Is Apple the biggest threat to Valve's Steam Box?

Posted by Shane McGlaun

You might think a company looking to bring its video game console to market would be most concerned with competing systems.

However, Valve's Gabe Newell believes the biggest threat to the upcoming Steam Box is none other than Apple itself.

"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 recently told Polygon.

"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?"

Indeed, analysts have long-expected Cupertino to step into the living room with its very own Apple HDTV. When exactly this TV will show up depends on who you ask, but it is highly likely the device will be powered by iOS, with the ability to support games and other apps  on Apple's expansive App Store.

According to Newell, companies that want to move into the living room need to focus on factors like larger hard drive space, customizable form factors and the ability to utilize hardware the mainstream masses are already familiar with.

"I think a whole bunch of hardware companies are going to be releasing products in the next 12 months - you'll hear it referred to as Miracast, [Project] Shield from Nvidia, or lots of other people," he said.

"There are going to be a huge set of products that say, 'If you want something that's incredibly cheap, at a price point well below anything that consoles will be able to reach, you're going to take advantage of the PC that's running somewhere in your house.' It's like one of those things where afterwards it will seem like it was very simple, when beforehand, everyone sort of denied that it was possible."

Valve's Steam Box can best be described as a Linux-based gaming platform for the living room which is powered by the company's Big Picture technology.