Video-Game Publishing CEO Trash Talks Windows 8

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Microsoft has a lot riding on Windows 8, so the company can’t be happy about a public flailing its new operating system received from a big-time game publisher.

Gabe Newell (right) is also a former Microsoft employee.
“I think that Windows 8 is kind of a catastrophe for everybody in the PC space,” Valve chief executive Gabe Newell said at a game conference in Seattle, according to Venture Beat. “I think that we’re going to lose some of the top-tier PC [original equipment manufacturers]. They’ll exit the market. I think margins are going to be destroyed for a bunch of people.”

Indeed, his gripe really involves revenue.

With features such as Xbox LIVE integration, gamers and developers could prefer the Windows Store in Windows 8 over Steam, Valve’s digital distribution service for games.

So what’s Valve going to do about it?

Focus on Linux, for one thing. Newell called it “a hedging strategy.”

“We’re trying to make sure that Linux thrives,” Newell said, indicating that a lack of games is one thing holding the operating system back and that without them consumer adoption suffers.

Video-Game Publishing CEO Trash Talks Windows 8
In a blog post this month, Valve explained that after porting Left 4 Dead 2 to Ubuntu, interest grew within the company, which is currently working on “getting the Steam client onto Linux with full functionality, optimizing a version of L4D2 running at a high frame rate with OpenGL and porting additional Valve titles.”

While Newell’s anti-Windows 8 views are bold, it’s interesting to note the gaming visionary is a former Microsoft employee. In fact, he mentioned that his many visits to different companies as part of his work with the software giant actually helped him form a company with a unique culture focused on experimenting.

On the topic of experimenting, Newell also shared some thoughts about what will happen in about a decade when the computing world evolves beyond touch.

He predicted that people will someday wear bands on their wrists and talked about Valve’s $70,000 wearable prototype that he can use to look around a room and see information overlaid on objects.

“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,” he said.

The full interview is available at Venture Beat.

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