Valve will sell hardware if it has to - Gabe Newell

Valve cofounder reveals developing and selling hardware could be part of the company's future.

Valve cofounder and managing director Gabe Newell has told Penny Arcade that the publisher has not ruled out the possibility of making and selling hardware.

Asked whether Valve would ever consider a future in selling hardware, Newell replied:

Newell says Valve could look into selling hardware in the future.

"Well, if we have to sell hardware we will. 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.

"It's definitely not the first thought that crosses our mind; 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."

In the interview, Newell also addressed Valve's long development times on games, saying the company recognizes that it can be frustrating not to know what's happening with franchises that so many gamers love.

"We try to go as fast as we can and we try to pick the things that we think are going to be most valuable to our customers. And if there's some magic way we can get more work done in a day, then we'd love to hear about it," Newell said. "But we've always somehow, you know, part of the reason that we backed off talking so much about what was happening in the future is that when we've done that in the past, you know, with Half Life 1, it was a year after we originally said it would be...Half Life 2 basically if you go and read the forum posts apparently took us 50 or 60 years to get done. So we're trying to be careful not to get people too excited and then have to go and disappoint them."

In the interview, Newell also talked about the direction for Steam, combating piracy, Valve's relationship with its users, and the next generation of home consoles.

The full interview can be found here.

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Discussion

92 comments
LE5LO
LE5LO

If Gabe Newell (an ex Microsoft employee) won't even release a bit of HL3 news after so many years there's no way he'd let his guard down and reveal console plans to the public. On a semi-related rant; now that PSN & Steam (both free services) are linked I hope the cash cows running xbox live can stop charging for gold to play online, Valve and Sony are doing the right thing at their own expense with the PS3 and PC. I say make online play free for xbox360. thanks :)

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

@rarson "I'm just trying to point out a huge chunk of information that Gamespot conveniently left out of its story. Valve isn't intending to make a new console, as people are apparently presuming. Most likely, IF they even make hardware, it'll be related to the PC platform first." Then there's no argument, because we're not really disagreeing on anything.

rarson
rarson

@Richardthe3rd My point is that the kind of hardware he was talking about wasn't specifically the traditional console type of hardware. I highly doubt Valve would create an entire new platform just to try out some of their ideas with additional hardware. He's not suggesting that Valve is going to make iPads, he's using it as an example of how the technology has progressed. I'm not "dissecting minutia to microscopic levels", I'm just trying to point out a huge chunk of information that Gamespot conveniently left out of its story. Valve isn't intending to make a new console, as people are apparently presuming. Most likely, IF they even make hardware, it'll be related to the PC platform first.

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

@rarson: "Valve is a PC company, they're talking about peripheral hardware." From the article: "Now we’re talking about things like wearable computers and biofeedback" You're missing the part where he mentioned "wearable computers" which is a direct reference to the iPad/tablet platform. Gabe's point, which I thought was crystal clear, was that Valve would do what they had to in terms of hardware to support their platform and ideas. Saying he meant "consoles" is just as wrong as saying he meant "peripherals," as he said "hardware," which could include both of those things and far more. So we can dissect the minutia of what he said or might have implied to microscopic levels (what you're doing), or we can take the general (and vague) penumbra of what he said and accept that.

Blitzman
Blitzman

Couple that with Half Life 3, and you may have something special.

Blitzman
Blitzman

Maybe Valve will develop a handheld wireless device that will accept twitch input for use with the Kinect. Would definitely move the Kinect in the direction of hardcore gaming.

swamptick
swamptick

The market can only support 2.5 consoles. It has 2 in the PS3 and Xbox 360 and the 0.5 in the Wii. Valve surely must not be talking about a home console.

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

@rarson splitting hairs much... wtf is a console anyway bud?

rarson
rarson

@Richardthe3rd That's not what he was saying at all. He was talking about biometric feedback hardware, saying that it's quietly improved to the point where it's actually interesting, and saying that if it comes to a point where Valve wants to use it and nobody's selling it, they are more than willing to consider selling their own hardware. Valve is a PC company, they're talking about peripheral hardware.

rarson
rarson

@SauhlGood Go read the actual interview. They're not talking about consoles.

rarson
rarson

What Gamespot failed to tell you is that Gabe was talking about biometric feedback hardware. Stuff that interacts with you and the things around you, stuff that gives games real-world info that the game can manipulate and overlay onto the real world. He's not really talking about console hardware, he's talking about hardware that could add to the experience.

Jebril
Jebril

"I love how Valve are the only gaming company who are innovative with the FPS genre" 10 thumbs up from Gamespot...oh Gamespot..like I said this is dumb to say, and I can compile a list of innovations found among many other FPS games that haven't been made by Valve. Slow-mo was never done in a Valve game, it had to come from somewhere else! The fact that this ludicrous statement got so many thumbs up from fellow gamers makes me lose faith in gaming society for their closed mindedness. I would hope that liking Valve isn't just 'the cool thing to do' and people actually think about what they like before they just blindly ride a company with no questioning. This is how Nintendo and Sony got away with so many obviously bad designs that people ignored or defended. Friend Codes and UMDs anyone?

Jebril
Jebril

@namdar That was a system that could be implemented into FPS's though, not sure if it was. And there's other examples of course look at Bioshock, look at Borderlands, I mean the idea that only one company has been innovating such a broad genre is ludicrous and stupid. I don't care what people say and this is coming from someone who loves Half Life, Portal and Left 4 Dead.

