Autore: ExtremeTech

Gaben

At the 2013 DICE Summit this year, Valve head honcho Gabe Newell delivered a 30-minute keynote speech that, aside from his usual rant about Linux and Windows 8, revealed some interesting ideology held by Valve. He mainly focused on two points: That the PC ecosystem will be moving into the living room, and that the games business will become increasingly focused on the exchange of digital goods and services.

We’ve already seen Valve adhere to the ideology that the PC ecosystem will be moving into the living room. The company’s Big Picture mode for Steam allows you to shoot whatever you are doing on Steam over to your television, and is compatible with a controller instead of a keyboard and mouse if you so wish. With the announcement of the Steam Box, a Steam console, Valve is already attempting to bring a huge portion of the PC ecosystem — games — to the living room.

When discussing the PC, he focused on the strengths and weaknesses of the platform as a whole. We already know how much he dislikes the direction Microsoft is taking Windows, and we already know that Valve has made a foray into Linux as an attempt to not only bring Linux gamers some deserved attention, but to see if what is essentially the last remaining open PC platform is a viable one for games. He pointed out that a major failing of the PC platform — regardless of the closed direction Microsoft and Apple have been taking it — is input methods. Comparing the PC platform to the Wii and iPad, Newell noted that PC input methods have struggled to keep up, even though some of us feel that the keyboard and mouse combination is such an ideal method of input that there’s no room left to innovate. However, he noted that the PC’s strength is multimedia services — citing media-streaming outlets like Hulu and social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter — as well as being a platform for innovation, particularly with regards to the gaming scene.

Newell commented on the free-to-play payment model, which Valve famously employed with Team Fortress 2, and more recently with Dota 2. He noted that Valve saw a tenfold increase in users when it switched TF2 to the free-to-play model, as well as a threefold increase in revenue, saying that Photoshop should go free-to-play. Gaben also feels that gaming should focus more on user-generated content, noting that now “users [do] a better job of creating content then we are.” He also thinks that the cloud will play a part in gaming’s future, but not as a “core architecture for delivering games to consumers.” Indeed, full cloud gaming would require an amount of bandwidth the majority of people just don’t have yet.

As for Valve’s recent passion for Linux, Newell said it’s a “get-out-of-jail free pass” for the industry, should the industry need one at some point. There aren’t too many lines in which to read between here, as Newell meant that just in case everything goes awry with Microsoft and Apple operating systems, that Linux will be there with open arms just in case. Gaben also thinks that Apple is a company to watch with wary eyes, as the company’s device scale and “natural path to the living room” could give it significant power over the home entertainment landscape — more power than it already has.

Whether or not Newell ends up being right about any of this is up in the air, but all we have to do to find out is wait for it to come true or not.

Now read: Gabe Newell reveals juicy details about the Steam Box