Gabe Newell is a man of many opinions, many of them formed from his lofty role as king of the PC platform. While Newell’s studio, Valve, tends to keep on a pretty regular, albeit slow, pace for releasing games, his digital platform Steam is the “bees knees” when it comes to picking up titles for the PC.
As such, it could be said that Newell knows quite a bit about the landscape of PC gaming – where it’s been and where it’s headed. That makes his claim that Windows 8 is “a catastrophe” all the more poignant, since it’s through his company’s digital platform that a large portion of PC, Windows-based gaming takes place. Not all of it, but certainly a vast majority of the non-contemporary game sales.
Unfortunately Newell doesn’t go into specifics about why Microsoft‘s Windows 8 is a catastrophe, only saying that he sees a future where “top tier PC/OEMs exit the market.” In light of his feelings towards Windows 8, Newell feels that it’s best for developer and publishers to hedge their bets with other computer-based platforms like Linux.
It was only a little more than a week ago that Valve announced Steam was coming to Linux systems, along with Left 4 Dead 2. Clearly this is the first step in Valve’s master plan of keeping at least one finger in a large amount of pots.
Newell went so far as to suggest companies like Adobe adopt a free-to-play model, and then hypothesized that wearable computers will demarcate the future. He thinks that the tongue would be the best type of input for such a device, but postulates that devices hooked up to one’s wrists seems more likely. As a matter of fact, Valve even has a device in the early stages of prototype that could be considered a wearable computer that Newell himself has tooled around with.
“I can go into the room and put on the $70,000 system we’ve built, and I look around the room with the software they’ve written, and they can overlay information on objects regardless of what my head or eyes are doing. Your eyes are troublesome buggers.”
I’m sure the Valve fan base out there would rather Newell stay away from predicting the future of the PC landscape, and making bold statements about large companies, but the man does bring up some good points. Now that he has had his chance to voice his complaints, though, hopefully he can get back to work on Half-Life 3.
Do you agree with Gabe Newell’s claim that Windows 8 is a catastrophe? Will the future be filled with wearable computers?