Valve co-founder Gabe Newell has revealed that he sees Apple TV as more of a threat to the Steam Box than consoles like the Xbox or PlayStation. The Cupertino company has an “obvious pathway” into the living room with its platform, Newell told students at the University of Texas — and competitors must try to establish themselves before Apple does something about it.
Newell’s right — Apple could instantly explode its living room presence and increase demand in the Apple TV by adding app support. Can you imagine running your favorite iOS apps and games on your 50-inch television? The thing is, the company is yet to make that move — possibly because it will come with Apple’s much-anticipated television set, whenever that will happen.
But even so, competitors like Valve already recognize that threat.
“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,” said Newell.
“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?”
Valve announced its Steam Box at CES in Las Vegas earlier this month. The Linux-powered device allows gamers to play Steam titles and other media on their TV just like they would a traditional games console. However, Newell doesn’t see traditional consoles as its biggest threat.
“The biggest challenge, I don’t think is from the consoles,” added Newell. “I think the biggest challenge is that Apple moves on the living room before the PC industry sort of gets its act together.”
It’s interesting to see that Apple’s future plans are sparking fear in its competitors long before they actually materialize. Apple may never bring apps to Apple TV, and it may ditch plans to launch its own set if it cannot reach the necessary deals with cable companies.
But its recent successes, particularly with iOS devices and the App Store, has others worried that it will soon go on to dominate other markets.