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Valve hiring hardware heads

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In a move that makes the long rumoured Steam Box look a lot more likely, Valve has started advertising for industrial designers (opens in new tab) .

The ad - spotted by The Verge (opens in new tab) yesterday - could just be about finding someone to join an existing team and model prototypes for gravity gun-shaped controllers, but the wording suggests that there are much bigger plans afoot than that.

This is, of course just the latest in a long list of signs that Valve's going to break free of mere desktop clients before long. It follows on from the formation of a Linux team (opens in new tab) and an interest in wearable computing (opens in new tab) and well documented concerns about Windows 8 from the very top of the company. It's also not the first time that Valve has expanded its hardware team this year (opens in new tab) .

So.... software companies that do hardware. Are they a good or a bad thing? In other words, are you expecting this:

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Or this:

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(Main pic by GizmoFBI (opens in new tab) )