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Friday Poll: Apple + Valve = What?

Speculation has been flying since Apple CEO Time Cook was reportedly spotted hanging out at Valve headquarters in Washington state. Was he just playing a few games of Portal? Or will a co-developed gaming gizmo result?

Apple's Tim Cook at a company event in 2010, standing in front of a shot of Valve's Half Life 2: Episode II. Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Apple fans joined gaming fanatics in frenetic speculation when Apple CEO Tim Cook was reportedly recently seen at the headquarters of Valve, the maker of ginormously successful games like Half Life and Portal.

The supposed visit was hot on the heels of Valve's job posting for someone with hardware skills. "For years, Valve has been all about writing software that provides great gameplay experiences," the post said. "Now we're developing hardware to enhance those experiences, and you can be a key part of making that happen...We're not talking about me-too mice and gamepads here -- help us invent whole new gaming experiences."

Is the maker of off-the-charts hardware teaming with the developer of off-the-charts games to create an off-the-charts gaming console? That's what was suggested by Cult of Mac, which first reported Cook's supposed visit. The blog said Apple's planning a "full-on assault to take over the living room," one that will include a Siri-fied TV set with an iTunes-integrated touch-screen remote -- and a Kinect-like gaming console.

But wait: last Friday, a Valve employee mentioned in a blog post that the company has been messing around with "wearable computing."

Could that mean, as Forbes suggested, that Apple's CEO is, um, cooking something up with Valve along the lines of Google's Project Glass high-tech specs? And could it, perhaps, be another aspect of this mysterious supposed console? You know, the one that's not about "me-too mice and gamepads"? Will Portal-like robots with Siri-like voices soon be joining us on the subway during our morning commute, no gadgets required (if, that is, you remembered to put in your iPortal contacts)?

CNET's Josh Lowensohen reports that a partnership between the two companies is by no means a given. For one thing, the companies have competing distribution systems when it comes to games for the Mac -- Apple's Mac App Store versus Valve's Steam service. But let's just say the frenemies have decided to make a partnership happen. What resulting gizmo would you like? Vote in our poll, and offer up your own frenetic speculation in the comments section.