Valve's Gabe Newell Warns That Game Consoles Should Fear Apple
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?”
A game console would answer some of the content questions now dogging Apple TV – if it’s not sold primarily as a set-top box, then it removes some of the onus for the company to completely reform the cable industry. Instead, we could find ourselves with, basically, a souped-up iPad that can run games and other apps through the living room TV. Plug a controller in there and you’ve got yourselves a console.
Apple’s move into the living room is inevitable at this point – especially now, with the world looking to Tim Cook to prove he can launch a truly new product like Steve Jobs could. As Newell says, the real question now is timing – can any of these other companies successfully establish themselves as the go-to mainstream living room OS before Apple makes its move? It’s anybody’s game.
"For years I’ve made the argument that Apple‘s iOS platform is just a wireless gamepad and HDTV-hookup away from squaring off against Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo in the living room. Take the iPhone 5 with its 1.3 GHz A6 processor and triple-core PowerVR SGX 543MP3 GPU, outputting console-quality visuals to a virtually 720p screen. No one’s run meaningful comparison benchmarks between the iPhone 5 and, say, the Xbox 360, but we’ve seen actual game developers suggest that the iPhone 5 is on par, performance-wise, with Microsoft’s seven-year-old console (to say nothing of the tricked-out A6X processor in the fourth-generation iPad, which probably surpasses it).