.
    Some analysts have predicted the death of consoles in near/medium future BUT what if… what if the CURRENT consoles die and a new breed of them blossom and become really successful. More unique or simple things like OnLive console and this Steambox.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Erthazus

    @12, Thank you sir :D

    @8, oh yes. Said a Sony Defence Force Commander and since when PS3 is not a PC that is connected to a TV with shitty PSN?

    And since when Other Sony’s first line up was better? SOCOM4? MAG?
    Microsoft for example have not a lot of First party line up too so what? they make more money then Sony in gaming division.

    All Valve’s properties are critically acclaimed and also you are incorrect about “It took them literally years to release 4 games and they’ve spent most of their time just rereleasing one of them”

    Let’s count games that were released since 2006 (the start of 7th gen consoles):

    1) HL2: episode 1
    2) HL2: episode 2
    3) Portal
    4) Team Fortress 2
    5) Left 4 Dead
    6) Left 4 Dead 2
    7) Alien Swarm
    8 ) Portal 2

    In development and will be this year: Counter Strike:GO + DotA 2.

    It’s much better then 1 good game and other ok games from Sony that can’t support Playstation Vita. SCHWING!

    @9, Of course they will make PS4, the question is if it is still the good idea to do now. Look, Sony can’t support Playstation VITA and you are talking about PS4?

    Where is a support for PS Vita? Where it is?
    I bought it and bought 3 games for it and that’s it. There is nothing for me in the future… Except for Gravity Rush.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Edo

    Come on Valve http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rAHnwWfsaY!

    #15 3 years ago
  16. Lord Gremlin

    @Erthazus Speaking of games Sony is fine – it has more exclusives than any other console manufacturer – Killzone, GoW, Yakuza, Demon’s Souls (it’s Sony IP, and there were talks about future Demon’s Souls 2).
    You seem to be a troll actually, more than anything else.

    What I would say about Uncharted is that while Uncharted 2 is one of the best SP games ever made, Uncharted 3 is mediocre at best, and Golden abyss is nigh unplayable piece of garbage. I got Vita for Mortal Kombat, I’m really good with Kratos and Reptile on PS3. Speaking of Vita games, Shinobido 2 is very nice and so is Dynasty Warriors next. Problem is that stuff like Lord of Apocalypse is Japan only. Sony NEEDS to unite PS store else it will fail next gen hard. Japanese PS store is a marvel to behold, US one is good, EU one is a pile of shit in UK and an abysmal spit in the face in other regions. Check Japanese PS Vita games. I think I’ll import Dream Club Zero Portable.
    I have a grudge against every console manufacturer, mostly MS though, since they shit on PC too (GFWL). MS rip off people, produce shitty hardware and don’t fund any good exclusives, Sony has terrible disparity between regions with their store and allow shit like Skyrim or Fallout 3 to pass certification, Nintendo produce outdated hardware, re-release same shit over and over, keep region restrictions and censorship blooming. Out of them all I give Sony a tad more credit on account of funding most exclusives. Plus, I personally love Dualshock. But we’re yet to see Wii U.
    I only buy PC games via steam, so I’d be interested in what Valve has in store.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. Gekidami

    So yeah, as i was saying, Valve have serious trouble getting new games out there, and the ones they do are mainly just sequel rehashes using their ancient engine and reusing as many assets as possible.
    Actually when you really think about it, Valve are horribly lazy. If any other dev followed Valves release schedules and reused an engine and other assets as often as them, they’d be torn apart by the raving elitist idiots. But of course Valve get a free pass because -and lets be honest here, and i mean really honest, honest to point that this’ll cause butthurt- those raving elitist idiots are for the most part PC fanboys, and Valve having essentially ‘saved’ the PC scene means they can do stuff other devs get called out for and get away with it.
    I’m not saying i dont like Valves games, Portal 2 was a master piece… But it was a master piece that couldnt have more than 3 minutes of gameplay without having to hit a loading screen because the engine sucks.

