Gabe Newell says Apple is the biggest threat in the living room

By on January 31, 2013, 12:00 PM

During a recent lecture at the University of Texas’ LBJ School of Public Affairs, Valve co-founder Gabe Newell said the biggest threat to the Steam Box or any PC ecosystem hoping to become a force in the living room isn’t from consoles, it’s from Apple. The question he posed is whether or not Valve can make enough headway in the space to establish themselves before Apple takes over the market.

Newell pointed out to those in attendance that Apple has gained a huge market share and in his opinion, they have a relatively obvious pathway towards entering the living room with their platform. He believes there is a scenario where Cupertino could unveil a dumbed down living room platform that “rolls the console guys really easily.”

The scenario Newell described sounds an awful lot like the Apple television set that we have been hearing about for years. If that platform is as much of a game changer as rumors suggest, there’s very little reason why it couldn’t spell doom for traditional consoles as well.

Just look at the Android-based Ouya platform and Project Shield from Nvidia – there clearly appears to be a market for mobile gaming on the big screen. The only unknown at this point is who will figure out the magic formula for success first.

Newell went on to proclaim that it’ll be one of those things where beforehand, everyone sort of denied that it was possible but afterwards, it will seem like it was very simple.




User Comments: 11

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treeski treeski said:

Maybe, maybe not. We have no idea what the next generation of consoles from MS and Sony will look like (aside from specs). It's pretty clear though that, at least with the Xbox, there will be a huge push to be a one-stop-shop for living room entertainment.

FF222 said:

This dude is simply paranoid and afraid of ANY competition he/they might get from ANY company. Let it be Microsoft, Apple or whatever - they're all evil for him, because they want to enter a marketplace where he's currently the king and monopolist.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Maybe, maybe not. We have no idea what the next generation of consoles from MS and Sony will look like (aside from specs). It's pretty clear though that, at least with the Xbox, there will be a huge push to be a one-stop-shop for living room entertainment.

True... even with the first xbox you were able to stream music from your PC. The next one may be a fully working HTPC. Sony already included an excellent blu-ray in the PS3 so you could ditch a separate DVD player.

'There's little reason why an Apple TV couldn't spell doom for traditional consoles?' That sounds like quite the exaggeration. The only thing that could spell doom for consoles would be if the whole industry faded. In favor of small mobile gaming, or PC gaming or something like that. neither of which I see happening. If Apple is going to get into that market, then good luck to them, it's a tough one as Wi-U puny sales are showing us.

1 person liked this | Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Apple will try accomplish this by using their usual scaremongering and bullying tactics. Whether they'll succeed remains to be seen but there's no way on God's green earth that you'll ever see an Apple TV in my living room. I'd rather play tiddlywinks.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Is anyone developing big titles for Apple at the moment?

Apple TV will have the store to deliver games, but is Apple brave enough to approve all the kinds of titles that gamers will want to play?

Microsoft and Sony already beat them to delivering games from the cloud. And Steam has a solid foundation on the PC market. It remains to be seen if iTunes can penetrate those markets with an Apple TV device. I just feel that without the partnership from developers and their exclusive top titles, "Angry Birds"-like games will not make the living-room worthy choices that sells an Apple TV.

Mariusz Mariusz said:

Does any real gamer actually fall for all those crappy apps? I never play any phone games unless im waiting in line or using the bathroom. I doubt an apple tv will have games with good graphics like my pc. Its like taking a step backwards. Sure the apple fans will revere it but I aint fallin for that sh!t.

1 person liked this | SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

If Apple is going to get into that market, then good luck to them, it's a tough one as Wi-U puny sales are showing us.

Apple made a gaming console once. Most people don't know that, so obviously it did not do well I doubt Apple is putting much focus on gaming on your TV. I think they probably see that there is potential for mobile games to become more suited for television display, but that is a developer issue. Doubt Apple wants to jump into an established console gaming market. Maybe I'm wrong though..

TypeR181 TypeR181 said:

I for one love Steam, my games list is huge and now with big picture I can enjoy them on hdtv. Apple is loathsome to many people I know and offers limited gaming options that are weak/boring! bring on sheild / piston thats so much more interesting to true tech people. not generic dumbed down crapple stuff. Peace

1 person liked this | shamus087 said:

I don't see Consoles going anywhere anytime soon. Same as I don't see anything spelling the Doom of the PC. It's stupid. Didn't CoD set all kinds of media sales records? People that play FPS want a mouse/keyboard/controller not some puny touch screen.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Apple made a gaming console once. Most people don't know that, so obviously it did not do well I doubt Apple is putting much focus on gaming on your TV. I think they probably see that there is potential for mobile games to become more suited for television display, but that is a developer issue. Doubt Apple wants to jump into an established console gaming market. Maybe I'm wrong though..

I vaguely remember that console, if you hadn't reminded me I would've completely forgotten. Who the hell knows what Apple intends doing in the future apart from trying to take over the world & suing anyone who opposes them

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I don't see Apple as a major threat here. It's true that the PC has a small window of opportunity now, but it's mainly because of the next gen consoles. Even low end PC's have better hardware than the current consoles, but when the next gen arrives you will most likely be able to buy a console for about the price its graphics card fetches in the PC market.

I also agree that streaming games will be part of the future of gaming. But even if you do want to stream PC games to the living room, a PC in the living room won't make sense. Use something like a GameStick to receive the wireless PC display, and you get a cheap console that takes no space, or use a Shield and be able to play both mobile and on the TV. Or use (shock, horror) an Apple TV and stream PC games to it. But why have a powerful PC then another weak PC near the TV?

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