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According to Gabe Newell, Valve doesn't see gaming consoles as the biggest hurdle to the company's planned Steam Box. Instead, the legendary developer sees Apple's potential dominance of living room entertainment as the "threat."
Speaking to a room of students at the University of Texas (via Polygon), Newell made it clear PC hardware manufacturers will have to compete with Apple if they hope to perform well in living room entertainment.
"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. "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. 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?"
More and more, hardware developers are seeking ways to move PCs and other devices into a centralized, all-in platform. During CES this year, Valve revealed a partnership with micro-PC manufacturer Xi3, with additional partnerships in the works. And earlier last year, Valve added the living room-centric Big Picture mode to its popular Steam client.
While there's plenty of buzz around the Steam Box, Newell is still concerned Apple's strong foothold grows even larger.
"I think the biggest challenge is that Apple moves on the living room before the PC industry sort of gets its act together," said Newell.
Follow this article's author, Matt Clark, on Twitter.