    And of course this needs to be pointed out: PC fanboy hypocrisy alert!: They hate consoles but would be all other a Valve one, why? I guess because it might have HL3 on it? I guess? Wouldnt it be on PC too? Whatever. Fact is, if Valve did make a console it would still be a box you plug into your TV you would still play with a pad, in other words; A CONSOLE. You cant have it both ways, you either dont like consoles, or you like consoles. Yet again, PC fanboys prove that they’re massive hypocrites.

    Anyway, inb4 special pleading fallacy, more red herring fallacy (a fine example already a few comments above by the resident tard).

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Erthazus

    @17, Your comment was dedicated to “FFFUUU” their engine and PC sucks.
    That’s it. For your information, their engine does not suck.
    Their engine is old, but it was built so you can upgrade it in the future.

    It’s only a console problem for not having FSAA, high quality shadows, multicore rendering and 3rd party technology stuff.
    http://www.legitreviews.com/images/reviews/1161/left4dead2-settings.jpg

    Also, their loading screens in Portal 2 were great. It’s again, only a Ps3 issues that it can’t do better with 256 v ram and 256 mb ram.
    My PC does have 1-2 seconds of loading screens in Portal 2 for example and i can do crazy stuff with Source Engine that have probably the best physics in engines to date.

    Also, Portal 2 on the PC on the highest resolution looks better then 90% of games on the PS3/360.

    “if Valve did make a console it would still be a box you plug into your TV you would still play with a pad, in other words; A CONSOLE. ”

    sure and i will have serious issues with that if it is not going to support mouse and keyboard in some games and it won’t have that and that.

    But knowing VALVE, they know what I and gamers want. They did a good job on the PC so i expect them to do good.

    Your comment is full of hypocricy. You just call PC gamers assholes for no reason at all and it’s only your console problem with loading screens and other stuff.
    Need i to remind what issues with loading have games like Killzone 2 or Gran Turismo 5? They are first party damn it.
    Or exclusive game like Valkyria Chronicles that require a constant Load – Save but because of shitty architecture you need First to load a Save (Using crappy OS save files) and only then game is loading again. How sexy is that?

    @Lord Gremlin, “Speaking of games Sony is fine – it has more exclusives than any other console manufacturer – Killzone, GoW, Yakuza, Demon’s Souls ”

    Speaking of games that is not enough to launch a console. Killzone games are crap, Yakuza is too niche, God Of War is good but that’s not enough, Demon’s Souls is great but again, too niche.

    I’m not speaking about niche stuff. There are a lot of good games on the PS3, but most of them are niche in most cases. To launch Playstation 4 they need more then that.

    Also, PS Vita have not a lot of good games, even niche ones are not really that great. MK is better on the PS3 or the 360.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Edo

    @17 “Anyway, inb4 special pleading fallacy, more red herring fallacy (a fine example already a few comments above by the resident tard).”I know…. it’s not like you are asking for it….anyway,speaking of tards…and if I may add SIGH…should this fact that PC games CAN be played on your TV and with a gamepad AT THIS VERY FUCKING MOMENT ever be learned by people like yourself(not all gamers that prefer consoles)we can continue some serious non fanboy discussions(we can even talk about “dem PC nerds need 10000 $ to get a PC that run games”).

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Gekidami

    ^ How do you ‘ask for’ logical fallacies? You do know what you’re suggesting, right?; That my argument is so sound, only a lapse in logic and dishonesty can counter it. I’m flattered, but i think you just dont know what those fallacies are.

    I also see you’re apparently going to ignore all other console traits a Valve console would have (you know, the usual stuff consoles get hated on for) and focus on… Playing with a pad, because thats totally doable right now. Ok, sure… And…?

