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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.