Valve job posting teases hardware plans

Is it me, or is Valve growing more and more eager to break out of its niche? In just the past two months, the company has announced both Steam's arrival to Linux and the service's expansion into non-gaming software. Valve head honcho Gabe Newell has also publicly slammed Windows 8, expressing a desire to see Linux thrive, instead.

Now, a fresh job posting on Valve's website has all but confirmed that the company has its eyes set on the hardware business. The posting, which you can see here, is for an industrial designer, and its description includes the following paragraph:

Valve is traditionally a software company. Open platforms like the PC and Mac are important to us, as they enable us and our partners to have a robust and direct relationship with customers. We're frustrated by the lack of innovation in the computer hardware space though, so we're jumping in. Even basic input, the keyboard and mouse, haven't really changed in any meaningful way over the years. There's a real void in the marketplace, and opportunities to create compelling user experiences are being overlooked.

The description also details the prospective employee's duties, which will include joining a "world-class group of electrical, mechanical, software engineers and designers who are busily defining new entertainment experiences through both hardware and software." Valve adds, "We're hoping to add your expertise in product design and manufacturing, ergonomics, usability, aesthetics, and surfacing to our team."

This isn't the first evidence we've seen that Valve has a hardware project brewing—a job posting for an electronic engineer popped up on its website this April—but it's by far the most explicit and unambiguous. We're left wondering exactly what Valve has in the works. Company spokesman Doug Lombardi shot down rumors about an impending Valve console reveal earlier this year, but he stopped short of ruling out the idea altogether. Hmm.

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