‘We’re way closer to The Matrix than people realise’, says Valve's Gabe Newell

The co-creator of Half-Life has given a rare interview in which he talks about his progress on brain interfaces and console ports.

For over a decade now Vale has all but abandoned making traditional video games, but with the return of the Half-Life franchise, via VR game Half-Life: Alyx, they seem to have renewed their interest in gaming, and so has president Gabe Newell.

For the first time in a long while he’s started doing interviews and when speaking to IGN compared himself to John Wick, or at least the line ‘Yeah, I’m thinking I’m back’.

He seemed to be somewhat fixated by Keanu Reeves movies though, with one of his most interesting comments being that, ‘We’re way closer to the Matrix than people realise’.


‘It’s not gonna be The Matrix’, he added. ‘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. But it’s gonna have a huge impact on the kinds of experiences that we can create for people’.

In other words, Newell is still more interested in future tech than he is traditional gaming, which explains why Half-Life: Alyx is VR-only.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that there won’t be other Valve games that aren’t VR though, as Newell also mentioned how easy it is to support consoles nowadays. So at the very least there’s a good chance we’ll see new VR games on the PlayStation 5.

His passion though seems to be technology that is well beyond even the next generation, with a lot of talk about interfacing with your brain and advanced artificial intelligence – hence the reference to The Matrix.

According to him, being able to connect up your visual cortex and motor controls to a machine is a lot closer to reality than you might have assumed, which is part of why he’s so interested in virtual reality.

He called this an ‘extinction level event’ for other entertainment, so, err.. Candy Crush and the Marvel Cinematic Universe beware, we guess.

We suggest watching the whole 30-minute interview, as it’s all interesting stuff, even if it’s still pie in the sky for most people.


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