Speaking at the Games for Learning Institute’s conference in New York yesterday, Valve president and co-founder Gabe Newell expressed his company’s interest in developing for Nintendo’s next home console.
“Wii U seems to be a lot more powerful than the previous generation,” he said, adding, “It sort of fits better into the scalability of in terms of graphics performance and CPU performance, so I think it’ll be a lot easier for us to fit it into our scalability model.”
Valve has traditionally been a PC-only studio, before gradually making the switch to console formats, such as Orange Box on Xbox 360, and more recently Portal 2 on PS3. “We’ve always loved Nintendo,” said Gabe, but with the vast performance gap between HD consoles and the current Wii, it’s easy to see why Valve would avoid shoehorning its high-end games on a lesser system. “Now it’s a lot easier to look at Wii U and have it fit within that framework.”
Analysis: If anyone can do something awesome with Nintendo’s strange new device, it’s Valve. Though Gabe Newell isn’t necessarily saying “we have a Wii U game in development,” I think it’s safe to say that one is or definitely will be in development. Valve is responsible for some of the most innovative games in the last decade, so it’s very exciting to see them throw their weight behind Nintendo. This would also mark the first time that the two gaming giants will work together.
I would assume that Valve is already in possession of some development kits (Newell definitely isn’t basing his “Wii U seems a lot more powerful” statement from those 360/PS3 videos from E3), and for a team responsible for some of this generations most technical and visually stunning games (Portal anyone?), I’d take Valve taking Nintendo seriously, uh, seriously.
Of course, all this really means to people is one thing: Half Life 3 (or Half Life 2: Episode Three).