Newell briefly discussed his opinion of the coming console generation on The Project NZ, a New Zealand talk show (as spotted by the Xbox Series X subreddit). Asked about which console he thinks is better, Newell succinctly replies, "The Xbox." And why is it better? "Because it is," Newell says.
Newell has been critical of both Xbox and PlayStation and the past, as well as their corporate owners. In an old interview with our sister site PC Gamer, Newell described Xbox Live as "such a train wreck that something will have to change," specifically with regards to the update process for the Xbox 360 port of Team Fortress 2. In 2012, meanwhile, he criticized the Windows 8 operating system as "a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space."
That said, Newell worked at Microsoft for 13 years, and once insisted that his first three months at the company were more valuable than his time at Harvard University. And it's not that Newell's always had a soft spot for Sony. Far from it; in 2007, he argued that the PS3 is "a waste of everyone's time" due to its confounding proprietary Cell architecture (which would prove to be a massive hurdle for PS3 developers).
Newell doesn't really clarify his stance on the Xbox Series X, only affirming that "of the two, I would definitely go with an Xbox." But this does make a fair bit of sense given Valve and Newell's focus on PC gaming. Of the two, Microsoft's approach to the next console generation is definitely much more PC-like. Where Sony is pushing for a clear next-gen divide and emphasizing the advancements it will bring, Xbox has gone out of its way to connect multiple generations using backwards compatibility as well as services like Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery.
Our own Josh West was on board with the future-facing vision Microsoft showed at the latest Xbox Games Showcase.