Well, anybody can try, I suppose.
Innovation is essential in any creative-based industry, and Valve boss says Gabe Newell says new hardware needs to deliver in this respect. But if the major manufacturers won't get the job done, he will.
"If we have to sell hardware we will," Newell told Penny Arcade . And although he admits they have no experience in this field, he believes it might be necessary to support the kind of projects they want to do. Said Newell:
"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."
He added that Valve would want to "bring its own development style" and specifically, "openness" to the hardware design process. Basically, Newell says it's about taking the philosophy of Team Fortress ; i.e., an "incremental approach in software design," and applying that to hardware.
"The sort of old method of, you know, let's go make a giant pile of inventory and hope that some set of applications emerge to justify this giant hardware investment doesn't seem to be the – very consistent with what we've seen to be the fastest ways to move stuff forward, so we're trying to come up with an alternative to that that gives us the ability to iterate more rapidly."
Newell went on to talk about pricing (he says free-to-play makes more sense than a set fee to enter a virtual world), and his desire to see more MMOs on consoles. He's certainly welcome to try out new hardware, if it comes to that, but as usual, it just sounds like Valve wants consoles to be PCs. Their insistence that all gamers would prefer that sounds vaguely familiar to past statements…but that's okay.
Provided we get Half-Life 3 and Portal 3 , you can do what you want.