Earlier in the year, there were some rumblings that Valve would start making computer hardware. In an interview, Gabe Newell said there was a possibility for the studio to create hardware if it needed to further innovation, which is a rather open-ended statement when you look at it. A little after that interview came a report of a Steam Box console to compete with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but then nothing more came of that. However, there is a new job listing at Valve that heavily suggests hardware is in development or soon will be. The Industrial Designer job wants someone with at least six years of experience "shipping world-class, high-tech hardware products." The job listing includes the following:
Valve is traditionally a software company. Open platforms like the PC and Mac are important to us, as they enable us and our partners to have a robust and direct relationship with customers. We’re frustrated by the lack of innovation in the computer hardware space though, so we’re jumping in. Even basic input, the keyboard and mouse, haven’t really changed in any meaningful way over the years. There’s a real void in the marketplace, and opportunities to create compelling user experiences are being overlooked.
If that is not a confirmation of hardware development, then I do not know what is. Valve could be at work on something as simple as a new mouse and keyboard, like the listing states, or something far more involved. Whether that is the rumored Steam Box or something else entirely is unknown at this point, but hopefully we do not have long to go to find out.