Valve ponders mobile hardware

Valve ponders mobile hardware
Seth Tipps

By Seth Tipps

January 10th 2013 at 7:25AM

Steam Box could get a little brother

Valve president Gabe Newell has revealed his company is pondering the creation of mobile hardware.

The company has lifted much of the secrecy regarding its plans for hardware development with revelations of third party contracts with Xi3 and Nvidia as well as details of its internally developed "Steam Box".

The latter, known internally as Bigfoot is not Valve's only plan for hardware development, and Newell says his company is finally considering the mobile scene.

"...we also have "Littlefoot." [It] says "what do we need to do to extend this to the mobile space?" he told The  Verge.

Bigfoot will run on Linux, and Valve is busily talking up the freedom that a big-screen capable PC offers consumers.

Newell claims his company's mobile strategy will embody the same principles.

"Our approach will be pretty similar," he said.

"We also think there’s a lot that needs to be done in the tablet and mobile space to improve input for games. I understand Apple's [approach]; all the way back in '83 when I met Jobs for the first time, he’s was so super anti-gaming."

Valve has already released a version of Steam for mobile devices.

While this does not support mobile gaming, it does offer users access to the Steam community and storefront.

When Valve first entered the hardware space, most of the talk was of input devices, and the mobile question will have to deal with this design problem.

"In one of the designs that we’re building on the controller side, it has this touchpad and we’re trying to figure out where that’s useful," said Newell.

"We don’t want to waste people’s money by just throwing in a touchpad. Once we understand what the role is of multitouch in these kind of applications then it’s easy to say you can use your phone for it."