Valve co-founder and software engineer Gabe Newell, who is taking a shot at creating a new era of open-source gaming with the Steam Box project, sees the Apple TV as a bigger threat than either Sony or Microsoft.
In a talk at the University of Texas covered by Polygon, Newell said Apple’s growing presence in the living room has become a danger to the Steam Box, Valve’s upcoming Linux-based gaming platform that will offer user-generated content at affordable prices.
Newell says the market is about to change, moving toward cheaper hardware that integrates with a user’s PC.
“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.”
The Apple TV does not currently offer official support for gaming app and lacks the hardware, like a faster processor and gaming controllers, to run gaming software properly. However, an updated version of the little black box could change all that.
“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,” Newell said. “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?”