back to article Valve chief says Apple will own your living room

Valve Software chief Gabe Newell reckons Apple will soon become a major player in the console biz by launching a product that will own the living room. The prediction was made by Newell at the WTIA TechNW conference this week in Washington DC. The head of the outfit behind games such as Half Life and Counter-Strike, as well …


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  1. Chris 171

    Not mine.....

    Of that you can be sure, just dont want it.

    applergic you see.

    1. N13L5

      pot calling the kettle black :P

      Valve takes away your right to sell a game you got bored with to the next guy, or just give it to your cousin.

      And then, they see fit to call out Apple for being closed...?

      Both of them have been on my shit list forever and three days... They can go and die in a fire :)

      And whatever that thing is, that "will own" my living room, has to be quite the miracle device, I don't think they have the technology for... build into it a holographic doctor, a personal teleporter and a food replicator and I'll listen :)

  2. Miek
    Big Brother

    I'm sorry I cannot allow you to play that Dave.

    1. Ammaross Danan


      Not only can you NOT play that, but you'll pay us $500 per device for the priviledge of us telling you "no."

  3. tanj666

    Snowy days ahead

    It will be a snowy day in hell before any fruit branded product is allowed into my house in any case, so the thoughts of SJ's ghost deciding which games I am allowed to play doesn't worry me.

    Of course now he has ascended to true godhead, I may not be allowed to harbour such heretical thoughts for much longer...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Closed mind

      So if Apple released a product that did EXACTLY what you wanted and was at a price that you were willing to pay, you wouldn't buy it just because Apple did it? Well done.

      And as for "SJ's ghost deciding which games I am allowed to play" - you don't think Sony and Microsoft and Nintendo all have a say on which games are allowed to be released on their platforms and what the content can and can't be?

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


        "So if Apple released a product that did EXACTLY what you wanted and was at a price that you were willing to pay, you wouldn't buy it just because Apple did it?"

        It's impossible because they cannot make a product that does exactly what I want and at a price I am willing to pay because I am not willing to pay any price for a stroll in their private garden. Also, their products are mediocre, at best...

      2. Kwac


        product does EXACTLY what I want --- tick

        Price I'm willing to pay --- tick

        Quelle surprise! It's not an Apple!

      3. Naughtyhorse

        the issue is more about closed systems than minds

        Apple never will produce a device that does what I (thats I as in me not i as in owned by apple) want.

        And in the parallel reality where they might, it would certainly retail at way above the price I would be prepared to pay.

        As pointed out elsewhere here, and indeed at cupertino - apple sells a way of doing things, not just tech. All I want is tech. and when I have it I want to decide how I use it. (somewhere an apple genius just dropped down dead)

        so yes, i live, and will continue to live in a fruit free zone.

      4. James Hughes 1

        If Apple produce exactly the product I want

        At a price I'm willing to pay - great. I'll buy it.

        I just cannot see it happening.

      5. Jedit

        No mind

        If Apple released a product that did exactly what you wanted at a price you were willing to pay, you can be assured that someone else will have released a similar product at a lower price.

        As for who has a say in what software is released for their platform: no, Sony et al don't have a say in it. They may not give their approval for everything that is released, but they can't stop you releasing it without going to court. Nintendo, for example, are well-known as a family friendly company, but back in the day there were porn games for the Famicom. The difference is that anyone could buy an EPROM blower or a CD burner and put out their own software. Apple, on the other hand, have complete control over the sole authorised means of distribution for software on their platform.

      6. CD001

        ...if Apple released a product that did EXACTLY what you wanted and was at a price that you were willing to pay ...

        Then it wouldn't be an Apple product - they've yet to produce ANY device that does exactly what I want a price I'm willing to pay...

        I've no real use for an MP3 player (I spend most of my time in the car or at a desk unfortunately) so a bog standard memory stick does the job - so that's the iPod out.

