Yanis Varoufakis, who is an Economist at Valve, has revealed a lot of interesting things about the future plans of the company in an article he wrote recently.
Gabe Newell has been against Windows 8 due to the slightly closed nature of the operating system; this is a known fact and he has publicly said this many times. Furthermore, there were a lot of rumours floating around about Valve making a new console, dubbed as the ‘Steam Box’.
It seems those rumours were in fact true. He says that Valve is worried about Microsoft and Apple who have a closed ecosystem and also grab a larger share of profits, and due to this partial monopoly they have started developing hardware, which he has seen.
“You see, in addition to their game software, Valve has started developing hardware. Worried by Microsoft’s and Apple’s tendency to claim bigger and bigger cuts of their profits (in order to allow users access to Valve games through the computers that run their software),” he wrote (translated by NeoGAF member Alexandros).
“Valve has started experimenting with its own machines that give you the ability to run these games without a (Microsoft or Apple-controlled) computer.”
He also revealed that he was under an NDA and was unable to reveal more, but what Valve were working on was certainly interesting and he described it a bit.
“I’ve signed an NDA so I can’t reveal much more. I’ll just say that I really saw the future. (it’s not a small deal to see a virtual but highly realistic alien stand beside a real human in the same room with you, walk around the room and wink at you. And all that without a screen, a projector or even a computer near you…)”
This sounds like a virtual reality project of some sort, when you try to decipher what he has said. Valve also runs a profitable digital distribution called Steam, so they are in the perfect position to create a new console and compete efficiently in the marketplace.
You can read the rest of the translated article here, it’s fascinating.