    #20 3 years ago
  21. viralshag

    I still struggle with the idea of what Valve’s target audience would be with a console/set-top box. I just imagine most non-PC people would rather stick to the brands they know in the way of Sony, Ninty and MS. And I would think most PC-owners would rather stick to their rigs or spend money on a new gfx card.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. Edo

    @20 Come on man,surely you can’t be serious,it’s a obvious trolling.
    1)All PC gamers are the same,they hate consoles and want to destroy them
    2)If you don’t think like me then your arguments are illogical and make no sense
    3)AGAIN…gamepad and TV myth
    Back_up just got a worthy replacement…I’m sure he must be very proud.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. Da Man

    Erthazus, get a life. Fast. Time is running out.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. Gekidami

    @22
    1: I didnt say ‘PC Gamers’ but “PC Fanboys”. I make a distinction between the people who enjoy PC games, and the people who rant on about how PC gaming is messianic (going as far as to claim -without an ounce of sarcasm or jest- that people who prefer PC games are literally superior beings), and how consoles are the devil.

    2: Please dont make me tell you what those fallacies are and make me point them out in that idiots posts, i’m not your teacher. No arguments have been put forwards besides those logical fallacies (quite obvious if you knew what they were), and logical fallacies are illogical.

    3: I dont even know what you’re trying to say here. Yet again: Ok, sure… And…?

    #24 3 years ago
  25. CornP

    That’s awesome, if this happens I may stay on PC for the next generation.
    I’m sick of having to upgrade hardware every year just because developers don’t care for optimization of older hardware (when consoles being run on terrible hardware, worse than my 1000$ pc, can run the exact same games that run terrible on my PC with excellent performance)

    #25 3 years ago
  26. ManuOtaku

    I would had prefer that sega did made a comeback rather than steam on consoles, but if this is the chance for me to play games like fandango, Amnesia, etc, i mean all the great PC games, well maybe i will consider it, but for that it has to be closer to consoles rather than closer to PC, and i mean in all aspects.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. LOLshock94

    @23 HAHAHAHAHA

    #27 3 years ago
  28. Gadzooks!

    If Valve launch an actual console with fixed hardware, single sign-on and a unified online service then I’m in.

    If it’s just a Valve branded PC then no thanks. I simply dont have time for driver updates, constant tweaking, viruses, constantly shifting hardware goalposts and a mess of disparate online services and overlays.

    #28 3 years ago
  29. Lounds

    Valve is best sticking with Apple and doing something there. If I was gonna have any backing it would be a company that has 100billion dollars lying around that they want to spend.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. Giskard

    @Erthazus

    I am no fan of the PS3, and do not own one. However, claiming it has no games is like claiming the sun is a black hole.

    Just off the top of my head, these are not launch titles, but are PS3 exclusives, and can be announced for future releases, as they were with PS3:

    Heavy Rain, GT5, Infamous, Killzone, Resistance, Uncharted and LBP. These being only some of their vast numbers of PS3 exclusives.

    While I am no fanboy, and I am an avid PC-gamer at heart, saying the PS3 has no games is just lameass trolling. Grow up already.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. LOLshock94

    @30 yeah but ps3 exclusives actually suck, only decent ones that are good are all the god of wars killzone 2 and 3 uncharted 2 and thats it the rest are just meh

    #31 2 years ago
  32. freedomjackson

    It seems to me that Valve is probably working on a controller to replace the keyboard and mouse, that can be used from the couch. Connecting it to the TV isn’t going to draw the PC Gamer crowd if you have to use a standard controller, and you can’t use a keyboard and mouse from you lap very effectively. They will need a controller at least as good as the razer hydra. Check out the video sections. http://store.razerzone.com/store/razerusa/en_US/pd/productID.243549800 .
    I haven’t used it myself, but it seems like a viable option for pc gaming from the sofa, and without a good controller solution, nobody is going to bother trying to play pc games from the sofa.

    The next issue would be the OS it is built on. Windows has the most games, but comes with other potential problems, unless it is stripped down and locked down for the users. There are rumors of talks with Apple. Maybe they are looking to use their OS as a base. Apple may like this if it means dev’s will make more games compatible withe Apple computers. Apple may let them use the OS as a base for free or super cheap, whereas Microsoft may not want them giving any competition to their console, so they may not be to cooperative.

    #32 2 years ago

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