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Gabe Newell: Apple will redefine games consoles

Gabe Newell: Apple will redefine games consoles

Valve founder Gabe Newell reckons Apple will move to redefine the games console market.

Valve founder Gabe Newell believes Apple may be preparing to redefine the games console market with a future launch, he has told The Seattle Times.

'I suspect Apple will launch a living-room product that redefines people's expectations really strongly and the notion of a separate console platform will disappear,' said Newell.

However, Newell admitted that he wasn't hiding any insider information and did not know if there really was such a product in Apple's pipeline.

Newell then moved on to discuss the problems of closed platforms and, according to The Seattle Times, said that if Valve were to ever release a a hardware platform itself then it would be designed as open to competing services.

'I'm worried that the things that traditionally have been the source of a lot of innovation are going,' said Newell.

'There's going to be an attempt to close those off so somebody will say, 'I'm tired of competing with Google, I'm tired of competing with Facebook, I'll apply a console model and exclude the competitors I don't like from my world.''

Again though, Newell was only discussing the Valve console hypothetically and was not announcing anything in particular.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

42 Comments

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Burhoom 12th October 2011, 11:12 Quote
An open platform?

Isn't that called a PC...
Phalanx 12th October 2011, 11:14 Quote
Gabe, shut up and make Ep3 or HL3. Until then, your words are worthless.
runadumb 12th October 2011, 11:14 Quote
I think he's right. I really wish valve would double down and get steam on a phone os as well. Preferably Android. Using steam cloud for saves would mean I could jump between platforms easily for certain types of games. The xperia play (hopefully series) should make even more games playable on a phone.
M_D_K 12th October 2011, 11:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burhoom
An open platform?

Isn't that called a PC...

I wouldn't class a PC as an open platform because they are all different, more like and xbox for instance without microsfot attached it would a be a platform that anyone can program games for without having to worry about hardware conflicts etc...
Jack_Pepsi 12th October 2011, 11:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phalanx
Gabe, shut up and make Ep3 or HL3. Until then, your words are worthless.

+1
Cadair 12th October 2011, 11:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phalanx
Gabe, shut up and make Ep3 or HL3. Until then, your words are worthless.

Well said!
thil 12th October 2011, 11:54 Quote
PIPPIN MK II!
Instagib 12th October 2011, 11:58 Quote
He doesn't actually say it will be a console, just applying the console model So It could be a closed system that allows multiple functions such as video playback, some gaming, some web browsing etc...

Sounds like an iPad to me.
loftie 12th October 2011, 12:11 Quote
I'd rather Apple sort the sh*t out they already have before making a console. Trying to watch the Avengers trailer on Apple's website was like sticking pins in my eyes, before I found it on Youtube. Seriously, why is QT/safari such a pile of crap?

And as someone made reference to, the Pippin, was such a HUGE success.....
Parge 12th October 2011, 12:41 Quote
I'd say that pre jobs that might have been a possibility but post jobs they are far less likely to take risks in new markets.
fingerbob69 12th October 2011, 13:08 Quote
"Valve founder Gabe Newell reckons Apple will move to redefine the games console market."

It damn welll needs someone to do so.

M$ and Sony are quite content to continue perveying 6/7 year old tech for the next 3/4 years. That castrates game developement for the PC. And given just your average rig is already atleast 5 years ahead of consoles in terms of the capabilities of both the cpu and the gpu that is only going to get so much worse.

If it takes the marketeers of the teacher's favourite fruit to do so ...then so be it.
Nikumba 12th October 2011, 13:09 Quote
So an Apple TV3 where you use iphone/ipad as a controller?
MjFrosty 12th October 2011, 13:53 Quote
hehe, Gabe's been smoking again.

Where the hell is Hl3
Woodspoon 12th October 2011, 14:00 Quote
Apple & Open platform, isn't that an oxymoron?
wuyanxu 12th October 2011, 14:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parge
I'd say that pre jobs that might have been a possibility but post jobs they are far less likely to take risks in new markets.
my thoughts exactly. it's really a shame.

but then, who knows, Apple might be looking to make a splash with Apple TV 3.


to those who are putting Apple and Open in one sentence. read the original article more closely.
Fod 12th October 2011, 14:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by loftie
Seriously, why is QT/safari such a pile of crap?

Because QT/Safari on windows doesn't make Apple any money.

Why is everyone jumping in and saying that post-Jobs apple won't take any risks? Let's be clear on this - Apple have made NO major new announcements since Jobs' death. It's been less than a week since he died. Let's wait and see what Apple actually do before we all shout doom and gloom, eh?
javaman 12th October 2011, 14:31 Quote
Ahhh a little apple box under your tv. Oh wait that exists, its called apple tv......It worked sooo well, let's rebrand it apple iPSbox
/sarcasm
runadumb 12th October 2011, 14:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikumba
So an Apple TV3 where you use iphone/ipad as a controller?

