Gabe Newell Says Apple is Steam Box's Biggest Problem
January 31, 2013 6:58 PM
comment(s) - last by
Steam Box has to beat Apple into the living room
Gabe Newell said that Apple may be
the main problem
with getting the Steam Box into living rooms.
Newell, Valve's co-founder, told a class at the University of Texas' LBJ School of Public Affairs that Apple could be a threat to his company's upcoming Steam Box if it gets to the living room first.
Steam Box is Valve-developed hardware that aims to broaden the reach of Steam, which is Valve's digital distribution and multiplayer/communications platform. Right now, Steam delivers a variety of games to a user's desktop computer, but Steam Box will bring these games to the living room -- such as on a TV with Big Picture mode.
Not much else has been disclosed about Steam Box, other than the fact that it's Linux-based and will be an open system (Newell even said that it'd be possible to install Windows onto the Steam Box). While no release date is in sight, Newell worries that Apple may launch a similar platform for the living room -- thus beating Valve to the punch.
"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 — 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?"
While Valve is looking to offer the best hardware for the best possible price point, Newell worries that Apple may make a move first and offer a closed platform that will lack the user-generated content that Valve (through Steam Box) would offer.
"The biggest challenge, I don't think is from the consoles," Newell said. "I think the biggest challenge is that Apple moves on the living room before the PC industry sort of gets its act together."
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RE: Very strange outlook
1/31/2013 11:01:49 PM
I used to hate Steam, before I realized how great it was, and now have around 200 games on it. It really is a great service.
Give the average console player Steam on a $200-$300 box, with regular sales on software, and the Workshop... MS and Sony's days are numbered.
If Steam can 'get into the living room', and show console gamers that $20 will buy any AAA title on sale, along with numerous $1.25 indie games that would cost $20 at least on consoles... we gotta give console players the benefit of the doubt and believe they will latch onto a Steam box with gusto.
RE: Very strange outlook
1/31/2013 11:41:29 PM
Nope, it won't even be close. The hardware will be a joke compared to the next gen xbox and ps4. It's a PC, and thus it is not optimized to take full advantage of the hardware unless valve managed to make their own OS and graphics library and rewrote every game to take advantage of it. Otherwise it'll be almost as expensive to upgrade as a PC, or will produce subpar graphics compared to a console. Not to mention, if it requires a controller to play games you lose a lot of the experience available on most steam games.
RE: Very strange outlook
2/1/2013 12:10:46 PM
Not only it's a PC, it's a Linux-based PC. Which means, OpenGL and no DirectX support. Since 90% of Steam AAA titles are DirectX games, I wonder what the selection would look like and if developers would be willing to optimize their games for OpenGL.
"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken
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