Forget about Playstation or Xbox, Valve Cofounder Fears Apple TV
Those who keep an ear to the ground for gaming news have probably heard the early rumbling of a Playstation 4 or Xbox 720. Mobile gaming on iOS and Android has come a long way in the last few years, but there’s still no doubt that these next-gen consoles will be a huge deal… So, why is the CEO of Valve (a company on its way into your living room with something called Steam Box) more worried about Apple than he is about the likes of Sony or Microsoft? It’s actually pretty obvious when you look at where things have been headed, and here’s Gabe Newell (of Valve) with his take:
“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. 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?”
Okay, so how will Apple “roll the console guys”? As Cody Lee of idownloadblog.com puts it, they are just “a software update away from turning it [Apple TV] into a video game console.” And if you have any doubt whether such a console could gain traction, consider the number of iOS devices sitting around that would be perfectly suited as accelerometer-equipped, Wii-like controllers. It’s not a stretch of the imagination to see Apple becoming competitive in an instant.
Just like that, Newell’s respect and fear of Apple’s current position is explained and justified. The remaining questions are many, and prime among them—how will Steam Box make its case against such a competitor? And how quickly will Apple act to take over the living room?