According to Gabe Newell, the greatest threat to their upcoming Steam Box is not the current gaming consoles but Apple.
One would think that Valve would find corporate giants like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo as stiff competition for their home device. Newell though is pretty adamant that Apple poses a far greater threat with their current market capture.
Speaking at a lecture at the University of Texas’ LBJ School of Public Affairs Newell said:
The biggest challenge, I don’t think is from the consoles. I think the biggest challenge is that Apple moves on the living room before the PC industry sort of gets its act together.
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?
Newell added that a lot of hardware companies are going to start offering lounge gaming solution this year. It will all come down to who has delivered their idea better.
I think a whole bunch of hardware companies are going to be releasing products in the next 12 months — you’ll hear it referred to as Miracast, [Project] Shield from Nvidia, or lots of other people. 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.’
It’s like one of those things where afterwards it will seem like it was very simple, when beforehand, everyone sort of denied that it was possible.
All that said, one question still remains and that is why Valve is striking out existing consoles from their list? Gabe replied:
We’re happy to do it if nobody else will do it, mainly because everybody else will pile on, and people will have a lot of choices, but they’ll have those characteristics. They’ll say, ‘Well, I could buy a console, which assumes I’ll re-buy all my content, have a completely different video system, and, oh, I have a completely different group of friends, apparently. Or I can just extend everything I love about the PC and the internet into the living room.’