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Valve hardware beta scheduled for next year

Valve hardware beta scheduled for next year

The exact nature of the hardware that will enter beta next year has not been established.

Valve's first round of external beta testing for its hardware division is slated to begin next year.

Talking to Engadget, freshly hired hardware hacker Jeri Ellsworth explained that prototypes for a selection of their designs will find their way into the hands of gamers via a selection process run through Steam.

The hardware team is currently working with the developers of Steam's Big Picture mode which launched its own beta earlier this month and the team's main goal is 'to make Steam games more fun to play in your living room' according to Ellsworth.

The range of hardware solutions being developed aim to deal with control barriers found in much of Steam's library of titles. No exact details have been given on the nature of the devices, but their nature ranges from hybrid controllers and Phantom Lapboard-esque devices.

The division has already produced a range of prototypes in various stages of completion and intends to fully document the creative processes behind their designs.

However, Valve's the much-reported wearable computers project is still a long way off, with the hardware division projecting two to five years before anything makes its way to consumers. This mirrors Valve head honcho Gabe Newell's predication that a shift to wearable computers could begin in approximately three to five years.

Valve's hardware team has been established for more than a year now, but recruitment is still its primary concern according to Ellsworth. Valve announced its move into the hardware market earlier this year, stating on a job listing for the division that the company was 'frustrated by the lack of innovation in the computer hardware space, so we're jumping in.'

10 Comments

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Griffter 21st September 2012, 11:42 Quote
ohhhlala
BLC 21st September 2012, 12:21 Quote
So no SteamBox then? I am a sad panda :(.

Fine, I'll build my own SteamBox then! With Blackjack! And hookers! .... In fact, forget the SteamBox!

Another of Valve's hardware people, Jeff Keyzer, did an interview with the Amp Hour a while back (linkage: http://theamphour.com/2012/04/22/the-amp-hour-92-vellicate-videogame-vocation/). He was very cagey about what he'd actually be working on... Still an interesting discussion anyway; and it's a good podcast, go subscribe to it :p
SimonStern 21st September 2012, 21:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC

Fine, I'll build my own SteamBox then! With Blackjack! And hookers! .... In fact, forget the SteamBox!

:D lol
Blazza181 22nd September 2012, 08:54 Quote
I think bit-tech has forgotten about Valve time. Expect it along with (insert Valve game here) 3.
SexyHyde 22nd September 2012, 10:30 Quote
I look forward to seeing it when it arrives. One thing you get with valve is a quality finished product, with quality support afterwards. I might wish they were a bit quicker but would it be worth the downsides it brings. 2-5 years means 5-8.
Yslen 22nd September 2012, 20:56 Quote
Really not sure what Valve are planning. Unless they've come up with an awesome new control mechanism, however, it's going to fail...

A console would be commercial suicide in the current market., and a streaming service wouldn't be far behind, so that's out.

A device that works much like an HTPC with Steam installed might sell, but they already exist right now, in the guise of an HTPC with Steam installed.

Any PC hardware based device with a non-Windows OS will be crippled by the inability to run 95% of the games available on Steam, which would make it even worse than a Mac for gaming on, let alone a console.

We already have perfectly good controllers from Microsoft and others for sofa-based PC gaming.

That leaves... what? Virtual Reality? A Kinect clone? Motion controllers? Some clever way of inputting regular PC keyboard and mouse commands comfortably from a sofa?

I'm really interested to know what they're planning, but as it's Valve I'll likely have to wait three years to find out.
sub routine 23rd September 2012, 09:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yslen
snip*

Some clever way of inputting regular PC keyboard and mouse commands comfortably from the sofa

This,
plus an oculus rift thats tied into a kinetic please :)
sub routine 23rd September 2012, 09:09 Quote
Oh, and all tied into work with ep3
XXAOSICXX 23rd September 2012, 15:40 Quote
After 5 years of R&D valve announces the ultimate controller for Steam games...

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/50787/Misc/qs2t.jpg ;)
Star*Dagger 23rd September 2012, 21:00 Quote
Just PLEASE get rid of the horrible dx9 evil that is the Source Engine!!
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