Valve Boss Gabe Newell Says ''Windows 8 is a Catastrophe''

During the Casual Connect game conference in Seattle, Valve Software boss Gabe Newell indicated that he's not a big fan of Windows 8, likely because the upcoming OS comes packed with native support for Xbox Live and Windows Store, both of which threaten Steam's stronghold in the PC gaming sector. Even more, he predicts that top-tier OEMs will exit the market thanks to the new OS.

"I think that Windows 8 is kind of a catastrophe for everybody in the PC space. I think that we’re going to lose some of the top-tier PC [original equipment manufacturers]," he admitted in an interview. "They’ll exit the market. I think margins are going to be destroyed for a bunch of people. If that’s true, it’s going to be a good idea to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality. But when you start thinking about a platform, you have to address it. You have to address mobile. You have to look at what’s going to happen post-tablet."

He went on to say that the mouse and keyboard have been stable for around 25 years, and that touch will be stable for only 10 years. Whatever comes after that will endure for another 25 years: a "post-touch" era, he calls it. This may consist of a couple of different technologies that will come together -- augmented reality combined with motion detection, perhaps?

"The two hard problems in the short-term are input and output," he said. "I don’t have all these nice slides. But the question you have to answer is, “How can I see stuff overlaid in the world when you have things like noise?” You have weird persistence problems. How can I be looking at this group of people and see their names floating above them? That actually turns out to be an interesting problem that’s finally a tractable problem."

In the future users will likely have bands on their wrists, and that they will be "doing stuff" with their hands. "Your hands are incredibly expressive. If you look at somebody playing a guitar versus somebody playing a keyboard, there’s a far greater amount of data that you can get through the information that people convey through their hands than we’re currently using. Touch is…it’s nice that it’s mobile. It’s lousy in terms of symbol rate."

To read the full interview, head here.

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  • Kami3k
    "likely because the upcoming OS comes packed with native support for Xbox Live and Windows Store, both of which threaten Steam's stronghold in the PC gaming sector. "

  • deathengine
    Im sorry but MS will never threaten Steam. They NEVER have sales on GFWL and thier selection of games on the service is PATHETIC.
  • internetlad
    Pot, meet Kettle. I have been less and less impressed by Valve's actions as of late. TF2 went from a ton of fun to an absolute bloated mess after the 300 new weapon updates and F2P model hit, what was to have been a 6 month wait for ep3, Valve's flagship series, is going on it's fifth year now, whith no end in sight, and my wallet has very little to fear from the recent steam sales.

    December 2009 I spent over 100 dollars on various games and got a ton of bang for my buck, probably over 30 games of varying quality. This summer sale? I picked up Back to the Future for 6 bucks or something like that. Nothing else piqued my interest. There were no earth-shaking deals or reason for me to buy. Mix that in with the unacceptable promises of what is quickly becoming vapourware and the catering to macfags and talk of a home console, microtransactions and pay to win models, and Valve is, in my humble opinion, quickly becoming "what's wrong with gaming today"

    Rant at me if you want, but i've been hooked ever since I played HL2 back in '05, and I can see nasty things on the horizon for this company that seems to value profit over user experience.
  • killerclick
    Windows 8 is a catastrophe for the PC, but if everyone starts using their PC as a tablet then it'll be alright.
  • Kami3k
    john_4Time to start moving STEAM to Linux and Open GL, STEAM is already working fine with OS X and Open GL MS the company that bought out SKYPE and then rewrote the code so the FEDS could easily listen in on your conversations. The same thing MS did to their OS after the FEDS dropped the monoply suit against them in the 90s. MS and the FEDS are in bed together, Google too adn if I had to guess I wouldn't trust OS X either.Long Live Linux
    Steam isn't an engine so Open GL? lol....
  • cscott_it
    Which top tier OEMs is he talking about?

    For your non-internet gamers, touch is a catastrophe and something that none of us will use while gaming. That or we won't use it in the same capacity we use keyboard/mouse. For your average user, adding touch isn't going to change anything for them as it doesn't matter if you click your friends cow with a mouse or touch it on your screen.

    More importantly, is the title of the article a little misleading?
    We get a short blurb on Why Windows 8 is a catastrophe, a link, no in depth look at why Gabe said that, and the large majority of the article on future user interaction technologies.

    That said, there is some merit to the HUD/Augmented reality thoughts and there are several big players that are looking into it (Google, Microsoft, etc.). The future is going to be an interesting one. I can't wait for minority report interaction (or more recently, if you noticed, how Tony & Bruce interacted with data in The Avengers).
  • DjEaZy
    Valve Boss Gabe Newell Says ''Windows 8 is a Catastrophe'' and i agree!!!
  • CollegeisaScam
    Windows 8 is terrible. It is Vista 2.0. Stay with 7 and wait for Windows 9.
  • DjEaZy,news-15907.html
  • Kami3k
    john_4No but all the games from STEAM on OS X are in Open GL and will be for Linux too, now shut your hole.
    All I have to do is to look at the Steam's own numbers for OX X and Linux and see how bad of a move that will be to abandoned windows.

    Proof mac****s are stupid.