Valve posts hardware job ad -

Streaming online game distribution outfit Valve is about to make a hardware product.

The company has just started searching for hardware engineers and posted an advert for an "industrial designer".

According to the job ad, Valve was "frustrated" by the lack of innovation in computer hardware and wants to change things.

According to the advert, successful applicants could be working on replacements for the mouse and keyboard.

We have known for a while that Valve wanted to expand beyond games into hardware but the company has never revealed what is in its collective mind.

The job ad said that while Valve owes a lot to the PC it wanted to jump start the pace of innovation by wading in itself.

Basic input, the keyboard and mouse, haven't really changed in any meaningful way over the years and there is a real void in the marketplace, and opportunities to create compelling user-experiences are being overlooked, the advert said.

Valve wants engineers with six years in product development and to be familiar with 2D and 3D design tools.

The ad could be seen as its much touted, always denied, move into console gaming. There have been claims that Valve has wanted to put its Steam online gaming service into a stand-alone box.

Steam is supposed to start selling non-game software from 5 September, suggesting that if it does venture into hardware, it would like to keep its PC base as well.