Report: Valve eyeing Wii development

Gabe Newell praises Nintendo console, says overlooking it was "an obvious hole in our strategy"; Orange Box on track for PS3, 360, and PC release in October.


The Orange Box

Worldwide, Nintendo has been on a roll with the Wii. Envious of the piles of cash the "new-gen" console has generated, third-party publishers initially skeptical of the system's appeal are now ramping up development for it. One such gamemaker is Electronic Arts, which indicated remorse for not focusing more on Nintendo's console from the get-go in its most recent financial reporting.

This week came word that an independent developer famous for its high-graphics PC shooters is also redirecting resources to the Wii. Speaking with Game Informer, Valve Software cofounder and managing director Gabe Newell said that his company's internal console development priority will be the Wii...eventually.

Newell's comments came in response to a question about outsourcing console projects like the PlayStation 3 port of Half-Life 2: The Orange Box, currently being done by EA. "I think we'll bring [console projects] in house more for licensees issues than our own," he said. "Just for our own priorities, that puts the Wii at a much higher priority. ... I think the Wii represents more of a challenge because of its input. ... You can't think of it as graphics, CPU, texture bandwidth scaling, you have to think of it as more fundamentally, and I think it's more valuable. I think it's more interesting than just graphics chip-CPU combination. It's the machine I have at home."

However, in the same breath, Newell dashed hopes that Half-Life 2 or Team Fortress 2 might appear on the Wii anytime soon. "The fact that we don't have anything in development on it even though it represents big opportunities as a whole, is an obvious hole in our strategy," he admitted.

Newell also mentioned that the oft-delayed Half-Life 2: Orange Box is in its final phase of testing, and will meet its projected October 9 ship date in North America and October 12 in Europe. To help ensure the game is completed on time, Newell has gone so far as to temporarily forbid any of his employees to play one of the best-reviewed games of the year. "We had to ban BioShock from our offices," he told UK-based gaming site Computer & Video Games. "Nobody gets to play it until Orange Box is done--that's our reward to ourselves as a company; everyone gets a copy of BioShock [when it's done]."

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