We’ve mentioned before that it’s extremely unlikely that Vale is building some sort of game consoles. Like, really very extremely unlikely. What they are building is a hardware standard: Instead of a console, a set of specs and perhaps a custom chipset to put in set-top boxes and smart TVs.
Valve has been dropping not so subtle hints that they’re gunning for the living room over the last six months, the most blatant being the Big Picture Mode which just went into beta. Essentially, developers can configure a game for a gamepad, and Valve handles the rest.
Now it’s posted another job ad, and this ad is both unusually frank and very interesting, in typical Valve fashion.
This is part of the job description text:
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.
In other words, Valve would like to build a better controller.
This is interesting because, as I keep insisting, Steam going Android is only a matter of time. Android is the easiest way to get into smart TVs, and Valve is very interested, as I noted, in getting on your TV.
In short, we’re going to see some interesting stuff from the biggest digital store for PC games. At some point. Maybe five years?