Marky360
Marky360

@blueboxdoctor Yea I agree they will probably change the gameplay up a bit to keep up with the times but as long as the storytelling is as good as it was in HL2 I'll love it

CaptainHerlock
CaptainHerlock

In other words they're afraid that rapidly ballooning PC specs, and cost prohibitive upgrades will drive too many people to consoles.

CLOCKWORKIAN
CLOCKWORKIAN

Now, Gabe, just stay focused right now on making the next Half-Life game. ;)

Master_Turismo
Master_Turismo

I'd buy if they ever get into the hardware business.

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

yes pls, valve just make a pure gamers console, no living room multi-entertainment facebook, home store bullcrap... just a piece of hardware that does one thing, plays games, using existing pc hardware, so it can be done cheap on masse.

msfan1289
msfan1289

the Valve HL2000 1000x10 Processor Cores core 10GB of DDR5 RAM Core Clock: 10GHz Max Resolution: Movie Theaters size screens

joeborg14
joeborg14

And then when you actually do announce your games, people fall into epileptic fits of joy.

strayfies
strayfies

Gamers seem pretty eager for gaudy, impractical mice. I'd start there and move into unreliable console controllers.

twistedmalice
twistedmalice

Eventually they will be selling hardware. I think is will happen. And of course it would be for PC.

XeonForce
XeonForce

I don't know why people assume they're talking about console hardware when Valve is a PC developer.

paranormalnut
paranormalnut

@RockmasteR-_- It's cool. Just thought it was funny. If you think about it, That is the only thing I can think of. Online like hardware with steam.. No more new hardware every few years, saves money??? could work.

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

It cracks me up that this article focuses on one paragraph of a much larger interview that was basically pie-in-the-sky what-if rhetoric from Newell. He was basically just saying they'd do what they had to if the console market stopped performing. Not exactly breaking news.

RockmasteR-_-
RockmasteR-_-

@paranormalnut LOL! Sorry did not see the comments :D

scatterbrain007
scatterbrain007

I don't think he's talking about a Valve console to compete against Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft. I think he's talking about graphics cards. Possibly motherboards and things like that. Developing a console is too much of a pain in the butt.

jedediahpelland
jedediahpelland

I agree with paranormalnut and RockmasteR, I think if they are talking Console, it will just be a small platform like the Onlive box, for people who dont have a decent PC, or one at all. You would be able to download games off steam, and maybe throw in the option of streaming. Im thinking some kind of PC components though.

paranormalnut
paranormalnut

@RockmasteR-_- I posted that a few hours a go. LOL. But that is a "if"

paranormalnut
paranormalnut

@Gelugon_baat Yep. I knew reading this it was not what they made it out to be. It's like "PS4 is coming" Hit the link And you get something like. Sony is thinking about it's next gen hardware but it wont be out any time soon. Then it is fulled with crap we known for about a year.

GAMERALL
GAMERALL

Ah, A console from Valve will be called "Black Mesa" or "GLaDOS". It'll come with preloaded Steam. All its games will be digital download only, prices ranging from $5-$30 (even AAA tiles). It will not come with controllers nor needs physical screens, instead it will offer them virtually and completely modifiable. And every game will offer a bunch of recommended virtual input/output presets...oh, and it'll come with a little chimney to blow off STEAM every time you power it on. And it'll let you harass people with virtual zombies and dragons all day long. And it'll let you....!!! "Napping on a non-virtual keyboard...!"

BLKCrystilMage
BLKCrystilMage

Yeah, because your PC products are so incredibly well-made and free of bugs, I'm totally going to let you take over my consoles as well.

RockmasteR-_-
RockmasteR-_-

I think by hardware he meant a something like Onlive!

oKiRe
oKiRe

If Steam creates a console they should call it The "Engine".

slvrraven9
slvrraven9

i hope by hardware theyre talking about PC upgrades. i would hate to have valve delve into home consoles when their love if for PC games. anyway, i wont worry about it at this point...

IMDLEGEND
IMDLEGEND

I hope Valve doesn't create a console. I think the "Big 3" is enough choice in the console market.

MrHatnClogs
MrHatnClogs

Despite Valve's long development times and delays, it's all worth it at the end. Plus the phenominal deals they have on their games, like making TF2 and Portal free, or the buy the PS3 Portal 2 get the PC game for free!

paranormalnut
paranormalnut

@Gelugon_baat About it being "misleading" and "out of context"

rpgsuperfan
rpgsuperfan

@sknight175216 No, he's saying if consoles ever become a better platform for games than PC, they will make a console. So in other words this is not happening.

BravoOneActual
BravoOneActual

Considering spinning media based consoles will be obsolete after the next generation, I guess he's suggesting a mini console/controller combo similar to Onlive and branded with the Steam name. (?)

supertom221
supertom221

I do hope by Hardware they mean mass-production personal Wheatley's and Portal guns... And hats. Lots of Hats... Would be A---Mazing. Otherwise, what the hell??

paranormalnut
paranormalnut

If anything, it would be like onlive but @Gelugon_baat You are right. it is misleading" and "out of context"

Encephlon
Encephlon

Valve, make the Steamstation!

namdar
namdar

PC preloaded with EP3

namdar
namdar

@Jebril GoW is not a FPS

toddx77
toddx77

I wouldn't mind Valve making their own gaming PC's for us to buy

Jebril
Jebril

They're not the only gaming companies who innovate the FPS, hell even GoW had some innovations to the FPS with it's active reload system. That was new if we forgot already...