Valve head Gabe Newell says the company isn't stopping any planned hardware initiatives, despite reports of layoffs at the company and the news that hardware lead Jeri Ellsworth was fired. In a statement issued to Engadget, Newell said:

"We don't usually talk about personnel matters for a number of reasons. There seems to be an unusual amount of speculation about some recent changes here, so I thought I'd take the unusual step of addressing them. No, we aren't canceling any projects. No, we aren't changing any priorities or projects we've been discussing. No, this isn't about Steam or Linux or hardware or [insert game name here]. We're not going to discuss why anyone in particular is or isn't working here."

When pushed, company reps wouldn't confirm or deny layoffs at Valve, nor would they comment on the confirmed exit of Ellsworth. Valve's big push this year is hardware, as evidenced by the company's presence at CES 2013 with a variety of living room PC prototypes, dubbed by many as the "Steambox." The company's also working on virtual reality and wearable computing technology -- we'll hear more about Valve's VR plans in mid-March at the Game Developer's Conference -- beyond its enormously popular game distribution platform, Steam.

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Valve's Gabe Newell on reported layoffs: 'We aren't canceling any projects'