Rumours that Valve are developing their own "Steam Box" hardware platform were all but denied by Valve's Doug Lombardi when Owen asked him about it at GDC , it does look as though they're making something , though. Engadget noticed a job ad on Valve's job site looking for an electronics engineer.
Here's the first line of the ad: "For years, Valve has been all about writing software that provides great gameplay experiences. Now we're developing hardware to enhance those experiences, and you can be a key part of making that happen."
The engineer in question would "work with the hardware team to conceive, design, evaluate, and produce new types of input, output, and platform hardware." There's no mention of the form such hardware would take, but Valve have talked a lot about using biometric measurements to enhance their playtest sessions. A Valve patent showing designs for a modular controller also surfaced alongside the Steam Box rumours last month, which could provide a clue as to Valve's new direction.
"We're not talking about me-too mice and gamepads here – help us invent whole new gaming experiences," says the ad. The job mentions a dedicated hardware team tasked with "hardware design, prototyping, testing and production across a wide range of platforms."
Who knows what's being built in the depths of Valve's labs. Maybe they've decided to chuck in game design and build a gravity gun instead, or start selling deployable sentry turrets to the military.
Or maybe they're building some sort of mind reading hat. Valve are always keen to get inside gamers' heads. The job site also has an ad seeking a Psychologist to "research compelling new hardware technologies." Hmmm, what do you think?