Gabe Newell, the leader of developer Valve, believes that Apple is the biggest potential threat to the coming Steam Box, because the company has a big market share and knows how to create devices that can dominate the living room.
During a lecture given a the School of Public Affair at the University of Texas, the executive is quoted by Polygon as saying: “I think that there's a scenario where we see sort of a dumbing 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?”
Rumors about an Apple-powered television set or set-top box have appeared for a few years now, but the company has always denied any intention to move to that market, expressing a desire to continue innovating using its current line of products.
Newell has also made a prediction for the next 12 months in the gaming industry, adding, “There are going to be a huge set of products that say, 'If you want something that's incredibly cheap, at a price point well below anything that consoles will be able to reach, you're going to take advantage of the PC that's running somewhere in your house’.”
Valve has already confirmed that it has long-term plans for Steam-powered hardware, but no concrete plans have yet been announced, apart from a partnership with Xi3.
At the moment, both Sony and Nintendo are expected to announce their next-generation consoles before E3 2013 and launch them during the fall.
In order for Steam Box to be competitive, the Valve-made hardware will have to be better than that of Orbis and Durango and easier to use by players.