Tag Archives: ouya console

Steam Box take two: Job listing suggests Valve is developing hardware

Linux and Open Source, a new direction for Valve.

Valve hiring industrial designer

Valve getting into hardware development has been a long running, popular rumor among the gaming population (rivaled only by rumors of Half-Life 3‘s launch date). The so-called “Steam Box” is a rumored console-like system with PC components that would allow you to play all of your Steam games in the living room using a variety of input methods (including a custom controller). Although the company has previously dismissed the notion, increasing evidence suggests otherwise.

The most recent indication that Valve may be diving into hardware development after all is a job listing in which the company stated that it is seeking an industrial designer with at least six years of experience shipping “world-class, high-tech technology products,” working knowledge of design principles, and familiarity with 2D/3D design software (among other qualifiers). This does not, by itself, confirm Valve will start developing the Steam Box, but when combined with other hints over the last couple of years, such a device does not sound out of the question.

In 2009, Valve filed for a pair of patents (US 2011/0105231 A1 and US 2011/0009193 A1 respectively) that covered both a modular game controller with interchangeable inputs, and a method to control a video game using biometric inputs (something Sony is also working on). Since then, the company has also worked on its Big Picture Mode, which is a 10-foot interface designed to make the Steam client easier to use on a TV screen in the living room (by having larger text, and controllable with a remote control). In addition, the company has announced the upcoming Steam client and Source engine port to the Linux operating system. Valve has even been quoted by Penny Arcade as saying “if we have to sell hardware [to innovate] we will.”

Valve's patented module game controller

All of those, and similar, announcements and actions lend a credibility to the Steam Box rumors — and now would be a great time for Valve to jump into the hardware game with its own platform. Microsoft is pushing for more control in the software that is run on its operating system — and wants to control the distribution and sales of said (Metro) apps as well. On the other side of things, the Android-powered Ouya console experienced a massively successful Kickstarter campaign.

Meanwhile Microsoft and Sony are taking their sweet time bringing next-generation consoles to market, leaving a nice opening for someone to come in and market to gamers with a new console. Should that someone be Valve, they could bring PC gamers to the living room while also bringing the best aspects of the PC to console gamers. If Valve wanted to, now would be a great time to do so — and evidence suggests that it is at least considering developing its own hardware platform. The combination of powerful PC hardware, Steam distribution channel, indie developer friendly programs like Greenlight, and a living room friendly interface would be an extremely potent one.

It is impossible to say for sure if Valve is going to bring the long-awaited Steam Box to the gamers that have been clamoring for it, but the future of Valve hardware seems promising.

Read more at Valve or see the requirement below.

Valve industrial deisgner listing

Source: extremetech

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GameStop CEO Digs Ouya

GameStop CEO Digs Ouya

GameStop head honcho J. Paul Raines is interested in the Ouya console. Apparently, the CEO thinks the platform is “cool” and would very much like to include it as part of GameStop’s ever-growing stock of video games consoles and tablet devices.

“We think Ouya’s cool,” Raines said in a statement to Joystiq. “We love the idea of open-source components. Everything we’ve read is great. There will be games developed for that stuff. So you’re going to see more of these open source type products, and we will be right in the middle of all of it.”

While Raines clarified that GameStop has no official announcement to make regarding the Ouya launch, his enthusiasm couldn’t be any more apparent. He went on to say that GameStop stocks all consoles and plans to “be a part of any console launch in the future.”

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Ouya: a $99 hackable Android game console designed by Yves Behar

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We don’t often report on startups without a physical product to their name, but when you’ve got sponsors like Ouya does, it’s hard not to pay attention. According to a posting on AngelList, Ouya has recruited the talents of Yves Behar to build a $99 Android game console that you can connect to a TV, with a high-concept developer ecosystem that’s as free as can be. Any developer will be able to publish games, claims the listing, and all games will be free to play. Even the underlying hardware is “built to be hacked” — every customer who buys a retail box will get a dev kit in the bargain, the site claims.

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As we alluded to earlier, though, it’s not just Jawbone Jambox and One Laptop Per Child designer Yves Behar who’s on board. The project’s advisors also include Ed Fries of Xbox fame, Amol Sarva of Peek, Peter Pham of Color, and counts Julie Uhrman of IGN as its founder and CEO. There’s also a gentleman named Muffi Ghadiali, who appears to be leaving Amazon’s Lab126 where he helped ship Kindle. At $99, the Ouya would be playing in the same space as Google TV boxes like Vizio’s Co-Star, but we’re eager to see what games Ouya might attract. We’re on the lookout for more details and hope to have them for you soon.

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