A couple of days back, Apple Insider reported that Apple’s CEO Tim Cook was spotted at Valve’s headquarters in Washington.
Valve, for those of you who don’t know, is a game development and digital distribution company famous for their gaming platform Steam, which is like an App Store solely for games on the PC. The platform is really popular amongst gamers and has over 30 million active users.
Apple’s been rumored to be working on their entry in the Smart TV market since long, and Tim Cook’s visit to Valve HQ suggests that the TV (or whatever the device is marketed as) won’t just be limited to viewing movies or TV shows, but would in fact compete directly with gaming consoles like the Xbox, PlayStation and Wii.
That’s what you would have guessed on hearing this piece of news, and Cult Of Mac’s sources agree with the theory:
We’ve gotten word that Cook was indeed at Valve yesterday, and what’s more, Apple is planning a full-on assault to take over the living room. This assault won’t just be limited to the long-rumored Apple HDTV set, but will also include a revolutionary home console as well.
According to sources to Cult of Mac, Apple is working on a television set with an iTunes-integrated touch screen remote and Siri-like voice command technology.
Our sources also say that Apple’s television set will come with an Apple-branded, Kinect-like video game console. The interface will rely heavily on motion and touch controls.
We’ve thought of an interesting analogy to understand Tim Cook’s meetings with Valve better and put it into context. Here it is:
Netflix and iTunes are both platforms to view TV shows and movies, making them direct competitors. However, due to Netflix already having a large, established userbase, Apple collaborated with Netflix to build a Netflix app into the Apple TV.
On the gaming front, the situation is somewhat similar. iOS devices have become quite popular with lightweight gamers thanks to the wide variety of casual games available on the App Store. Steam, as we wrote earlier, is like an App Store for PC gamers with a very large userbase. So, if not now, at a later point of time, the overlap in the audiences of both these services would grow, and these services would become direct competitors. But just like Netflix, even this competing service has a large number of users, because of which Apple might decide to include the Steam gaming platform in their upcoming device.
Besides, including an already established gaming platform on a new device is a good way of increasing the number of games available on launch day.
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