Valve’s Gabe Newell thinks Windows 8 is a “catastrophe,” Linux is the future of PC gaming, and the tongue is an excellent input means

Valve co-founder Gabe Newell, who spent 13 years at Microsoft working on Windows, does not think very highly of the newest iteration of the OS that is to be released October 26th. As per AllThingsD, Newell’s comments came at a dinner where he was interviewed onstage by former VP of game publishing at Microsoft, Ed Fries. Due to Newell’s perception of the weaknesses of Windows 8, Valve is currently working to ensure that games offered through their highly successful Steam distribution platform run on Linux:

“The big problem that is holding back Linux is games. People don’t realize how critical games are in driving consumer purchasing behavior. We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well. It’s a hedging strategy. I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space. I think we’ll lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs, who will exit the market. I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people. If that’s true, then it will be good to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality.”

Though I personally don’t know anyone running Linux on their PCs, gaming or otherwise, I suppose the payoff for enabling games to run on Linux is probably greater than the investment in doing so, especially if a situation such as Newell describes transpires.

Regarding input interfaces, Newell thinks that using the tongue as an input means is far superior to using the fingers:

“There’s some crazy speculative stuff. This is super nerdy, and you can tease us years from now, but as it turns out, your tongue is one of the best mechanical systems to your brain, but it’s disconcerting to have the person sitting next you go blah, blah, blah, blah… I don’t think tongue input will happen, but I do think we will have bands on our wrists, and you’ll be doing something with your hands, which are really expressive.”

At least he has the social sense to realize the issues of using the tongue for input, right? Though now that he mentions it, I do wonder what it would be like to control Half-Life 2 using my tongue…


[Image Source:  Official GDC]

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2 thoughts on “Valve’s Gabe Newell thinks Windows 8 is a “catastrophe,” Linux is the future of PC gaming, and the tongue is an excellent input means

  1. PlasticSpoon says:

    It’s sort of a win-win for both gamers and Valve; if their Linux project goes to plan. Valve receives an influx of new gamers who use Linux and gamers on a tight budget will reconsider paying $150+ for an operating system each time one is released.

    Positivity aside, Newell is being rather vocally cynical. He’s usually rather calm and respectable… which I prefer.

    • Gadi says:

      You’re absolutely right. I get the feeling that developers and publishers are getting sick of the status quo with the platforms for which they produce games, and are now being very vocal about it. That might account for Newell’s uncharacteristic cynicism.

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