Gabe Newell is a wonderful human being. I’ve never met him, so I can’t back that statement up with any sort of concrete anecdotal evidence, but I can just feel in my heart that he’s one of the good ones. Whenever I see him I get a warm fuzzy feeling inside, he makes me feel important and special, like the kid in the Werther’s Original advert.
He’s one of the few people that can do something clearly designed to make him sack loads of cash or market a product, and make it endearing. Take his appearance at the Unity Vision Summit, for example. During the VR/AR summit, the avuncular games entrepreneur appeared on a giant screen in front hundreds of gathered developers and announced Steam VR support will be included in the Unity game development engine for no extra cost. He then said Valve will release a rendering plugin that’ll improve “both visual fidelity as well the performance.”
Then, in his third announcement, he transformed into a beautiful video game Santa. His beard seemed to become extra luminescent, in that moment, as if the sun’s rays were spreading across a blanket of pure white snow.
“And our third announcement, I get to have my Oprah moment, all the developers at the Vision Summit get their own Vive. You get a Vive. You get a Vive. [Crowd bursts into applause and cheering] You get a Vive. And you get a Vive. I’m very excited to see what you guys come up with and I hope you enjoy it.”
Watch it happen in the video above.
Valve co-developed the Vive headset in collaboration with HTC, and pre-orders for the device will open on February 29. On January 5, HTC revealed the second-gen dev kit for the device. Called the Vive Pre, the redesigned headset features a front-facing camera that also functions as a peephole, allowing users to see what’s ahead of them.
I’ll probably get one, if only to be closer to Gabe.