Valve job posting: Is game maker thinking beyond the gaming PC?

Valve's listing doesn't mention video games even once.

Valve, the developer best known for creating such games as Half-Life and for running the Steam PC gaming service, recently posted a job listing for a hardware industrial designer that doesn't mention video games even once.

In the job listing, first spotted by CVG, Valve describes itself as an "entertainment and technology company" and says it's "jumping in" to the computer hardware space, because it's frustrated by a lack of innovation.

"Even basic input, the keyboard and mouse, haven't really changed in any meaningful way over the years," the company says. "There's a real void in the marketplace, and opportunities to create compelling user experiences are being overlooked."

From that description, one might think Valve is working on a gaming PC built around new types of input. After all, a rumor in March suggested that Valve was making a "Steam Box" gaming console with biometric feedback -- possibly from a bracelet accessory -- and modular controllers. (The company later responded by saying "it's a long way from Valve shipping any sort of hardware.")

But as these rumors gather steam, it's worth considering that Valve's hardware could be more than just a gaming console.

Last month, Valve announced that Steam would expand beyond games to include software for creativity, productivity and more, with many of the same benefits as its gaming service, such as automatic updates and cloud saves. The announcement seemed like a clear shot at modern app stores.

If Valve is thinking beyond games on the software front, it doesn't make sense for the company to release hardware with a narrow focus. What if, instead of just a gaming box, Valve is working on a new type of PC built around its own ecosystem of applications, which themselves are designed for new types of input methods?

It's something to think about, but it's not going to happen anytime soon, especially if Valve is only hiring industrial designers now. Besides, in an interview with Penny Arcade Report last February, Valve cofounder Gabe Newell said the company wants to take an incremental approach to hardware. The company doesn't want to "go make a giant pile of inventory and hope that some set of applications emerge to justify this giant hardware investment," Newell said.

In other words, even if Valve is thinking big about its future in hardware, expect the company to start small.

Follow Jared on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ for even more tech news and commentary.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?