Agreed. There's a video floating around of a car game being played on iphones and ipads that then displayed onto a tv (I can't link to the video from work). With stuff like that I think they could really hurt Nintendo in the more casual space. It would be some time (I suspect) until they could challenge Microsoft or Sony's consoles for their audience.

If they just released an official controller for the Iphone/pods I think they would seriously hurt 3DS and Vita sales. Although the Icontrolpad is gaining more supports every day so maybe they won't have to.

Android TV has the similar potential but no one markets like Apple... unfortunately.
Raijin 12th October 2011, 15:35 Quote
If an apple console runs on the Apple OS as it is now then there is no way in hell I'm using it, my ipod tends to crash at least once a day due to safari being a piece of ****.
rogerrabbits 12th October 2011, 16:56 Quote
Pretty pointless lol. Gabe believes that.... Yeah Gabe, most tech people can make wild baseless predictions for the future too, we don't need you doing it. We need you making games, as the others have said.
Roskoken 12th October 2011, 17:30 Quote
LOL

Looks like they are out of ideas. Strange though, a gaming console is something people genuinely have a need for.
dudwasup 12th October 2011, 17:32 Quote
stop writing articles while your high
derpooch 12th October 2011, 18:52 Quote
I really hope Apple do not release a games console replacement, I don't want to have to upgrade to a new model every year...
Blazza181 12th October 2011, 19:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by derpooch
I really hope Apple do not release a games console replacement, I don't want to have to upgrade to a new model every year...

"The new iGame 2, with a shiny new metal button!"
IvanIvanovich 12th October 2011, 19:08 Quote
I don't think Apple will make a console, but rather open the appstore to the Apple tv at some point.
Nexxo 12th October 2011, 19:09 Quote
It kind of makes sense --it fits Apple's long-term strategy to be the main purveyor of media delivery devices. It started with computing, then music, then video and web content, and since the iPhone and iPad, games.

If you still think it is unlikely, think back to how back in 1994 Sony, a company that until then had specialised in TVs, HiFi equipment and personal music devices (Walkman is yesteryear's iPod, it seems), and with no gaming background whatsoever, single-handedly redefined and resurrected the console industry with the PS1. Who says that Apple may not do the same?
wuyanxu 12th October 2011, 20:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by runadumb
Agreed. There's a video floating around of a car game being played on iphones and ipads that then displayed onto a tv (I can't link to the video from work). With stuff like that I think they could really hurt Nintendo in the more casual space. It would be some time (I suspect) until they could challenge Microsoft or Sony's consoles for their audience.

it's Real Racing 2. i can't wait to try it out once iOS 5 is released. who needs Wii U. Wii U Nintendo. :p

but the problem with this is that it's the game dev that has to put the time in to develop this, not Apple. but Apple gets the hardware sales. so not a lot of dev does it (in fact, only 1). unless Apple releases some real API to do this, it isn't going to happen on a big enough scale to hurt gaming consoles.
javaman 12th October 2011, 22:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
It kind of makes sense --it fits Apple's long-term strategy to be the main purveyor of media delivery devices. It started with computing, then music, then video and web content, and since the iPhone and iPad, games.

If you still think it is unlikely, think back to how back in 1994 Sony, a company that until then had specialised in TVs, HiFi equipment and personal music devices (Walkman is yesteryear's iPod, it seems), and with no gaming background whatsoever, single-handedly redefined and resurrected the console industry with the PS1. Who says that Apple may not do the same?

Last time I looked the reports of the console market's death where greatly exaggerated! Isn't the wii trying to reinvent the market anyway. On thing I would welcome is an itunes style download for console games. It would be totally revolutionary and never seen before until apple does it.

In all seriousness itunes would be pretty strong delivery service so many people have it and with all your media already on it, it covers the whole media centre/console that seems the direction of consoles. It does make sense to why Apple have been pushing and standing by Apple TV for so long. Out of interest, why did apple TV fail since it seems fairly strong?

Gabe needs to get back to half life 3 or porting steam to linux and android.
confusis 12th October 2011, 23:15 Quote
Wheres our linux steam and linux source engine?? its the last thing that's holding me on winblows!
Ergath 13th October 2011, 08:18 Quote
This kind of makes sense: consoles are basically walled gardens after all. At a guess, an apple console would be like a really expensive wii, but with itunes.
I saw the articles on the Gadget Show where they featured the ipad as a steering wheel thing and I nearly wet myself. Mmm, I'll use my 400 quid tablet as a clumsy controller to play this last-gen racing game - all it needs is another expensive idevice plugged into my telly.... magical! Needless to say the muppet reviewing it thought it was a great idea.
Nexxo 13th October 2011, 08:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by javaman
Last time I looked the reports of the console market's death where greatly exaggerated! Isn't the wii trying to reinvent the market anyway. On thing I would welcome is an itunes style download for console games. It would be totally revolutionary and never seen before until apple does it.

