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Valve says Vista hurts

Thursday 18 January 2007
Microsoft's new Windows operating system, Windows Vista, won't immediately be the comfortable home for PC gaming that Microsoft is promising, Valve Software co-founder Gabe Newell has hinted.

The Half-Life developer is currently "focused on how painful Vista is for [its] customers," Newell told Edge magazine. He explains that SLI (Scalable Link Interface), an nVidia-developed design for linking more than one video card into a single output, "is not [currently] supported" and existing DirectX 10 hardware "doesn't have drivers for it yet".

DX10 and SLI technology are some of the fundamental advances in recent gaming hardware - Crysis' sublime visuals and eye-popping physics are only fully realised in DX10, while SLI's ability to run multiple video cards in parallel means your PC won't crumble under the stress of displaying insanely complex graphics and effects.

Newell is positive about Vista's future, though: "It seems that in some ways Vista is very much a work in progress," he says. But he's disappointed with Vista's current form, explaining that "it really puts a drag on Microsoft's attempts to position Vista as a great gaming platform when there are so many nuts-and-bolts issues that it fails on in comparison to XP".

Elsewhere, Edge quizzes Newell on Valve's episodic plans, asking if the episode-style development could be a model Valve would choose as its basic approach to future titles, should the Half-Life 2 trilogy prove successful. Newell concisely replied: "Yep".

For the full interview, including Newell's view on the future of Steam, Valve's position as developer, publisher and tool-builder, and the potential of PC gaming as a whole, pick up the February 2007 issue of Edge magazine, in shops from today.