PlayStation 3 development seen as "a waste of everybody's time," says Half-Life 2 developer

The Orange Box released earlier this week, giving PC faithful and Xbox 360 gamers the best effort from Valve Software yet. Those who own only PlayStation 3s, however, will have to sit by the sidelines to watch other games rave over the innovations introduced in Portal, the fun of Team Fortress 2 and the sheer brilliance of Episode 2.

If Valve Software could have had its way, the PlayStation 3 version of The Orange Box would be on stores shelves right now – but the version of the game for Sony’s console is actually in the hands the title’s publisher, Electronic Arts.

While Valve Software handled the development and porting of The Orange Box to the Xbox 360, the games developer specifically chose not to handle the PlayStation 3 version.

When Gabe Newell, one of Valve’s founders, was asked by Edge magazine whether or not he still had any issue with the PlayStation 3’s design architecture, he replied, “Absolutely. I think [PS3 is] a waste of everybody’s time. Investing in the Cell, investing in the SPE gives you no long-term benefits. There’s nothing there that you’re going to apply to anything else. You’re not going to gain anything except a hatred of the architecture they’ve created. I don’t think they’re going to make money off their box. I don’t think it’s a good solution.”

Newell also pointed out that porting the PC game to the Xbox 360 wasn’t an effortless experience either, but that Microsoft’s system was far more receptive to the developer’s technologies. “We’ve learned that you can create a framework where all you need to do is recompile for each of those three platforms. You know, that’s a sort of abstraction of our goal. With The Orange Box we could do that, so getting Left 4 Dead up on the 360 was like a day’s worth of work. It requires a big technology investment to be able to do that. I was pretty skeptical that we would; I thought there was going to be more work than that.”

Although the PlayStation 3 version of The Orange Box won’t be handled by Valve, the developer likely would prefer to port all versions of its game in-house. “I think in the longer term we’ll have the PS3 as well, but, to be honest, the biggest hole for us right now is the Wii,” Newell added.

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