In all seriousness itunes would be pretty strong delivery service so many people have it and with all your media already on it, it covers the whole media centre/console that seems the direction of consoles. It does make sense to why Apple have been pushing and standing by Apple TV for so long. Out of interest, why did apple TV fail since it seems fairly strong?

Gabe needs to get back to half life 3 or porting steam to linux and android.

I'm not suggesting that the console market is dying --I was just pointing out how a company with no previous history in the field can shake things up. But you are right on the money with where Apple is going. It has not just been building gadgets, but a media consumption infrastructure.

You are right that this is why Apple keeps plodding away with Apple TV. Many people are already using it as a cheap media networking device. The main reason it is struggling appears to be the lack of content due to licensing issues. Knowing Apple, it will suddenly come back in a few years with a new twist, Obi-Wan-style, stronger than ever before. :p
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ergath
This kind of makes sense: consoles are basically walled gardens after all. At a guess, an apple console would be like a really expensive wii, but with itunes.
I saw the articles on the Gadget Show where they featured the ipad as a steering wheel thing and I nearly wet myself. Mmm, I'll use my 400 quid tablet as a clumsy controller to play this last-gen racing game - all it needs is another expensive idevice plugged into my telly.... magical! Needless to say the muppet reviewing it thought it was a great idea.
If Apple goes the console way, it will design a dedicated device for that. The iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch will just function as input devices. Nintendo has already shown what you can do with a controller with a touch screen. Perhaps Apple will design controllers that the iPhone and iPod Touch snap into, and the iPad will be an additional controller/screen. Imagine the controller to direct your actions, the iPad as a multifunctional strategic map and communications/menu screen.
Ergath 13th October 2011, 10:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo

If Apple goes the console way, it will design a dedicated device for that. The iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch will just function as input devices. Nintendo has already shown what you can do with a controller with a touch screen. Perhaps Apple will design controllers that the iPhone and iPod Touch snap into, and the iPad will be an additional controller/screen. Imagine the controller to direct your actions, the iPad as a multifunctional strategic map and communications/menu screen.

Yes, that could work, and is certainly novel. I would have serious reservations though - I'm not convinced by the two screens approach: having used the overview/detail approach in SupCom I found that you generally only look at one screen with perhaps the occasional glance at the other, making it a bit pointless. In addition, as I was alluding to above, using a media device as a controller seems like overkill, particularly given how expensive they are. Finally, IMHO, touchscreen control is not well suited to most games compared with something more tactile like a wiimote, mouse or gamepad.

All of that said, I'm sure apple could make this work as part of their ecosystem - there's already a strong tendency for apple fans to accumulate idevices and this delivers a benefit to the ipod/apple TV combo. It would also help them sell more TV boxes - one area where they've not done too well to date.

Food for thought - if Windows 8 is a success and we see a proliferation of W8 tablets etc. could MS make this a feature of the next Xbox?
K404 13th October 2011, 10:21 Quote
Does gaming fit Apples base demographic?

I'm also not so keen on the idea of a new console every year, offering small improvements over the previous model.... and needing the latest model for the years latest game.

Apples business approach is the opposite of the way the console market has ended up- you buy any game for a console at any point in the consoles lifetime and you KNOW it will work. You also know you can wait a year for prices to drop and there will still be plenty of life left in the purchase

Some people might think Apples approach will be good for development and game quality.... but it would come at a high price.
damien c 13th October 2011, 12:06 Quote
I am wondering if Apple were to make a games console how long would it be before they took, Microsoft and Sony to court over patent infringment because of the "feel and look of it".

Apple getting involved in the game console industry I think will be a bad move and could cause problem's for developers.
javaman 13th October 2011, 21:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ergath
This kind of makes sense: consoles are basically walled gardens after all. At a guess, an apple console would be like a really expensive wii, but with itunes.
I saw the articles on the Gadget Show where they featured the ipad as a steering wheel thing and I nearly wet myself. Mmm, I'll use my 400 quid tablet as a clumsy controller to play this last-gen racing game - all it needs is another expensive idevice plugged into my telly.... magical! Needless to say the muppet reviewing it thought it was a great idea.

This makes me cry since the thought of an ipad controller takes the whole "overpriced cashing the golden cow that are peripherals" to another level. I wonder who owns the patents for that idea anyway........Nintendo vs Apple anyone?

@Nexxo can apple really shake it up tho? Nintendo have already churned up that ground although Apple will undoubtly do it better. Also if Apple forced a move towards digital downloads again I'd be happy.

