Valve Considering Move into the Hardware Market
Written Tuesday, February 21, 2012 By Lee Bradley
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Anyone fancy the idea of a SteamStation? Because there's an outside chance you might get one. Valve are prepared to move into the console business, says Gabe Newell, for the good of the industry.

"If we have to sell hardware we will," co-founder and MD Newell told Penny Arcade. "We have no reason to believe we're any good at it; it's more we think that we need to continue to have innovation, and if the only way to get these kind of projects started is by us going and developing and selling the hardware directly then that's what we'll do."

Developing a console isn’t Valve’s priority, however. "It's definitely not the first thought that crosses our mind,” said Newell. “We'd rather hardware people that are good at manufacturing and distributing hardware do that. We think it's important enough that if that's what we end up having to do, then that's what we end up having to do."

Should the Portal, Half-Life and Team Fortress creators move into the console business, they intend on introducing some of their game development nous to the mix. "We're thinking of trying to figure out how to do the equivalent of the [Team Fortress] incremental approach in software design and try to figure out how would you get something similar to that in the hardware space as well."

Newell continued, “We just need to figure out how we can start giving these to customers and iterating on the design quickly enough without having to go off and buy ten million of them and then find out we did something mildly stupid and then having to throw them all away and start over."

Newell also reckons that the current platform holders are doing it wrong, thanks to their outdated approaches. "Internally developed proprietary graphics solutions on the consoles, they're all gone - everything in the console space is coming from the PC now, and I think that we really need to see the same thing in terms of just general attitudes about platforms."

"I would push them very hard to stop thinking of themselves as being a platform for everything that already exists and start betting on the inventiveness and the benefits that you would get by embracing a more open approach to the internet and game delivery and game business models and things like that."

So there you have it. A Valve console, with Steam at its heart and Achievements already built in? Chuck in Half-Life 3 as an exclusive launch title and it might just be impossible to resist. What do you lot reckon?


User Comments
Forum Posts: 162
Comment #1 by ArgoXavier
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 @ 07:38:57 AM
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Anything to get out of making the next Half-Life huh? lol...

Forum Posts: 2020
Comment #2 by YurtleTehTurtle
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 @ 07:44:12 AM
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Even if they started to research hardware now and spent the next five years developing it, it'd still find it's way to market faster than Half Life 3.

Forum Posts: 32
Comment #3 by Ziras
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 @ 07:45:01 AM
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It would probably be my main console if they did release one. I'm just wondering how they'd get it to work, because publishers won't be willing to fall in line for a console product based around Steam where publishers have no power over developers. It'll probably end up being a mainly indie console, which I think will be nice anyways.

Forum Posts: 587
Comment #4 by jdgkorn
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 @ 08:25:22 AM
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I hope they decide to introduce a "Console" & some "Exclusives". This would be a "Good" thing, The more the merrier. When & How much! :-)

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #5 by Flexdon
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 @ 08:34:31 AM
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@ Everyone making decisions on Taking this Possible new console launch, lets just wait and see what valve have in store for us, if they are having a hard time making half life 3 then how the heck are they gunna push a new console out?. I do like the idea of how Gabe Newell criticizes the way consoles are today, saying they are "outdated", but can he really perform better than microsoft and sony? He wouldnt just be making great games if he could make an awesome new console.

Forum Posts: 753
Comment #6 by kakihara301
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 @ 08:40:20 AM
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Id rather hear "Half Life 3 is almost finished, we have started work on Portal 3 and L4D3 is on its way - to PS3 as well! Also, the L4D1/2 collection will be on PS3 in late summer."

Of course, Id rather hear Bianca Beauchamp read me the instruction manual for Manhunt, but I doubt thats gonna happen either. ;)

Forum Posts: 387
Comment #7 by HuDaFuK
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 @ 09:36:17 AM
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Not sure bout this, this has the ugly stench of "having to buy a second console just to play new Half-Life games" about it...

Forum Posts: 130
Comment #8 by FilmNoir7
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 @ 09:36:39 AM
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There is too much money involve for the design of a new console & the market is a bit saturated as it is but any game that Valve release is worth to play... Sega Dreamcast even after more than 10 years is still the best example of one the best console ever made that didn't make it & Sega dismise as a console developer is still miss!

Also we need quality games not another console

Forum Posts: 722
Comment #9 by Scarfacew00t
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 @ 10:48:26 AM
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Kinda makes me think of the Jaguar back in the days.. was supposed to be so better than everything but failed.

I like how he said that consoles are outdated.. HEY DUDE! They sure are outdated after 7 years! Exclusives games from steam? Screw that! I hate steam since they cut off my modded cs 1.1 server I was running (remember before steam went out, we could play cs via valve network).

Forum Posts: 16660
Comment #10 by AshtimusPrime
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 @ 10:54:27 AM
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I hope Valve don't do this. Simply because it would mean Half-Life 3 would be an exclusive title and I'll want it for my PS...4?..5?

Tough market though, I don't think they'll go through with it.

Forum Posts: 140
Comment #11 by gaviota1195
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 @ 01:53:49 PM
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I really loled at this. I wanted to comment about 6 hours ago, but I got no chance. You guys mispelled impossible, but now is fixed. Anyway, let's see what they bring to the table.

Forum Posts: 53
Comment #12 by SSWORM69
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 @ 02:08:00 PM
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Forum Posts: 0
Comment #13 by abel1389
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 @ 02:31:21 PM
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"If we have to..." well... you COULD make a third installment in one of your franchises for a change...

still, the people who can think up a portal gun could make an interesting console. :D

Forum Posts: 2972
Comment #14 by dante_kinkade
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 @ 03:11:35 PM
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meh never have used steam so i know if they do this i really don't see the point in caring that they made one.

Not to mention Newell sounds like abit of a dick, oh no everyone else does it wrong, but of course i would get it right.

Forum Posts: 753
Comment #15 by kakihara301
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 @ 03:32:45 PM
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well said last line, dante. reminds me of the double fine guy. lol

Forum Posts: 1074
Comment #16 by JuggernautClone
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 @ 04:30:46 PM
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Valve should stay in the software business. Going to the console approach as noobs is not something you do if your on your last leg (it's what it sounds like from what he said).

Also, we have 3 consoles already, so sorry Newell, but there's no more room on this train of consoles. People say 3 is a crowd, but 4? Well not much is said about 4 because it never gets to that point XD

Stick with your Steam bro. Let the pros at consoles do their thing. Don't be an ass about it and say you can do it right where everyone else went wrong.

Forum Posts: 422
Comment #17 by spoonman
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 @ 05:40:22 PM
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Gabe says a lot of crazy shit. I don't believe most of it.
There is no way Valve could release a new hardware console without going bankrupt. It's unnecessary and the money is made on software.

I don't want another console and in fact we could do without the 360 and Wii-U.
Nintendo would make some kick ass PS3 games!

Forum Posts: 1710
Comment #18 by AverySegaw
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 @ 08:55:12 PM
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Hardware? Just stick to computers I say. Valve does good at what it does. Steam is good for PC, and while it compliments preexisting console networks, I think it's best not to overextend when you already have a good thing going.

Forum Posts: 4269
Comment #19 by DrakeHellsing
Wednesday, February 22, 2012 @ 03:38:47 AM
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Hardware you say? Sell me a real working Portal gun and I'll be a happy person XD

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