"We're Way Closer To The Matrix Than People Realize," Says Valve President Gabe Newell
Gaben has spoken.
Valve president Gabe Newell recently opened up about returning to the Half-Life universe after so many years and how technology will continue to shape the future of the company.
In an interview with IGN, Newell makes a comparison to The Matrix, the 1999 sci-fi thriller, and just how close we are to some of the technology in terms of computing. He is of course referring to the technical side of how the Matrix works as a form of VR, not the robots enslaving humanity as a giant super computer.
"We're way closer to the Matrix than people realize," Newell says. "It's not gonna be The Matrix. The Matrix is a movie and it misses all the interesting, technical subtleties and just how weird the post-brain computer interface world is gonna be. It's gonna have a huge impact on the kinds of experiences that we can create for people."
Newell believes a brain-AI interface will be revolutionary for the gaming industry. While he is excited to see how fans react to Half-Life: Alyx, he is actually more excited to reach the next level of technology and see just what can be done. Going forward, VR is going to be on a completely different level with a brain-AI interface, Newell believes reading your brain’s motor and visual cortexes will be realistically possible, something on the tier of the Nerve Gear from Sword Art Online, may actually be possible.
Valve will be delving into this, with Newell keen to learn just what the limitations of the next level of technology will be. He compared the next stage of technology to an "extinction level event" for every form of current entertainment. Companies that are not thinking about the next steps of evolution are going to be left behind in a big way, Newell thinks.
"It's an extinction level event for every entertainment form that's not thinking about this. [...] If you're in the entertainment business and you're not thinking about this, you're going to be thinking about it a lot more in the future," he said.
According to Newell, making Half-Life: Alyx is an example of Valve thinking about the future, taking the next step in an old franchise into VR is a large jump for the series, but it makes sense when you see just what Valve is doing. Depending on how Alyx goes will affect the next few years of development at Valve, according to Newell
Half-Life: Alyx is now out and we love it a lot--check out GameSpot's Half-Life: Alyx review, in which Michael Higham writes, "Not only has Half-Life: Alyx made good on its shift to VR, it has elevated many of the aspects we've come to love about Half-Life games. It may not be as bombastic as previous games, but the intimacy of VR brings you closer to a world you might have thought you knew over the past 22 years. Even when familiarity starts to settle in, its gameplay systems still shine as a cohesive whole. And as it concludes, Half-Life: Alyx hits you with something unforgettable, transcending VR tropes for one of gaming's greatest moments."