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

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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 (opens in new tab) like a certainty (opens in new tab) ). 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 (opens in new tab) (via Develop (opens in new tab) ), 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 (opens in new tab) —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 (opens in new tab) , 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.

Omri Petitte is a former PC Gamer associate editor and long-time freelance writer covering news and reviews. If you spot his name, it probably means you're reading about some kind of first-person shooter. Why yes, he would like to talk to you about Battlefield. Do you have a few days?