There have been rumours about Valve getting into hardware before. Fans seem to rather want a Steambox console but so far all such whispers have turned out to be false.
It’s also the case that Valve are worried about Windows 8. The prospect of a Windows 8 store (one that might grow like an apple) would worry anyone in Valve’s situation who now sell so many of their games via their alternative delivery system (Steam). That’s one of the reasons Valve have been working on Linux games.
Now, in an open job posting on their site
“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.”
At the time of posting the role is still on the site – Industrial Designer – but given the attention the opening is getting it is not beyond belief that Valve might pull the page.