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Valve: 'We will not make hardware in large quantities'

Company appears to be experimenting with augmented reality and virtual reality headsets

Valve Software appears to have ruled out launching a significant competitor in the games hardware space, claiming that it will not mass-produce any of its devices.


The games industry has been in a craze of speculation with regards to Valve's hardware strategy. It was previously rumoured that the so-called 'SteamBox' will be a home console that competes with the likes of Microsoft and Sony.

Yet Michael Abrash, an industry veteran who joined Valve in 2011, suggests that the company will not build new hardware on mass-scale production lines. He also suggested that the hardware will be unique peripherals, as opposed to game platforms.

"We don't particularly want to be a company that makes hardware in large quantities. It's not what we do," Abrash told the New York Times.

Abrash suggested that Valve was experimenting with both augmented reality and virtual reality technologies.

One key challenge for the augmented reality tech is to understand how to overlay a stable image of a virtual object onto a real-world object - a puzzle which many games companies, including Sony, is trying to solve.

Abrash said glasses capable of credible augmented-reality games could be three to five years away. He appeared to also claim that Valve has yet to decide whether it will produce the glasses.

"Its ultimate goal is to share its designs freely so other hardware companies can make glasses, too," read the New York Times report.

EA chief executive officer Peter Moore, meanwhile, has doubted the mainstream potential of wearable-computing projects.

"It's appealing to them because they live in that outer fringe of I.Q. and money," he said.