Gabe Newell highlights Apple as a potential powerhouse in the upcoming generation of consoles

Apple is the biggest threat to Steam Box, says Valve founder

Gabe Newell has highlighted Apple as a key competitor as Valve aims to enter the living room PC market with the firm’s Steam Box.

"The threat right now is that Apple has gained a huge amount of market share," said Valve Co-Founder Gabe Newell to a recent University of Texas’ LBJ School of Public Affairs class.

The comments follow those made by Newell to US tech site Polygon, where Valve’s co-founder stated: "Apple has a relatively obvious pathway towards entering the living room with their platform."

Valve has long worked to develop a position within the living room PC market, first releasing its Big Picture Mode for digital distribution service Steam, following it up with the announcement of the long rumoured Steam Box – a modular PC device, designed to run the service’s new mode optimally within a typical living room setup.

In the year that both Sony and Microsoft are expected to release their next-gen offerings, the ushering in of a new console generation could heat up as both Apple and Valve prepare to enter the arena.

However, Newell has downplayed the importance of both Microsoft and Sony, again highlighting the dominance of Apple.

"I think Apple rolls the console guys easily," said Newell, "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?"

Whilst companies have previously fought for dominance in the dimly lighted bedrooms of gamers, the setting for this new console war may well be staged within the living room – and perhaps even further afield.

Both Nvidia and Razer took their opportunity at this year’s CES show in Las Vegas to unveil their latest mobile gaming devices, with the former showcasing its Project Shield device, whilst the latter unveiled the Razer Edge – a tablet designed to play the latest games.

These new launches didn’t go unnoticed by Valve’s founder, who continued to highlight their potential influence on the market and the influx of devices he believes are set to follow.

"I think a whole bunch of hardware companies are going to be releasing products in the next 12 months," said Newell.

Of course, Valve’s head took the opportunity to plug the firm’s Steam Box, highlighting its appeal over rival devices and the benefits it offers to gamers.

Predicting the typical gamer’s mind-set, Newell said: "Well, I could buy a console, which assumes I’ll re-buy all my content, have a completely different video system, and, oh, I have a completely different group of friends, apparently.’

"’Or I can just extend everything I love about the PC and the internet into the living room."

Whilst Newell certainly makes the decision look simply enough, gamers face a tough decision as we lead up to the beginning of a new console generation – one breaking the mould unlike any before.

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