No, Valve is totally not building a Steam Box gaming console. But it is building hardware. A new job opening at the company's R&D division has opened up today, looking for an electronics engineer with experience in prototyping and ARM / x86 hardware design.
"Hardware design, prototyping, testing, and production across a wide range of platforms."
It's difficult to decipher precisely what Valve is so busy testing out; perhaps the company isn't waiting for actual Windows 8 ARM tablets to hit the market and is building some itself in order to verify that Steam will work on them correctly. Perhaps. On the other hand, if you're exploring the possibility of selling hardware that you're sure will run your gaming service brilliantly, wouldn't this sort of engineer be precisely the person you'd look for?
Sources of ours told us early last month that Valve is developing both a hardware spec and associated software for a Steam Box console that would potentially be built by a variety of hardware partners. Should that indeed be the case, the fact the company is staffing up now makes it seem unlikely we'll see product announcements particularly soon, but our sister site Polygon has reached out to Valve for comment nonetheless. We'll report back with anything further we hear from the games maker.
Update: Valve is prototyping wearable computing. They're hiring a mechanical engineer familiar with rapid prototyping, too.