Valve hardware beta scheduled for next year
September 21, 2012 // 8:46 a.m.
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.'