Apple Could Be Making a Move for Gaming, Not Just TV, Says Valve

Gabe Newell is concerned Apple will put the kibosh on the company’s Steam Box

By on January 31st, 2013 12:25 GMT

Valve’s Linux-based Steam Box, an entertainment system that hopes to revolutionize console gaming, needs to roll out before Apple takes over the living-room, according to Gabe Newell.

While many analysts share Newell’s conviction that Apple will make its presence felt in the living room relatively soon, few people actually make the correlation to gaming.

The technology industry is waiting to see a full-fledged HDTV with an Apple logo slapped on it, but Valve has reasons to believe Apple will also make a move for gaming.

After all, the company does have an App Store teaming with apps and games, some of which rival even console titles in terms of graphics.

“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 in a talk at the University of Texas.

When he mentioned Apple’s “platform,” the head of Valve was obviously referring to the Apple TV.

“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,” he said.

The Valve boss added, “I think the biggest challenge is that Apple moves on the living room before the PC industry sort of gets its act together.”

Apple currently sells a $99/€99 set-top box marketed as “Apple TV” which basically offers video-on-demand. The box routes Internet video, not live television.

Apple has tried to ink deals with the cable companies to roll out a television, but such discussions have always failed, analysts say. Which is why it continues to sell the puck-sized box until there’s an opportunity to disrupt the current business model in the TV industry.

However, who’s to say Apple won’t develop a wireless controller for the existing Apple TV hardware to turn it into a gaming console? All the company needs to do is just flip the switch on the App Store for Apple TV.

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