In response to a side note on bit-tech's podcast about origin vs steam, what they failed to address is pricing and trust. Its been said before Valve are a company that have buckets of room to screw up and not have *any* backlash. Look at steams pricing, now look at origin. EA's pricing takes the piss especially in the day of 69p apps. No one trusts EA since they're in it for themselves. Valve have at least played, we're in it for the consumer hand (they needed to to succeed) hence why I think no one like origin vs steam. Other companies deliver but a Company like EA in total control of its content......well. Where does this apply, well Same for Apple, People trust them now. It has the influence to move the mainstream console market to digital download and tbh I feel its needed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo

The main reason it is struggling appears to be the lack of content due to licensing issues.

interesting, from what I gather netflix is suffering this as well. Yes they want rid of the dvd side of their business but contracts are a huge problem. Greedy companies demanding more money for latest titles or want to hold off to see how many bluray/dvd sales they can eek out. Ironically I believe this ultimately hurts the consumer since prices go up, people drop subscription and pirate instead or even out of spite. Yes its good for companies to make money but Im happy to pay and see that reinvested but not if the price is stupid. Take Tesco, yearly increase in profit, sales down and why? Its the consumer that is paying more in food prices and for no reason IMO except to keep investors happy. Im at the point I don't care if the local tesco gets robbed or vandalised. Same with the movie industry. Lovefilm charges £2 on top of the package for each title streamed........needless to say I'll happily torrent films and shows in response or exploit grey areas in the law.

Like I say with onlive, its out of apples hands. They could design a console that rivals PC in terms of visuals, and costs as much as appleTV, but the games companies, and ISP's will dictate their success. Apple could do an Onlive style gaming where, the game is played at home and sent to a tablet but again ISP's will dictate that. TBH even if apple did build a console where would it fit? i can't seem them targeting hardcore gamers or even casual gamers ie. students unless they somehow get set of exclusives that way they can control and dominate. They might directly take a leaf out of nintendo's book and challenge them but apples price point is too high for that market.
Sea Shadow 13th October 2011, 23:09 Quote
Funny how this article was cast in this light while other sites interpreted that same article as Gabe lambasting Apple for being closed and greedy. He mentions that they are encouraging the wrong business model, etc.

And when I read the article myself, that is the feeling I get from Gabe's remarks, not that:
Quote:
Gabe Newell reckons Apple will move to redefine the games console market.
Rather, Apple will launch a device that changes the public's perception of what games are.

Kind of like how you run into people who describe themselves as "gamers" when their games consist of angry birds and farmville. Years ago, if you would have asked the average person if they considered playing web-games to be enough to title themselves a gamer, they probably would have said no. These days that is no longer the case, I frequently run into self titled "gamers" who only play web games.

The point I am getting at is: The game industry as we know it hasn't dramatically changed, just the public's perception of what gaming is; and that is what I think Gabe is trying to say. Not that Apple will redefine consoles, rather they will dumb down the public's opinion to such an extent that dedicated consoles will be irrelevant to the public at large. Much like how smartphones are increasingly gaining ground while dedicated systems such as the PSP and 3DS are loosing ground.

To what extent this paradigm shift affects the game industry will only be seen with time.
Dedlite 14th October 2011, 11:20 Quote
Apple have/already make iOS one of (if not numer 1) biggest mobile platforms there is. iPhone's and iPads with A5 chips cope remarkably well against offerings from Sony and Nintendo. It's a lot easier to develop your own iOS game as well.
Stickeh 14th October 2011, 12:14 Quote
What about a Valve/Steam console?
I'd like to hear some discussion on that...
technogiant 15th October 2011, 08:31 Quote
Sounds like a good idea, an open platform, but also one that is capable of being upgraded with standardized upgrades so that the hardware doesn't become outdated or we would be in the same situation as were are now with the consoles.
That would be great, it would enable programers to get close to the metal.

In my view this is the direction that pc gaming has to go so we can get the full benefit from our powerful hardware, a specifically designed gaming platform and os that is both open and upgradable perhaps with standardized yearly or two yearly graphic/cpu upgrades.
javaman 17th October 2011, 09:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stickeh
What about a Valve/Steam console?
I'd like to hear some discussion on that...

For the uninformed....Its called a PC lol. If that's true I hope it uses linux to avoid MS tax. Only problem is you miss DX11
technogiant 17th October 2011, 10:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by javaman
For the uninformed....Its called a PC lol.....

Not quite...the benefit being it consists of standardized hardware which would never be the case with a true pc. That would allow for a custom OS less API layers and perhaps some realistic performance gain from better hardware...you know like not having a 10X more powerful pc and only 4X the performance......I'd like to see this happen.
Crossing 17th October 2011, 14:25 Quote
The Apple iGame
Price: 9999999999

And no, it cannot run Crisis
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