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Still want Valve's Steam Box console? New job ad details make it sound really rather likely

If it exists, Valve's rumoured Steam Box console could change gaming for the better as drastically as the PS1 did. But it could also just tank. I explained all of this at length in a recent feature called Valve's Steam Box: Why it would change gaming as drastically as the PS1 did. But could also just tank. But if you read that feature (or and if not, you can now if you want. Go on, feel free. I'll wait for you right here), you'll know that I currently come down very much in the former camp.

A machine bringing the free, open platform of PC gaming into the increasingly closed, controlled living room entertainment space usually reserved for corporately-regimented console gaming would be an important breath of fresh air, and an industry-changing shake-up that many (myself included) feel is now borderline vital in terms of the creative health of games as a medium.

Valve of course, has not admitted that the thing exists. In fact Valve Marketing Director Doug "Don't call me Falco" Lombardi has stated that while Valve is openly working on biometric feedback devices and its new 'Big Picture' mode - which will allow Steam games to be effortlessly run on any TV screen, with full controller support - that stuff is "a long way from Valve shipping any sort of hardware". He did however, refuse to rule out the possibility that it would at some point.

You know what certainly doesn't rule out that possibility? A new Valve job ad for an Electronics Engineer. One which lists as its recommended personal requirements a skill-set including board layout, thermal management, power supply management and system design. And you know what else doesn't rule out a Steam machine? A tweet from computer engineer and chip designer Jeri Ellsworth claiming to be working on next-gen gaming hardware at Valve. 

Is something beginning to take shape here? Of course it's entirely possible that all of this stuff still just relates to the biometric kit and Big Picture test machines that Lombardi has already mentioned, but something about this whole thing is starting to emanate the whiff of something bigger to me. The job ad even flat out references the development of hardware platforms. Take a look at the full text below and let me know what you think.

15 comments

  • james-mountford - August 28, 2012 11:48 p.m.

    A 'Steam box' would be pretty awesome - especially if it ran a custom distro of linux and wasn't closed to open source software, and could be upgraded optionally. Then it would be the ultomate entertainment system that the cxbox 360/PS3 have, for me, fallen short of
  • Crabhand - April 17, 2012 2:07 a.m.

    But I already have a PC...
  • tiben36 - April 13, 2012 2:57 p.m.

    >electronic engineer "OMG OMG OMGZ, VALVE CONSOLE DESPITE WHAT THEY SAID!!!" god, calm the fuck down, its probably to dev faster cloud servers
  • Plan10FromOuterSpace - April 13, 2012 2:24 p.m.

    Heres hoping this does happen, valve are reliable enough that I couldn't imagine hardware produced by them being disappointing, but also innovative enough to make me very excited about the possibilities of whatever they create.
  • D0CCON - April 13, 2012 1:39 p.m.

    I would so instantly buy a Valve console it isn't even funny.
  • Longnuts - April 13, 2012 12:42 p.m.

    Whatever happens, it wouldn't happen for years and years from now. Valve time is like (regular time)(10^33)/(however many sequels or expansions are out)(square root of Gabe)
  • jackthemenace - April 14, 2012 7:04 a.m.

    You totally forgot to factor in whether Pi is a lie into that equation. Joking aside, even if it does take a long time, Steam's accessibility with the layout of a console would be perfect for Spazzes like me that find PC gaming totally impossible
  • BladedFalcon - April 13, 2012 11:07 a.m.

    Hm... Well, I guess extra competition is never really a bad thing, is it? And valve certainly has good rep behind them to back them up. I'll definitely would keep an eye on any potential console from them, provided it's true, of course.
  • KnowYourPokemon - April 13, 2012 11:58 a.m.

    It'd be nice to actually have another company besides Nintendo that actually focuses on games and makes a game system for once.
  • shawksta - April 13, 2012 1:12 p.m.

    another company that wont collapse *snicker*
  • azureguy - April 13, 2012 10:45 a.m.

    I have to hand it to Valve, everyone readily accepts the possibility of them making a video game console - what other company can claim to have so much trust from the gaming community aside from the 3 current console producers and maybe Sega? That said, it might be just an internal hardware job who takes care of the computers and wi-fi system (the recommend list mentions antennas, low frequency and the like) or tweats the console dev kits. Or it may be indeed the console. Either way, E3 has got to have a big announcement from Valve, may it be games or hardware-related.
  • Net_Bastard - April 13, 2012 10:41 a.m.

    Once again, I don't want my PC-exclusive games made with a console in mind. Call me a PC elitist if you'd like, but would you want a PS3 exclusive game made with the Wii in mind?
  • Person5 - April 13, 2012 10:24 a.m.

    I hope Valve is making something different and not a console. Don't get me wrong, I love Valve but they should stick to PC gaming and making terrible ports for consoles, I see nothing but bad things happening because of a Valve console. that being said, if it does well and was the best idea ever since canned bread then I will be glad to take "I told you so" comments
  • shawksta - April 13, 2012 1:14 p.m.

    Its possible its not, something big, yes, but knowing Valve's history its possible just for PC gaming itself. Speculation, what are you gonna do?
  • shawksta - April 13, 2012 9:53 a.m.

    Hmm, by the looks of it not only is it possibly the steam box but something BIGGER, things are getting interesting.

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