Gabe Newell: "We thought the distinction between living rooms and PCs was artificial"

Omri Petitte

Steam Big Picture Mode
Steam Big Picture Mode

If Valve boss Gabe Newell gets his way, we'll soon experience a gaming future devoid of the line between living room and computer desk (and it looks increasingly like a certainty ). The studio's hardware ambitions aim to permanently bridge the gap between the PC and the TV, and in an interview with The Nerdist Podcast (via Develop ), Newell said the divide was always "artificial."

"That's why we did 10-foot [Big Picture Mode], and why we're putting 10-foot into our games onto Linux," Newell said. "We don't think there's any reasons why these are islands. We don't think you have a different set of friends when you go into your living room. We think you can extend the PC totally to be in the living room."

As such, Valve's controller designs—which originated as a motion-based system before switching to a possible biometric concept —keeps "the control and preciseness that you're used to with a mouse and a keyboard, except in a mobile-friendly, living-room-friendly way." This is the same man who didn't rule out gaming with your tongue , so the unveiling of Valve's final design is definitely an anticipated moment.

How did Valve suddenly kick its innovation and risk-taking into overdrive? Simple: it's loaded. "Dell has terrible margins, Razer has terrible margins, and we're super profitable, so we need to start taking some of that and feeding it back into more speculative investments, like [the wearable computing] project or the controllers," Newell said. "So that's the big picture version of it." It's like the old saying: a single hat can move mountains.

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