It wasn’t so long ago the internet was talking about the possibilities of a Valve-forged next-gen console. Regardless of whether that made a whole lot of sense, it looks as though Valve is still hell bent on producing some form of hardware; even if it doesn’t necessarily come in the form of the so-called ‘Steam Box’.
The Valve Software jobs page is calling for a skilled electronics engineer to evolve Valve Software to Valve Soft/Hardware.
Valve sums it up best in the opening paragraph for the job description. “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. Join our highly motivated team that’s doing hardware design, prototyping, testing, and production across a wide range of platforms. We’re not talking about me-too mice and gamepads here – help us invent whole new gaming experiences [emphasis added].” Interestingly, the phrasing suggests that there is already a team within Valve that's already looking at "hardware design, prototyping, testing and production across a wide range of platforms."
Valve recently submitted a controller patent which, coupled with the listed requirements of the job application, suggest that Valve has peripherals on the brain. In saying that, the bullet point before the listed requirements states that the successful applicant will, “Work with the hardware team to conceive, design, evaluate, and produce new types of input, output, and platform hardware [emphasis added].”
So the big question remains: does this mean that we may see the Steam Box or something more than just Valve-made peripherals in the future?