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Gabe Newell  (Source: neoseeker.com)
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."

Source: Polygon



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RE: Very strange outlook
By nafhan on 2/1/2013 1:04:13 PM , Rating: 2
"How great" hardware is depends 100% on what it will be used for, and based on that, I'm guessing "next-gen" consoles will be similar to what you could do with a good midrange gaming PC (i.e. the ballpark of a Core i3/5/A8 + 7850/660 + 4GB of RAM).

Part of my reason for believing that is they'll very likely be optimized for 1080p with the ability to upscale - meaning anything significantly more powerful than the above GPU's would be unnecessary. Also, the above config should be doable in <100 watts, today.

Anyway, and we'll probably find out if I'm right in a few week (mysterious Sony announcement at the end of Feb.).


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