The final months of 2020 will offer gamers a tough question: Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5? Both Microsoft and Sony are launching their next-gen consoles ahead of the holiday shopping season. Gabe Newell, co-founder of the developer of Half-Life Valve, has already chosen: Microsoft’s Xbox Series X.
Appearing on the New Zealand talk show The Project, a host asked Newell which console would be better. “The Xbox,” he said emphatically, to a taunt from an audience member. When asked if this preference stems from her years working at Microsoft, she added: “I have no interest in that career. We do most of our development on personal computers, but of the two I would definitely like to go with an Xbox.”
Newell was a developer at Microsoft for more than a decade, during which time he worked on the first Windows operating system. He was one of the famous “Microsoft Millionaires”: in the 1980s and early 1990s, people who made millions of dollars in consumer technology were novel enough for those people to earn a nickname, and they used this money to co-found Valve. . In addition to creating the treasured Half-Life franchise, which saw a rare new release on Alyx in March, Valve also created Steam, which made Newell a billionaire.
Newell has frequently spoken about his distaste for developing games for consoles (rather than PCs), but previously he has been particularly hostile towards Sony consoles. Criticizing the design architecture of the PlayStation 3 in 2007, he called the development of the platform “a waste of time.”
Newell was on The Project to promote a festival that he is funding in New Zealand. He explained that he was on vacation with his family in the country when the coronavirus blocks began to take effect in March, and at that time they decided to stay in the country instead of returning to the United States. “Let’s have a great party, a way of saying thanks for the hospitality and generosity we’ve been receiving.”