        Mac computers aren't, traditionally, much good for gaming, although that has been changing recently, but they're more expensive (for equivalent hardware) than PCs - in fact the only marginally tempting thing about a Mac (well a Macbook) is Logic Studio which they no longer port to PC.

        iPhone - does far MORE than I want from a mobile phone as about all I use one for is texting "are you up the pub yet? - I'm in a taxi" or making the odd call (on a PAYG tariff I spend maybe £60 a YEAR).

        And the iPad ... again, no real use for one for pretty much the same reason I've no real use for an iPod.

        The last thing I bought that did exactly what I wanted at a price I was willing to pay was a Sony home theatre system - it's an amp, some HDMI ports and some speakers - exactly what I wanted - no additional bells, whistles or "funky" UI.

      7. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        "So if Apple released a product that did EXACTLY what you wanted and was at a price that you were willing to pay..."

        The problem here for me, liek so many others, is that Apple products tend to do EXACTLY what I don't want, coupled with smug advertising telling me how much I'm missing out by not being a member of their wonderful crowd.

        Some things I don't want in my devices:

        - Proprietary protocols requiring expensive cables/adapters etc. designed only to make the company money, and at no advantage to the consumer.

        - Unnecessary restrictions on how I can use the device, such as the hideous iTunes.

        - A price point way above the cost of the components because it has some mystical magical added value that other companies somehow don't need to fleece me for.

        - Components that cannot easily be swapped / repaired, such as solderd-in batteries and laptop components that require the purchase of a new device if they fail.

        Couple these things with the fact that Apple have never made a device where I have actually thought, 'ooh I want one of those', or 'isn't that priced nice and cheap' and I think the likelihood of said company producing something that does exactly what I want at a price I'd be willing to pay are fairly miniscule.

        Just to add a little balance here; yes, I know Apple aren't the only company out there who are restrictive with what they will allow the device you bought to do. Sony have a certain reputation for this too. I do own a PS3, despute having reservations about their company ethics. I think maybe that if I hadn't got it before the whole thing with the removal of OtherOs and their going after the people who craced the PS3, I would perhaps have had second thoughts about it. hey, at least I can swap teh hard disk in my PS3 for a bigger one without voiding the warranty, or having to pay a premium to the manufacturer for doing so. All in all, I think even the PS3 is more open than anything in the Apple walled garden (iOrchard perhaps?).

      8. Daniel B.

        Re: Closed mind

        "So if Apple released a product that did EXACTLY what you wanted and was at a price that you were willing to pay, you wouldn't buy it just because Apple did it?"

        Given that as long as Apple clings to the SJ walled garden policy, it won't release a true open system, I doubt *any* Apple product will do EXACTLY what I want.

        You sir, fail at logic.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Daniel B.

          And you, sir, fail at reading, comprehension and imagination.

    2. Rameses Niblick the Third (KKWWMT)


      Smite the unbeliever, etc.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A person of principle

      No fruit branded products, so no Orange phones, Juicy Fruit chewing gum, or clothes from Banana Republic. I guess you're not a Kiwi?

      1. Naughtyhorse

        yup! thats it

        dont chew gum - it's disgusting

        certainly wouldnt wear anything from any kind of republic...

        kiwi would be, i think, a bird related product

        the only fruit i own at the mo are a blackberry on orange. and they are heading binward asap :-)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I am a techno-whore!

      I'll hold no truck with your fruity labelled products! Cast your diseased iPhone the flames! Call and come hither, bring the faggots!

      I love this shit, "I won't buy it 'cos it's made by Apple and it's obviously overpriced and shit!".

      Are these people like this in the supermarket too? "I won't eat McVities biscuits! They're made by black and tan hamsters in tartan headgear and they crush up dead baby gorillas to make the choccy coatings! Well I read it somewhere, dreamed it perhaps, I don't know but either way it's true because I said so!!"

      Fair play each to their own, but horses for courses in my book. I like Windows for games and I like Linux for my work desktop. My wife prefers OSX over Windows for her, whatever the heck she does on her machine! I like my Apple TV2 running XBMC ( jailbroken of course! ) as a perfect media centre against my 2 NetGear ReadyNAS systems for streaming over CIFS shares. I like my Android phone over my wife's preferred iPhone. I prefer my XBOX360 over my kids' Nintendo Wii. I like my Sony PSP over my kid's Nintendo DS's.

