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Gabe Newell: Apple biggest threat in the living room

updated 10:53 pm EST, Wed January 30, 2013

Steam founder fears Apple-curated living room gaming environment

Steam founder and game developer Gabe Newell gave a speech at the University of Texas on Wednesday where the luminary claimed that Apple -- not Microsoft or Sony -- were the biggest threat to the company's upcoming "Steam Box" PC-based hardware. Newell believes that if Apple makes a move on the living room before the PC industry gets a foothold, then the Cupertino manufacturer can "shut out the open-source creativity" possible with the Steam platform.

"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," Newell said. "I think that there's a scenario where we see sort of a dumbed down living room platform emerging."

In regards to Microsoft and Sony, Newell claimed that "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?"

The Apple TV and its OS are derivatives of the iPhone and iPad operating system, but limited in what it can execute. Hardware on the Apple TV is more limited that existing mobile offerings, and is a single-core A5 processor. A future update to the Apple TV could contain more similar hardware to the iPad or iPhone, possibly making it a viable option for the living room, when coupled with some kind of wireless controller.

Extant hacks for the device add the potential for savvy users to install additional apps on the Apple TV. Media front-end replacements are most common, but apps that can be installed include emulators for popular consoles from the nineties, as well as a arcade hardware emulator and even the ability to run some iOS games and other apps not originally intended for the platform.

by MacNN Staff




  1. lpkmckenna

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 07-04-04

    I love Valve, I love their games, I love Steam.

    But listening to Newell talk about "open-source creativity" when he and his company got on board with that virtually yesterday is pretty ridiculous. Gabe, you're not RMS, so don't pontificate like him.

    Besides, I think his assertion that Apple could easily "roll the console guys" to be complete nonsense. For one thing, consoles are sold below cost in the hope of earning money on games themselves; Apple has never made products that way. That's pretty much the entire reason Apple is so slow to move into the living room: loss-leaders and Apple don't mix.

    Is anyone gonna be interested in buying an Apple console at full cost which is limited to iOS-type games? Because I don't see AAA developers being interested in yet another console. Apple can't even get them on the Mac.

  1. DaJoNel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-14-10


    That's a creepy stare.

  1. blahblahbber


    Joined: 02-01-05

    I think nintendo could have told steam that... years ago.

    Also, when the money structure shows to flow healthily to devs, they will perk up a bit.

  1. lpkmckenna

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 07-04-04

    BTW, the OP didn't link to the correct story: Gabe Newell: Apple biggest threat in the living room

  1. thewebdrives


    Joined: 06-28-07

    Movie Star?

    Is this a guy a movie star?

  1. thewebdrives


    Joined: 06-28-07


    may be a televesion actor?

  1. Eriamjh

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 10-20-01

    Gabe Newell...

    ...hasn't met a food he can't eat.

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