Gabe Newell Goes On TV Again, Says Xbox Series X Is Better Than PS5

gabe newell
Image: The Project New Zealand

Two things: Gabe Newell is still absolutely loving the hell out of New Zealand, and he absolutely prefers the Xbox Series X to the PlayStation 5.

The Valve co-founder and unofficial Pile of Shame icon appeared on the Kiwi edition of The Project recently. Like his other appearance on breakfast TV, Newell was there to promote the free festival that him and his entourage (which includes Newell’s parents) are bankrolling. The festival is Newell’s way of saying thanks to the generosity shown by New Zealanders towards what he calls “COVID refugees”, tourists stuck in New Zealand from early March when the coronavirus pandemic began.

He reiterated that gratefulness on The Project, saying that “because we’re here, our lives are very different” compared to the friends, families and co-workers in the United States. “Coming here to the studio tonight, you’re going downtown Auckland, it looks — to my eye — like a normal Friday night, and you look at what our friends and family are going through in Seattle, and it’s like tumbleweeds are blowing through the downtown. 30 percent of the restaurants have already closed.”

But unlike the last appearance, someone on The Project actually asked Newell a question about video games. It wasn’t related to Half-Life or anything Valve actually makes, but about the upcoming Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. A member of the panel asked Newell which he thought was better, and he simply said: “The Xbox.”

When asked why, he simply replied: “Because it is … I don’t have a stake in that race. So obviously we do most of our development on personal computers, but of the two I would definitely go with an Xbox.”

There was an interesting exchange earlier in the interview about the future of Ghost in the Shell or Matrix-esque brain interface devices, something Newell argued is much closer to reality than many think. “Rather than going in through your eyes and your senses, we’ll be able to create those experiences inside your brain … there’ll be both invasive and non-invasive, and it’s happening a lot quicker than people realise,” the Valve co-founder said.

Another panellist asked how they could feel less motion sick when playing VR. Newell’s suggestion: Buy a better VR headset. Sadly, nobody on the panel asked him why the Valve Index isn’t being sold in the region.


  • to be fair the Xbox is basically a glorified PC.

    I mean in terms of OS it runs a pared down Windows 10 which I imagine helps with creating games for both system (as compared to porting a game from PS4 to the PC)

    • Both Xbox One and PS4 both run on x86 architecture,

      Porting from both platforms to the PC is largely the same as PC also uses x86 architecture.

      • i was thinking more in terms of system calls since essentially xbox has the same kernal as (the majority of) PCs.

        admittedly I don’t know how significant that would be in terms of the game creation process though

  • There we have it. Definitive proof once and for all. The age old argument has finally been put to bed… Half-life 3 confirmed!

  • Remember this is the same guy that said Windows 10 was a “catastrophe”. He also labelled the PS3 in a similar way and even said that Sony should scrap the whole thing and start again. So yeah, I don’t really hold his opinions in high regard.

    • I’d thought the PS3 was notoriously difficult to develop games for? So maybe there was something to what he said about that at least?

    • There are a lot of smarter, techier types than myself that hate Windows 10. I don’t understand why, 10 has to my eye been pretty good, though I still love 7, but it’s a pretty common sentiment with a surprising amount of love for Windows 8.1 among those types. I just assume they know something I don’t.

      As for the PS3 it was known to be notoriously difficult to port existing games to the console, and if that’s where you’re looking at a system from that sentiment is hardly surprising.

      I would just take his opinions as his opinions, rather than general advice for consumers.

  • Elon Musk talked about brain interfaces on the Joe Rogan podcast a little while ago, like Newell says we are a lot closer than people think possibly 5 years before human trials 10 before its a consumer product.

  • He’s the head of a major software developer and platform and the best he can come up with is ‘Because it is’? To hell with him. If he had a legitimate reason for preferring one over the other, I would definitely listen, but this is just lazy BS… or maybe just B$.

    • Or maybe he’s on a talk show that isn’t focused on games and is deliberately trying to avoid getting ‘techy’ while advertising a free event he’s putting on that has nothing to do with video games.

      Of course he has his reasons, but I’d be willing to bet he doesn’t really care about either system, he was just given an entry level talking point by people presumably from the outside of the industry who just wanted a hot take.

      • That’s fine, but someone with his experience could sum up his position in a sentence or two pretty easily. The host wouldn’t have asked if they didn’t want an answer.

  • I feel that even though he says he has no stake in the race, the fact that pretty much all of Microsoft’s ‘exclusives’ will also be getting pc releases might play into the hands of the biggest PC platform there is. Even if they’re not available through Steam it does make it viable for him if the best selling console promotes pc gaming in such a way.

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