      You see what I did there? I mixed and matched all sorts of technology picking the bits I like as I have no loyalty to any brand or mind-set. When one of those gadgets goes tits up, I will simply replace it with whatever works best at the time for my needs.

      I AM A TECHNO WHORE AND PROUD! I'll go with whatever I want, to get what I want. No loyalty!

      Flame away, I could with a good roasting on a cold day like today!

      1. Lamont Cranston

        What sort of monster are you?

        When I was little, it was all about Sonic beating up Mario.

        When I was a teenager, it was all about how Macs were shit because they only had one button on the mouse.

        It's good to see that nothing has really changed as I've got older.

      2. Jedit

        @ Techno-whore

        Yeah, I do believe Apple products are hugely overpriced just because I read it somewhere. Let me try and remember where it was, would you?

        ... oh, now I recall. It was on the price tag.

    5. Weeble

      Power of the Brand

      This is, of course, the power of the "Brand".

      Once a consumer decides that Apple (or Sony, or whoever) is a "Good Brand", they will stick by that Brand no matter how far behind the curve their products might be, simply because it comes from a "Good Brand".

      The "Brand" is however a double edged weapon. Just as it creates loyalty, it can also create hatred.

      Consumers may decide that Apple (or Sony, or whoever) is an "Evil Brand". It may take just one act of perceived evil, or an entire company culture, to acquire the "Evil" label, but consumers have long memories and will never buy from "Evil Brand" - no matter how far ahead of the field the products may be - they are still "Evil".

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        @the Whore

        "Are these people like this in the supermarket too? "I won't eat McVities biscuits! They're made by black and tan hamsters in tartan headgear and they crush up dead baby gorillas to make the choccy coatings!"

        No, they just taste like cr*p...

  4. Thomas 4

    Keep your PS3s and Xbox 360s

    All shall crumble before the awesome might of the Pippin Mark 2 because, hey, it worked really well the first time, right?

  5. Pete 2 Silver badge


    > Apple will own your living room

    The wallpaper's getting a bit tired and it could use a new carpet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      When they're done at your house...

      ...would you mind sending them to my house please? Thanks.

      Had a bad upstaris bathroom flood, which found its way downstairs into the living & dining rooms...and sure could use some help in getting things back in order.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But more importantly

    Did Gabe say anything about Half-Life Episode 3?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Finally !

      First sensible comment in the whole thread?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Did Gabe say anything about Half-Life Episode 3?"

      He was going too but he saw someone eating a pie and it completely went out of his mind.

  7. Matthew 17

    No more closed than any other console though

    Sony decide what you can play on the PS3, Microsoft on the Xbox and Nintendo on the Wii so an Apple machine would be no different in that respect.

    Be nice to see an iOS enabled TV set and use an iDevice as the joy pad / remote, think there would be a lot of potential for something great.

    As games machines the Xbox and PS are good but as media centres and for anything you'd use a computer/tablet for they're very clunky.

    1. Eradicate all BB entrants

      Too late.....

      ..... as Sony already do it with their newer TV's and Experia phones. Of course that won't stop Apple adding an 'i' to the front of it in 4 years then suing Sony.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        Perhaps apples version won't catch fire

        or have people watching it wrong

  8. Martin Lyne

    Mmm. Apple crumble.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: Apple crumble

      Gabe looks like he's scoffed a lot already ;-)

  9. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

    You can pry $non_apple_device from my cold...

    ...dead and still fighting body. Frankly Sony has won me over years ago with their TV kit and only two years ago with the PS3.

    And no I don't really care that my TV can't play everything and the kitchen sink. I've got a media box for that but I want it that way. A basic TV with DVB-C builtin.

    1. John G Imrie

      Sony lost me

      when they decided root kitting my PC was a good idea.

