Never has an operating system caused so much stir in the gaming industry before it has been released. You have probably heard of the amount of people from the games world voicing their opinion about how usable the system is. The top-dog in Valve, Gabe Newell has now piped up and said why this is so bad for the gaming industry.
Valve of course run the massive ‘Steam’ Network as well as developers of software in their own right (The Half Life series being one of the most popular of these). Gabe believes that the one thing that is holding back the Linux operating system is the amount of games available to them. He has now made it is mission to have all 2,500 games on the Steam Network playable under Linux. This is meant to act as a ‘hedging’ strategy as he believes that Windows 8 will not be as successful as some people have been lead to believe.
It is Gabe’s opinion that a number of top manufacturers in the PC world will be exiting the market, mainly because their margins will have been destroyed. If this happens then there needs to be alternatives in place to ensure companies such as Valve can continue to generate profit.
Gabe even goes as far to say that Windows 8 will be a ‘Catastrophe within the PC Space’, which are of course remarkably strong words considering Valve relies on the PC so heavily. So really when Gabe says something like this, the world should stand up and listen.
This situation may not actually destroy the gaming industry, but at least having Steam games available on Linux will generate more sales for both Valve and veer more people towards the Linux operating system.
“I like Linux Fine…but the hassle of running games through it isn’t worth the effort… I’d rather just run Windows 7, a perfectly good operating system”
Getting all of these games to run on Linux is likely to be a mammoth task. To start with, the majority of the titles on the market are made by developers over than Valve. They haven’t even finished porting all of their titles over to the Mac yet, despite being on the system for a number of years.
If Windows 8 does end up being a catastrophe, I don’t believe that individuals and businesses will ditch windows quickly. Instead they will most likely stick with Windows 7 until a new Windows Operating System is released to help rescue Windows 8.
One of Gabe’s biggest problems with Windows 8 is that it has mainly been developed for touch devices. This is because Microsoft want to make their mark on the tablet and mobile computing markets. However, being primarily a desktop operating system, this isn’t going to have too much appeal to the majority of its users.
Gabe believes that touch is only going to be good in the short term, with the mouse and keyboard still going to be going long after touch has died. Gabe in fact sees a much different scenario in the future with the way in which we control our computers.
“Post touch, depending on how sci-fi you want to get, is a couple of different technologies combined together. The two problems are input and output,” he said. Noting that it may sound like crazy sci-fi stuff, but ”we will have bands on our wrists, and you’ll be doing something with your hands, which are really expressive.”
Motion technology does exist at the moment, but it is nothing more than a gimmick. However, the technology we have now could perhaps be a stepping stone towards the future. One thing is for sure though, we are in for a pretty interesting year next year when the next batch of consoles are released.
One thing that many people seem to be happy about however is that the market is currently being incredibly innovative, even if the outcome is bad. It really is good to see that the market is moving forward, quite rapidly as well.
One of the things that companies have really innovated recently in the video game market is their ‘free to play’ models. One of the best working titles here is Team Fortress 2 from Valve, although other games are performing well. Sure, some companies are messing the system up, but this is needed if the industry wants to move forward.
Whether Windows 8 is a catastrophe does remain to be seen, but I don’t predict it will really be all that bad, Microsoft knows what they are doing, right?