Valve are interested in developing for the Wii U

Some exciting news regarding 3rd party development for Nintendo’s next home console. At the Games For Change festival in New York, Valve have stated that they are interested in developing for the Wii U.

At the conference, Gabe Newell explained that the Wii U looks to be more powerful that the others consoles currently available and that the company is interested in releasing games on a Nintendo console for the first time. He even went as far as to say, “We’ve always loved Nintendo”. Although starting with PC-only games, Valve has pushed into the home console market as well but so far hasn’t released a game on a Nintendo system.

Before we get to ahead of ourselves, it’s important to remember that in 2008 Doug Lombardi (Marketing Director for Valve) also said that they would love to work on the Wii. Discussing the idea of developing on the original Wii, he said “it’s growing, there’s already a huge user-base, and it’s fun”. Their famous Source engine is very scalable and it was thought that the Wii would be able to handle the games, but in the end the decision was made to leave Nintendo out of their console plans due to the ageing hardware. For the Wii U, this shouldn’t be a problem, as it appears to be more powerful than the PS3 (current most powerful console) and will hopefully be more than capable of handling whatever Valve throws at it. The company is also known for innovation so it is exciting to think about what they can do with the new controller.

For anyone who isn’t aware, Valve is highly regarded as one of the greatest developers around. They revolutionised first person shooters with the original Half-Life, which won 50 PC game of the year awards and have since sold 8 million copies. Its sequel, Half-Life 2, is often sitting alongside The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time when critics draw up lists for the greatest game of all-time. Its physics, story, graphics and AI were years ahead of its time. To give some comparison, both games have been awarded countless 100% (10/10) review scores. Metacritic, a site that collates reviews and combines scores, lists the N64 classic as 99 out of 100 (making it the highest rated game of all-time), and Half-Life 2 at 96 out of 100. Half-Life 2 won many game of the year awards (and even several game of the decade awards), and sold 12 million copies. Most recently, Valve have received critical acclaim for their sequel to the extremely popular physics/puzzle game Portal.

Some of the best news at E3 was the list of excellent developers that will be supporting Nintendo’s next home console. We will hopefully be able to add Valve to that list. Nintendo has some of the best exclusive games in the world, and it has been a great few years to be a Wii gamer, but Nintendo fans have still missed out on some masterpieces that were released on other systems. When the Wii U releases, Nintendo gamers should get the best of both worlds: original Nintendo franchises, and other games from the best developers in the world. Valve would certainly be a most welcome addition.

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