  10. auburnman
    Thumb Down

    For better or worse console gamers have set up their camps with Microsoft or Sony, aside from the occasional online fiasco most people seem happy where they are. Also with the recent attempts to revolutionise consoles in the form of the Wii* / Kinect / move not really doing that well, the existing customer base will likely be resistant at best to the idea of another 'revolution in gaming'. Maybe Apple could try and repeat the Wii's trick of being a console for families and older folk, but then they'd have to walk away from the high pricing they love so much to approach that demographic.

    *Yes, I know the Wii's sold like buggery - a few years ago. How much do you hear about them now? all the Wii owners I know of (myself included) have them gathering dust at the back of a cupboard somewhere.

    1. CD001

      It's not static though - when I were a wee lad it was either Nintendo or Sega. It was the original PlayStation that totally "revolutionised" the console. It's probably only a matter of time before someone else comes along with the "next PlayStation" that knocks Sony and Microsoft for six.

  11. Hooch181


    I don't care what you think about Apple. When are you going to sort out HL2 Ep3?

  12. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Oh, Gabe...

    STFU and concentrate on the Episode 3 now, already.

    As far as Apple owning my living room - not likely to happen unless they break my door with a team of Metrocops and install their equipment by force, in which case they can own it alright, I will just not use it...

  13. Ian Yates


    What do they mean by console?

    Having played with OnLive, this seems the most logical way forward in an Apple-esque world - they're in complete control over what you can play and when.

    Personally, I was very impressed with OnLive, but I can't see it pulling me away from Steam at the prices they charge. Partly because I have a powerful PC and I like to continually upgrade and tinker with it. I'm sure there's a massive market for something like OnLive.

  14. yossarianuk

    Hold the controller correctly...

    Can't wait to have an overpriced unusable (walled garden) console in my living room....

    Just make sure you hold the controller in the right way.........

  15. David Austin

    I Honestly believe, at the moment,sSocial network games, and Steam are the best examples of how PC Gaming should work - Personally, I'm more a Fan of The boys from Seattle, simply because of the game I want to play, but I accept the validity of Farmville & Co.

    It's a shame that Apple and Valve can't work closer together - sure, we got Steam on OS X, and immediately improved the breadth and ease of getting games on mac, but that's only scratching the surface of what could happen. It's a shame that Valve and Apple's cultures (More-so Apple's Walled garden and margin mentality, I'll wager) are too different to closer integrate - Some form of Steam/App Store mash up is a very pleasing thought.....

    Gabe & Co. Have proved that with the right, forward-thinking product, you can come up with a business model that's "Just Works" for customers, SDK and distribution platforms developers like, and make a tidy profit through clever sale offers, and something much smaller than apple's 30% Cut.

    Now, Stop distracting Mr. Newall with interviews, so he can get on with the continuing adventures of a certain crowbar-wielding Scientist.

    1. Rob Crawford


      Hate to say this but Steam is on OSX.

      Pity there's bugger all games for the mac side of things though, though I'm playing HL2 yet again & I thought it was nice of them to let the PC & Mac versions be interchangable.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ rob

        er yes, steam is on OSX. Thats what he said

        1. Rob Crawford


          I read that wrong

  16. MJI Silver badge

    Consoles are more open

    Steam on the PS3, the download stores are pretty good.

  17. David Webb

    We already have a system like that, it's called a PS3, able to play pretty much any media, play games, play blu-rays, browse the interwebs etc.

    Apple have zero success when it comes to products for the living room, that PVR thingy, the iTV or whatever it's called, it's a failure, at least in the UK where it has to go up against Sky etc.

    Also a major factor is that current consoles (and upcoming consoles) do what they do brilliantly, there isn't the same lethargy that was evident in the mobile market which allowed the iPhone and then Android to become popular, how do you improve on a PS3 or an Xbox 720(?) or a Wii 2.

