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Valve planning first hardware beta for 2013

Valve wants more Steam gaming in your living room

Valve employee Jeri Ellsworth has revealed that the company is planning to beta its first hardware product next year. Ellsworth has been working with her team for a year now at Valve's new prototyping facility. Working with the team behind the Steam Big Picture mode, the hardware division is looking to make gaming in your living room easier.

Ellsworth told Engadget that the team one-year goal is "to make Steam games more fun to play in your living room."

Internal beta tests for the team's first hardware product are already underway and prototypes for players will be coming later. Valve has a production line ready for short runs of equipment, allowing for a small beta test. Ellsworth said the possible beta would be tied to Steam in some way, but no specifics have been locked down yet.

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Latest comments (8)

Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 4 years ago
Start taking bets on what it will be. Consolized PC, or streaming box to get the a/v signal from the computer to your living room.
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Lance Winter Game Designer, Nordeus4 years ago
My vote would be for a better controller.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 4 years ago
It's certainly controller-related. From the article: "Ellsworth's team is creating a hardware solution to the control barriers found in many Steam games. She wouldn't give any hints as to what that solution is exactly, but she left no options off the table -- from Phantom Lapboard-esque solutions to hybrid controllers"
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 4 years ago
Not excited about this. Unless its something that can replace a gaming PC at a cheaper cost, and something i can install all my PC games on, then Im not interested. Im not willing to spend money on yet another differant platform.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 20th September 2012 6:58pm

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Joshua Rose Executive Producer / Lead Designer, Storm Eagle Studios4 years ago
I agree with Klaus... I think they will make a Consolized PC.

To be completely honest, that's the only way they'd be able to market their current line of games since they're all PC based.

Now there was talk a while back of them toying around with a linux based wrapper technology that make some test games compatible with linux with little to no changes.

It's possible they're doing to do this with the consolized PC, in which case they could effectively make their own linux based OS shell and wrap any games they have with the linux wrapper.

Frankly I've seen something like this coming for quite a while now. It was only a matter of time. First corner the entire PC gaming industry, then compete with the console gaming industry with an already 30 million strong customer base. I smell a monopoly waiting to happen... but we'll see.
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Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises4 years ago
Steam is pretty awful when you play it on your TV using a controller. You can tell this just by playing co-op Borderlands 2 for 20 minutes.

Want to check your achievements for the game? Not in game you won't! It opens up some other window from the Steam application, and then you need to go grab a mouse to do anything or get back to the game.

Want to invite your friend to join your game? Same hassle, the invite shows up outside of the game in a new window in the Steam application.

Hopefully their console or their Big Picture mode offers up some solutions for this...
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Tim Carter Designer - Writer - Producer 4 years ago
Whatever it is, I hope that it will run existing Valve games on it. Backwards compatibility.
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 4 years ago
If rumors are to be believed, the next Xbox and the next Playstation are already consolized PCs with custom OS. Why wouldn't they be, after all the custom hardware disasters of previous generations?

It remains to be seen, whether Steam will attack consoles by using an Apple-style approach, i.e. iterating the platform every 12-18 months (Christmas-Easter-Christmas-Easter). Apple gets away with upgrading their hardware, creating a small, yet manageable, fragmentation of their platform.

Imagining a Playstation 4 being still on sale in 2019 sounds utterly ridiculous in a world of yearly iPhone upgrades. This is Valve's big opportunity for creating a product which fits this new market.
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