There have been a lot of rumblings in the gaming community over the past few years that Valve Software might be jumping into the hardware business. Earlier this year it was made public that maker extraordinaire Jerri Ellsworth was hired at Valve to work on nextgen gaming hardware. This coupled with Valve’s recent push into the living room with their Big Picture mode and their work with porting the Steam gaming service over to Linux indicated to many that Valve might be working on a console-PC hybrid.
In an interview with Kotaku on the red carpet of the 10th Annual VGA’s earlier this week Valve Co-Founder Gabe Newell confirmed that the company is working on hardware intended for the living room. It looks like they intend to compete directly with console manufacturers like Sony and Microsoft sooner rather than later.
Newell was also quoted as saying that, “our hardware will be a very controlled environment.” When discussing their overall plans further he also stated that, “We’ll do it but we also think other people will as well,” – this lends a lot of credence to the idea the Valve might produce a device for the market as well as a reference for other manufacturers. This could be thought of as a situation similar to the Android mobile OS in that Valve would allow other manufacturers to include Steam (and Big Picture Mode) on their machines aimed for the living room.
Overall I could not be happier to hear this news, and ok, maybe I feel a bit vindicated too. This can mean a lot of good things for console and PC gaming. We might be seeing even more controller support from devs, more open standards with gaming hardware, Linux in the living room, and best of all, the ability to customize your hardware as you see fit!