    Finally you need more than AAA titles to make a console work, you need in house killer products, each system has their own killer games that would make people buy the console, Halo, Gran Turismo, Wipeout, Zelda etc. Apple would need to purchase a major software company that has a major game franchise and then make it Apple only, that is a huge risk, what if the game is a bit of a dud?

    Finally we get to Loyalty, PS3 players hate the XBox and would rather have their testicles torn out than play one, XBox players hate PS3 players and would rather have their eyes removed with a blunt lemon than buy a PS3. Nintendo, well everyone loves Nintendo.

    When Sony released the PS it killed Sega's hardware, not because it was a new thing, but because Sega screwed up with the Megadrive, they alienated their own fans with the CD32 thingy and the 32X, bring them out and then not support them, along game Sony and owned the arena, a bit like Apple with the mobile market, there isn't that sense in the console market, people will buy the next Wii, next XBox, next PlayStation, would they buy a console that cost £200 to make for £500? Hell no, they will buy a console that costs £200 to make for £150, that isn't a market that Apple can join.

    1. MJI Silver badge


      Not so much that we hate other consoles, more we can't afford them and their running costs, plus I have too many games to play as it is.

      I only respond to attacks.

      Oh and an Apple console - would be too expensive for what it is, as they would not do the selling under cost done by MS & Sony at launch.

    2. Daniel B.


      Yup. Apple would simply release a console that's too expensive, lacking in games (or full of non-brand generic games) and be even more restrictive than XBox360 (which itself is more restrictive than PS3). Not many outside the iFan sphere would buy it.

      Also, Apple has already failed once in that market: Pippin.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple will own your living room

    ...if you are (a complete idiot), sorry i owner already .

    Else you'll probably already have the tech you want/need.

    Wow, these developers can spout some sh te!

  19. Dave 126 Silver badge

    I can't find a reference on the 'net, but...

    I read it in a book published by Sony's industrial design department (purchased in a Sony Outlet store North of New York):

    The designer of the Sony Playstation stated that he took inspiration from early Apple designs, especially the series of straight lines moulded into the case.

    That's what I remember, though having a look over the 'net informed me that the paths had crossed before- Esslinger Design, who later became FrogDesign, did work for Wega before they bought by Sony in 1975.

    Sony, like Apple, have done well at times by being late entrants into areas that, at first glance, appeared dominated by others; Sony entering the once Nintendo vs Sega world of consoles, Apple with portable audio and telephones.

    Sony and Apple have laid down the law on who their devices work, or use proprietary systems, such as forms of copy-protection (you can copy a CD digitally to a MiniDisc player, but can't make a digital copy of that digital copy... Sonic Stage... etc) Also, both houses have roughly the same views on focus groups; to paraphrase: "They're pointless, what use is asking members of the public how they feel about something that doesn't exist yet?".

    Sorry to be a touch off-topic, but I found it a fun 5 minutes of web-trawling.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Sony & games consoles

      Only really happened because they did a cancelled CD drive for Nintendo.

      Nintendo cancelled and so Sony produced the rest and the rest is history.

    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      I guess that is the PS2, not the original Playstation?

      Having owned both, I can tell you that the case for original Playstation was an ugly grey box made from rather flimsy cheap injection-moulded plastic. The PS2, whilst quite stylish to some, was a complete bastard to clean and a total dust magnet due to the poinless grooves around the edge.

      The PS3, however, I find to be quite a stylish bit of kit, particulalrly in the shiny 'piano black'.

      1. Kane Silver badge

        Nope, the original PS1...

        Sony and Nintendo had a big thing going on with the development of a CD based entertainment/console system that would effectively be an add-on for the SNES. Nintendo pulled out of the project after issues with the original contracts that would grant Sony complete control over all games written for the proposed format. After most of the hard RnD work had been done, Sony went ahead and bundled the tech together into a single unit.

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Nope, the original Playstation

        The designer noted that the production guys wanted to use a 2-part mould for the original PS, but he fought for his 3-part mould design (trickier and thus more expensive to create) since he valued the cooling and styling of the vents. He said that he expected it to be powered-on for many hours.

