Watch Valve’s Gabe Newell Explain Why the Steam Deck Exists

Valve president Gabe Newell has given a rare interview until IGN, where he talks about why the company’s upcoming Steam Deck handheld exists and the philosophy the company had when designing it. The interview is worth watching to see Newell and developer Pierre-Loup Griffais discuss the motivation behind creating an “open” device (with Newell mentioning that you can hook up an Oculus Quest to it if you wish), along with which discussions within Valve led to the development of the system. IGN also has a report summarizing the interview if you’d rather read than watch.

Newell also discusses the obvious comparison between the Steam Deck and the Nintendo Switch, saying that Valve has made several tradeoffs when creating its portable gaming system. The interview covers more topics, such as the future of work at Valve, Newell’s interest in medical research, and how the company is trying to avoid the inventory issues that have plagued consoles like the PS5, Xbox Series X, and Switch. Of course it wouldn’t be an interview with Gabe Newell if he wasn’t asked about… half-life, to which he replies by saying that “[Half-Life: Alyx’s ending] feels like the right progression for where we are going half-life.”

For those interested in Valve and the Steam Deck, this interview is well worth a look. To paraphrase Newell about the Steam Deck, you’ll know pretty quickly if it’s for you.