Gabe Newell, the co-founder of gaming company Valve, has revealed that he views Apple, rather than traditional gaming consoles, as the biggest competitive threat to the Steam Box and other PC-based entertainment solutions looking to enter the living room, according to Polygon.
Newell made the remarks during a lecture at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. He noted that Apple comes as a threat because it has a “huge amount of market share” and a “relatively obvious pathway” to taking over the living room.
“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 asked.
He pointed to projects like Miracast, which is baked into Android 4.2 Jelly Bean devices like the Nexus 4, and Nvidia’s Project Shield, which includes support for Valve’s Steam Big Picture mode, as evidence of the increased interest in providing solutions for connecting the living room.
Of course, the Steam Box is also one such challenger. Valve has confirmed it is planning a Linux machine that it will distribute on its own.
“Let’s build a thing that’s quiet and focuses on high performance and quiet and appropriate form factors,” Newell told The Verge earlier this month.
A full-fledged assault from Apple into the living room has yet to materialize, though it has been rumored for years. The company has slowly gained traction with its Apple TV set-top box, selling a record 2 million last quarter, and the iPad is frequently used as a second-screen device while customers are watching TV.
When asked about Apple’s efforts in the television market during the company’s latest quarterly earnings call, CEO Tim Cook said that it continues to be an “area of intense interest” without providing any specifics. Apple is planning a quiet refresh of the Apple TV, but that entails a change in internal components without any noticeable difference for users.
The race for the living room is on. From the looks of it, we’ll soon have plenty of options to choose from.
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