Gamers looking forward to installing Windows 8 on October 26th this year may get second thoughts after Microsoft’s new operating got a strong talking down from Valve’s Gabe Newell, one of the key brains behind the massively successful Steam downloadable computer game distribution system.
Speaking to Ed Fries, former VP of game publishing at Microsoft, at the Casual Connect conference, Newell slammed the new operating system.
“I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space,” said Newell.
“I think we’ll lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs, who will exit the market,” he continued. “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.”
For Valve’s Steam, recently announced Linux support may prove key:
“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,” continued Newell.
Newell also showed continued support for free-to-play models, suggesting companies like adobe could benefit from it too:
“They say, ‘We have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, but it sounds really bad.’ And, then we say, ‘No, no, no. We think you are going to increase the value being created to your users, and you will create a market for their goods on a worldwide basis.’ But that takes a longer sell.”
“This isn’t about videogames; it’s about thinking about goods and services in a digital world.”
Newell rounded things up by talking about the future of gaming hardware, looking towards wearable computing systems which Newell confirmed were in the works at Valve HQ:
“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.
“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.”