Valve CEO: Apple’s a bigger threat to Steam Box than consoles

By , Jan 31, 2013

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Valve may be taking on traditional video game consoles with its upcoming Steam Box, but CEO Gabe Newell says that Apple is the company’s biggest threat to its success in the entertainment space.

Newell gave a lecture to a class at the University of Texas’ LBJ School of Public Affairs this week, and he had some interesting things to say about Apple and the mounting war for the living room…

Polygon (via The Verge) reports:

“The threat right now is that Apple has gained a huge amount of market share, and has a relatively obvious pathway towards entering the living room with their platform,” Newell said. “I think that there’s a scenario where we see sort of a dumbed down living room platform emerging — I think Apple rolls the console guys really easily. The question is can we make enough progress in the PC space to establish ourselves there, and also figure out better ways of addressing mobile before Apple takes over the living room?”

Newell makes a good point here. Apple is definitely putting all of the right pieces in place. Its Apple TV is thriving, and the company is only a software update away from turning it into a video game console.

Think about that for a second. With a single update, Apple could install an App Store on millions of set-top boxes that would open them up to tens of thousands of games. And its iOS devices, with their built-in accelerometers, would make for perfect Wii-like controllers.

As for Valve’s Steam Box, few concrete details are known about the project. It’s believed to be Linux-based, featuring Steam’s ‘Big Picture’ mode, and there’s been talk of it using Biometric tech in its controllers.

Now, mix in the fact that both of the big video game players—Microsoft and Sony—are also expected to drop new consoles within the next year, and you have the makings for a very interesting 2013.

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  • Muhammad

    Maybe Gabe should get over his fear of 3 and release half life 3 and portal 3

  • http://twitter.com/mcurrie Matt Currie

    Using an iPhone or iPad as a controller could be interesting but if they are serious about entering that space then they really need to release a dedicated controller with physical buttons/joysticks etc.

  • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

    I like his vision, because it’s very accurate. Even Apple never thought that the iPhone and iPod Touch would be such an amazing devices to play games.

    Can we compare them with the Nintendo and Sony? Off course not, neither with the PS3 and XBOX360, because, off course, they’re much better, but, talking about entertainment and cheap games, with a lot of fun in the middle a thing that matters for a huge percentage of gamers, Apple did a great job and I believe even better than Nintendo in the last years, so a AppleTV capable to play games will be great for sure, and not only a big threat for Valve box, but for Nintendo either. Even the Nintendo Wii U is very dissapointing because they could make a HUGE PROGRESS against the PS3 and XBOX but they didn’t. This year, the Nintendo Wii U will be obsolete against the PS4 and XBOX720 (if we can call them by this names).

    So, PC aside, PlayStation and Xbox for more “pro gamers” and AppleTV for a average gamer. PlayStation and Xbox will be always another “league”…at least for many years, I think. They are good and I can’t predict any fall in both cases.

  • GuyBey0ndC00L

    If Apple ever made a official Physical controller. Consoles & PC could definitely be in trouble. iPhone & iPad connect to your HDTV through Apple TV & an HDMI adapter connected right to your iDevice. That’s not the great part. The great part is most games in the App Store cost less than you pay at StarBucks and games have FREE updates or paid unlockables. Thats still cheaper than Microsoft & PS3 Microsoft charges 40,000 per update. The Graphics are only getting better, but personally I choose low game prices over Graphics any day . Best part is you buy one game on one iDevice you get them on all your iDevices. So yes Gabe Newell has every right to be scared I would be scared too.

  • Falk M.

    Right now it rather seems like Apple is unwilling to tap that potential and I can’t wrap my head around why they are so reluctant. It’s just unbelievable.

    Similar to how weird it is that there isn’t an iWatch… Gosh… ALL THAT POTENTIAL FFS…