Valve Software, famous for its Half-Life and Team Fortress first person shooter franchises, announced this week that it is actively pursuing a project that will be designed for Nintendo’s hit new console, the Wii.

Said Mike Newell, chairman of Valve:
“I think we’ll bring [console projects] in house more for licensees issues than our own,” he said. “Just for our own priorities, that puts the Wii at a much higher priority. … I think the Wii represents more of a challenge because of its input. … You can’t think of it as graphics, CPU, texture bandwidth scaling, you have to think of it as more fundamentally, and I think it’s more valuable. I think it’s more interesting than just graphics chip-CPU combination. It’s the machine I have at home.”

Not only is that a huge potential boost for the already highly touted system in terms of game development, that should be an indication of just how good the Wii is. I mean, it’s the preferred console of choice for a video game developer. He sees the Wii not just for what it is, but where he thinks it can go.

The downside is, don’t look for anything on the Wii from Valve anytime soon.

I wonder if Micro$oft and $ony are listening. I know $ony is, for its console is lagging in sales and interest behind the Wii and the 360 in every nation other than its native Japan. And the 360 better think twice before it just rests on the Halo 3 laurels. They’ll need to innovate, and innovate quick.

My hunch is they both are.

Cheers to the Wii!