Valve Software founder Gabe Newell has been relatively quiet lately about the future of Linux games and his company's mysterious PC console solution Steam Box. But at LinuxCon today, he reminded people about the prospects of PC games in the living room, and that Valve is still actively examining the potential of the format.
It feels a little bit funny coming here and telling you guys that Linux and open source are the future of gaming," Newell said in an Ars Technica report
. "It's sort of like going to Rome and teaching Catholicism to the pope."
"Next week we're going to be rolling out more information about how we get there and what are the hardware opportunities we see for bringing Linux into the living room," he said, suggesting there is some kind of development on the horizon.
Valve's interest in open-source Linux jibes with Newell's rhetoric about the importance of open platforms. He's previously derided Microsoft's Windows 8 as a "catastrophe," saying that increasingly-closed systems would be the death knell for innovation and overall good business.
He's also made clear that Valve wants to open up its massive digital distribution platform Steam, in order to remove the bottleneck of greenlighting games.
Earlier this year, Valve released Steam for Linux, signaling the company's active interest in the operating system. Valve is also working on debuggers for Linux in order to make the development process less of a headache.
Newell's statements about the PC market sound much like he and Valve are building a sort of lifeboat with Linux.
"I think we'll see either significant restructuring or market exits by top five PC [OEMs]. It's looking pretty grim," Newell said at LinuxCon. "Systems which are innovation-friendly and embrace openness are going to have a greater competitive advantage to closed or tightly regulated systems."