R&D employee at Half-Life house says external test for mystery hardware aiming for sometime next year; wearable computing 2-5 years away.
Gamers may get a chance to go hands-on with Valve's first foray into the hardware scene in the next year. Speaking to Engadget, Valve research and development employee Jeri Ellsworth said she is hopeful to launch an external beta test of proprietary hardware sometime in the next year.
Ellsworth was decidedly short on details concerning just what this hardware will be, saying only that her team at Valve aims to create a hardware solution for "control barriers" in Steam games. She said this hardware will be tied to Steam and is in development alongside Steam's new Big Picture Mode.
Elsewhere, Ellsworth revealed that internal tests of the hardware are currently ongoing, with prototypes available to staffers at Valve's headquarters.
Regarding Valve's wearable computing efforts, Ellsworth said this hardware is much further off. She said gamers should not expect to see such products for another two to five years.
Valve doesn't really need to enter this business for a long time. Steam is doing just fine and is continuing to gain popularity. They are one of the reasons that PC gaming isn't dead. I just hope they don't abandon the PC market and I hope it is always their main focus, because apart from Steam being a computer intensive application, it is one of, if not THE best digital distribution platform I have ever seen for video games.
I am not excited in the least about this, and I am nagged with the not-so-uncomfortable feeling that this piece of hardware won't be much to talk about.
Why do people keep talking about this as if it's a console? RTFA. It's not a console, and it never was.
the control barrier i see is when a pc game fouces you to use mouse and keyboard i don't want to play it.
A keyboard + mouse adapted somehow for use on the couch in front of the TV to provide accurate and diverse control schemes for consoles? Because I hate aiming with a gamepad so much and motion controls are more irritating than anything else, lol.
'Control barriers' and in conjunction with this Big Picture Mode thing? It'd be underwhelming if this was something along the lines of motion controls and kinect
more consoles can let a fire on sony and microsofts asses to do better i just hope valve games quality does not suffer.
I believe the "big picture" feature and this mysterious hardware they are talking about are all related to "Steam Box", which was mentioned as a rumor few months ago. It must be like some kind of a next-gen console
@PetJel From what I've pieced together from various sources, it sounds like the hardware that will be released is some sort of hybrid between a keyboard and gamepad that will allow people to have a PC-like gaming experience from their living rooms. It's hard to imagine what their replacement for a mouse would be though.
I am not sure exactly what they are up to, but not all that many PC gamers are dragging their desktops in front of the big screen HD tv to play their games. I have before, but I had a card table to set up my keyboard and mouse. Still, the image is not as crisp on an HDTV as it is on a computer monitor (text seems a bit fuzzier), but it was still kind of cool to play on a 50" vs my 27". Really the difference isn't as great as it might seem because you still have to sit approx 6-8 feet away, whereas you are only 2-3 feet away from the monitor. The perspective is not much different. So, that being said, I am not so sure that PC gamers are yearning for motion controls or a controller as most will have a USB controller of some sort anyway, and you can still play with the controller at your desktop. Is this for couch potatoes that like to lean back while they play instead of sit up in a desk chair? I am only speculating, as we all are, but if the idea is to get Steam users to be able to use a controller and motion controls, I am not sure why someone would want to do that anyway when there is already a successful trio of console developers that offer this already. Do you really want to play a shooter on PC with a controller? If this is something to do with 3D and 3D tvs, then perhaps they are on to something since 3D tvs are becoming much more affordable while 3D monitors remain somewhat expensive (relative to other monitors). Perhaps that is where the "wearable" part comes in. Maybe they are working on a headset/3D glasses combo that has a mic and wireless contoller? Who knows, but if it is really 2-5 years away, they might be shooting themselves in the foot when they see what next gen consoles are up to. We shall see.
@ZOD777 The current beta hardware mentioned isn't related to the wearable computing. It sounds like it's most likely a hybrid keyboard-gamepad that will be their first foray into the hardware market. There are images of Valve employees wearing helmets with cameras strapped to them, so it sounds like their future wearable computing hardware will have augmented reality along with head tracking, but it is still to early to say anything for sure. If you search the internet there are other articles about Valve that point to a new control scheme as their first hardware release, though.
@GH05T-666 Nobody knows for sure, but the word "wearable" hints at something other than a console, and perhaps some sort of smaller piece of hardware that is used in conjunction with "Big Picture Mode".
A steam console would be great if they can easy the existing pc software to run on it - I feel like a total dork sitting on the floor with a keyboard and mouse playing CS Source on the big screen.
i reckon they should design thier own Operating system designed for gaming so we no longer need Windows,
a "steambox" is great but I would love to see an OS that is used for gaming. it should be installed on any computer and it can use 100% of the resources to run the games you chose to install on it through steam. like a ps3 OS but with all the horsepower of a PC.
What would be the point of a whole new OS for gaming, other than making sure that no current software runs on it?
@madadi Sounds good, but that's not possible. Hardware companies have to make money, so no PC will ever use it's full hardware potential.
@madadi i fully agree, i think Valve should design a fully fledged operating system completely and soley designed for gaming and a few other things. that doesnt have the need for DirectX.
I'm guessing the Steambox or whatever they're going to come out with is going to have graphics card upgrade options, sort of like a...computer, except easier to insert and the whole thing will be more fit for the living room.
Downloading your Steam library to the console and playing on the big screen will be cool. This will be great if the price is right. It will need to be a cheaper alternative to buying a gaming pc.
This comment has been deleted
@Suikogaiden I'm saying a "steambox" would be a good option for people who can't afford a gaming pc. If you already have a rig well, thats what "Big Picture" is for.
It's not that I didn't take their word for it, but wow, they're really going through with this. It's happening. It's real.
Ugh, another console that plays PC-games variant? Don't one of these ventures go out of business like once a year?
@Sevenizz Valve has been around since 1999 and they make a killing through Steam, their game distribution service. If this hardware venture does indeed fail, it won't harm Valve enough to destroy their company. They have their game franchises and distribution service to fall back on.
@Sevenizz We're talking about Steam here. If they do it, it will be done right.
Really don't care....just don't take away my desktop PC. Putting in new video cards, ram, PSUs, ect is all part of the charm.
@DarkSaber2k Oh yes , the truth is , a company known only for gaming is actually planning on making a smart-blender. We're just foolishly making crazy insane guesses that it would have something to do with games.
@DarkSaber2k Yes because assuming a company well known for it's heavy involvement in every facet of the gaming industry (minus a dedicated console), and nothing else, would make a gaming related console is utterly insane!
@DarkSaber2k It's not "conclusion-jumping", it's guessing and hypothesizing. Not an unusual thing to see on a gaming website.
It's true, we don't have any concrete information, but you seem to think there's something wrong with sharing ideas.
Wish I was a fly just to see this piece working.. Though I don't think they'd make a full console, more like an OnLive of sorts for Steam, they already have something like this for Mac, no?
Content you might like…
Users who looked at this article also looked at these content items.