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Newell: Apple is biggest threat to living room

Newell: Apple is biggest threat to living room

Steam is working to port its digital distribution offering into a more living room friendly format through the development of Big Picture mode.

Valve head honcho Gabe Newell has stated that it is Apple and not any of the current console manufacturers that presents the biggest threat to the company's attempt to conquer the living room.

Giving a lecture at the University of Texas' LBJ School of Public Affairs, Polygon reports that Newell has his eyes on Apple's growth and its potential.

'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,' said Newell.

He went on to highlight that factors including increased hard drive space and the ability to use hardware that consumers already own will make it easier for the PC to move towards a living room environment.

'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,' added Newell.

Valve has most recently attempted to provide the option for players to move their PC gaming habits into the living room through development of its Big Picture mode, which scales Steam's user interface up for a larger screen and also simplifies input to be more accessible through a control pad.

The Steam Box itself is currently still in development. The recently announced Xi3 Piston has been erroneously reported as the Steam Box itself, but instead this is simply a small PC that has received funding from Valve and is apparently optimised for Steam's Big Picture mode. The Steam Box will reportedly be fully developed and distributed by Valve as opposed to going through a third party.

Although Apple has done incredibly well to carve out market share in the mobile and tablet arena, having pretty much created both markets in the first place, its efforts in the living room space have been less successful. The lacklustre Apple TV was launched in 2007 and acts as a media server, able to stream content from iTunes and various other online video platforms onto a larger television screen.

15 Comments

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Griffter 1st February 2013, 11:04 Quote
go valve go!
greigaitken 1st February 2013, 12:07 Quote
I think the mobile contract situation gave apple a massive boost. Most people wouldnt have paid £400 for an iphone if upfront fee. Looking back to pre-iphone you didnt get very much phone for your £25/month.
With apple TV - its the opposite, sky and virgin give you the box and you pay per month vs apple £300 upfront cost. With a games console though, you've always had to pay a chunk upfront for hardware so it's not so difficult to swallow.
None of that explains the ipad madness though.
rollo 1st February 2013, 12:14 Quote
Apple changed mobile phones for the better, if they can do a similar thing in tv and game consoles then it can only be for the better.
Xir 1st February 2013, 13:31 Quote
The obvious pathway for apple is the living room?
Not in this country it isn't
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Apple changed mobile phones for the better...
They certainly changed the face of mobile devices...for use as a phone however, todays "smartphones" are a lot worse than before. (Including Apples)(too big to hold to ear, dreadfull standby times, low speaking time on one charge)
MSHunter 1st February 2013, 16:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
The obvious pathway for apple is the living room?
Not in this country it isn't


They certainly changed the face of mobile devices...for use as a phone however, todays "smartphones" are a lot worse than before. (Including Apples)(too big to hold to ear, dreadfull standby times, low speaking time on one charge)

Just turn off wifi and data on your andriod phone :D then you have the long battery life back. (at least with the S2, S3 and Note from Samsung. It has been a real life save when I go on vacation!

When I need Internet I just turn on wifi for that time and not leave it on searching for connections all day.
Bauul 1st February 2013, 16:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHunter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
The obvious pathway for apple is the living room?
Not in this country it isn't


They certainly changed the face of mobile devices...for use as a phone however, todays "smartphones" are a lot worse than before. (Including Apples)(too big to hold to ear, dreadfull standby times, low speaking time on one charge)

Just turn off wifi and data on your andriod phone :D then you have the long battery life back. (at least with the S2, S3 and Note from Samsung. It has been a real life save when I go on vacation!

When I need Internet I just turn on wifi for that time and not leave it on searching for connections all day.

However you spin it, Smartphone battery life is horrendous compared to your old feature phones. My Nokia 3210 from 15 years ago lasted a week on a full charge, with plenty of texting, calling and playing Snake.
fdbh96 1st February 2013, 16:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by greigaitken

None of that explains the ipad madness though.

It was the first tablet to really not just cram a desktop os into a touch/smaller form factor which immediately made it easier to use. It also helped that at the time it was reasonably well priced for what it was.
Nexxo 1st February 2013, 18:39 Quote
iPad was an exquisitly balanced design for people who don't like computers, but want to be able to do things that until then were only done on computers. It was pure form-follows-function.

Of course it helped that technology had moved on in the 8 years since Windows XP tablets. Remember that Apple's last mobile effort around that time had been the Newton. Revolutionary, but too ambitious for the available technology at the time.
Guinevere 1st February 2013, 22:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
However you spin it, Smartphone battery life is horrendous compared to your old feature phones. My Nokia 3210 from 15 years ago lasted a week on a full charge, with plenty of texting, calling and playing Snake.

How come? 3210 had a 180/270 minute talk time and my 4S has an 840minute talk time on a comparable 2G connection.

The truth us that 3G connections use more power than 2G (Which is why my 4S drops to 480min on 3G) and that smart phones use more power because they are smart!

That big screen? Uses power.
Checking & Downloading your email? Uses power.
Sending all those texts? Uses power?

Many of us go through our smart phone batteries in a couple of days because we use the 'phone' as a smart device more than we use it as a phone.

If you only used it as a phone it would last a lot longer than those old feature phones.
rollo 2nd February 2013, 18:23 Quote
If apple can get a game console in the living room with a decent selection of titles it can not be a bad thing.

May also force the likes of Microsoft and Sony to up there game. And maybe force developers to stop making rehashes of the same game.

Has not been many orginal games launched in a while.
fdbh96 2nd February 2013, 18:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
If apple can get a game console in the living room with a decent selection of titles it can not be a bad thing.

May also force the likes of Microsoft and Sony to up there game. And maybe force developers to stop making rehashes of the same game.

Has not been many orginal games launched in a while.

The good thing about the app store (any of them not just ios), is that while many are just copies of other games, a lot of the games are original, whereas most console/PC games now just seem to be sequels.
PingCrosby 2nd February 2013, 19:31 Quote
The biggest threat in my living room is the big black thing with eight legs that's just ran across the carpet and behind the telly, bloody cats just sat and watched it as well.
Roskoken 4th February 2013, 01:26 Quote
Still think Apple are more of a threat to Chinese workers rights.
Xir 4th February 2013, 08:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
If you only used it as a phone it would last a lot longer than those old feature phones.

Try it. it won't.
Just checking for SMS ot the time a couple a time a day (activating the screen) will barely last you a weekend.
"feature phones" (hadn'd heared that one before) ;) when new lasted...well, gee i always kept forgetting where the charger was.
Three "dumb" business grade nokia's lasted well over three weeks on a charge (but I don't phone a lot)
Dudey109 4th February 2013, 10:49 Quote
Battery technology isn't keeping up with the demands of new mobile tech you'll get your 2 weeks worth of charge back but just not any time soon. When there isn't a different between speed/displays/storage on a mobile devices then the battery becomes the next big deciding factor.

Back on topic : I think the steam big picture mode could do well. I dont see apple having much of an effect on the living room gaming market, and i dont see many people using steam big picture for Movies/TV
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