        The black grooved design of the PS2 I'd already seen on a frogdesign IBM desktop machine, the idea being that the case was a cast lump of magnesium, acting a heatsink (and the grooves not being quite so pointless). It dated from the early nineties though, when heat wasn't the issue it is today.

        It's right to note the 'grown up' appearence of the PS3, as it sharing a finish with most TVs... there is a fair bit of overlap in the functions of the PS3 and the Apple TV or other media playing boxes. PS3 seems happy streaming, blu-raying, iPlayer playing, - ie doing things that aren't playing games.

  20. Lockwood

    "Apple has filed patents for several technologies that could fit the bill"

    How much of those though are just to prevent Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo from doing stuff?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      ... it's to all Apple to do stuff...

  21. stucs201

    Hang on a second

    With the white colour scheme GlaDOS (and the Portal test chambers, gun, etc) look much more like Apple hardware than a typical PC. Even the blue glowy bits are slightly reminiscent of original iMacs. See folks you shouldn't trust the legacy of a dead Steve Jobs any more than a dead Cave Johnson...

    1. Daniel B.

      The Apple is a lie!

    2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Best comment ever

      'nuff said

  22. BristolBachelor Gold badge

    Own my livingroom?

    They'd have to acknowledge Blu-ray first. Oh and they'd need to know what to do with Flac, kmv, ts, avi, iso, etc. files...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Apple has filed patents for several technologies that could fit the bill, it's surely only a matter of time... "

    Care to list them ? Put a story together ?

  24. JDX Gold badge

    Consoles are inherently closed platforms already, I don't see what the fuss is about having an Apple console.

  25. Rob Thorley


    I for one welcome our new fruit-based Overlords and their plans for domestic domination.

    When will they start producing fruit-based toilet paper, and what must-have features will it possess?

    1. Nya

      Rob, if Apple can produce loo roll which can handle the amount of sh*t they keep shovelling than it would be wondrously featured as it is :P

  26. Gareth 18

    It wouldn't suprise me

    To see Apple buy up a company like On Live. Surely that kind of streaming game content to your TV is what iCloud is designed for.

    Couple the functionality of On Live, with the design of the AppleTV, and the connections with the iPhone, iPad and iPod that Apple will offer and it is easy to see how you could have a killer product on the market.

    In fact it is starting to happen already. The new version of AirPlay allows for mirroring. So you can play Angry Birds on your big screen TV through your AppleTV. They just need more support for big titles, that the likes of On Live type connectivity could supply.

    I don't think we will see an actual games console. Why would they bother with that when they have the bare bones already in place?

  27. Mike Richards Silver badge


    That would be a next gen Apple TV then?

    Enable the app store for the Apple TV and perhaps sell controllers (although Apple would probably prefer if we all stumped up for iPod Touches, iPads or iPhones) and they could have a console that would paint Nintendo's next-gen Wii into a corner.

    Not one for the hardcore gamer, but good enough for the casual and family market.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not bleeding likely

    I don't think that the console gaming market would tolerate Apple's abusive attitude towards both customers and developers the way the phone market does. Cell phone owners have long been accustomed to being abused by thier carriers, so what difference does it make if the manufacturer of thier phone is abusive also? In contrast, look at the backlash caused by abusive game manufacturers such as Ubisoft's DRM that kicked you out of the game if you dropped your internet connection (yes, I know that was a PC thing, but it makes a good example). Or the backlash from the various PS3 screwups. No, Apple's particular brand of bull won't fly in that market at all.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Would that be boxes (almost 99.9% the same as every other console) in white with rounded corners?

  30. Nya

    Can see it already...

    Basically Apple is looking to become Sony, and as such this is more than likely not a console, but a telly with everything integrated into it and will be controlled from the bundled cut down touch or from any other idevice...after all, wouldn't want to allow any third parties to sell controllers would you. Games and applications would as expected be download only since we don't want any pesky retailers being allowed to make money. And all content will to tied into the rest of the idevice family to make sure no one is allowed to leave to buy something else off the free market.

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