Newell: Apple is Steam Box's Biggest Threat

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Evil Smurf:

image
Come at me bro!

I just find apple software easier to use and their style sexier then the competition. IOS is better then android user-friendly wise and windows has only ever made me frustrated. That's not to say I don't like valve. They have made gaming for me a reality for me and embrace open source environments, like Linux which I also run alongside OSX. Besides an apple console would work well with the apple ecosystem I have at home.

I am evil though, I am a communist.

COMMUNIST! BURN HIM! BURN HIM! DEATH TO THE COMMIE! DEATH TO THE FASCIST! DEA...

Wait, what were we talking about? My mind's drifted off again.

iniudan:
To your first paragraph, has you seem to have thought it was just a console that can interact with a PC, while what they are working on is a PC, which the software have been configured to offer a more console/htpc like experience out of the box (but you are free to scrap that experience and make it work like a desktop PC, with the OS of your choice), for hardware we will have to wait and see for official announcement, before knowing if can upgrade it or not, and to what extend, if yes.

I still don't understand whats the magical diference between a console and a PC. You can literally do anything you can do on a PC on a PS2 with linux (barring system specs of course) and there is no technical limitation preventing you to do the same with a PS3 or Xbox360; you can also run any console OS as a program on a PC and it's common practice to have PCs emulating future consoles for the devs to explore them.

I know the same argument can be done for every hardware that has transistors or something capable of processing info, but a console this generation is preciesly just a kind HTPC (gimped in the sense of it having less freedom with the software than some, great in the sense of game library); if you disagree i would request a technical definition of console that differentiates em from a HTPC.

Then again... dunno, maybe i am wrong, this forums seems to take the "consoles are not PCs and PCs are not consoles" as serious buinsess when the only physical difference was consoles not having hard drives and that changes a long time ago.

Tanakh:
I still don't understand whats the magical diference between a console and a PC. You can literally do anything you can do on a PC on a PS2 with linux (barring system specs of course) and there is no technical limitation preventing you to do the same with a PS3 or Xbox360; you can also run any console OS as a program on a PC and it's common practice to have PCs emulating future consoles for the devs to explore them.

I know the same argument can be done for every hardware that has transistors or something capable of processing info, but a console this generation is preciesly just a kind HTPC (gimped in the sense of it having less freedom with the software than some, great in the sense of game library); if you disagree i would request a technical definition of console that differentiates em from a HTPC.

Then again... dunno, maybe i am wrong, this forums seems to take the "consoles are not PCs and PCs are not consoles" as serious buinsess when the only physical difference was consoles not having hard drives and that changes a long time ago.

One is a closed system and the other one isn't.

You were right in that you could install Linux onto a console, the US Airforce used 1,730 PS3's to create a supercomputer using it.

Unfortunately Sony closed that option, screwing the Airforce out.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100513/0113129410.shtml

Ed130:
One is a closed system and the other one isn't.

Last time I checked a mac mini is among the best HTPC you can get and popular brands like AMD's Trinity come with windows and don't offer support for anything else (any other thing should run, but since they are APUs I am not sure about it)... so I am still confused which one is supposed to be closed and what do you mean by closed.

Also, while you can, I don't think defining a hardware by the kind of software released for it, not the one it's capable for, it's appropiate, but that's just me.

Can the steambox install an update in less than 3 hours? Because my Apple TV thing takes 3 hours. Even though it runs off my internet connection, it's still so incredibly, molasses-in-an-igloo-in-January-slow. If Steambox can beat that, they've got my vote.

Tanakh:
I still don't understand whats the magical diference between a console and a PC. You can literally do anything you can do on a PC on a PS2 with linux (barring system specs of course) and there is no technical limitation preventing you to do the same with a PS3 or Xbox360; you can also run any console OS as a program on a PC and it's common practice to have PCs emulating future consoles for the devs to explore them.

I know the same argument can be done for every hardware that has transistors or something capable of processing info, but a console this generation is preciesly just a kind HTPC (gimped in the sense of it having less freedom with the software than some, great in the sense of game library); if you disagree i would request a technical definition of console that differentiates em from a HTPC.

Then again... dunno, maybe i am wrong, this forums seems to take the "consoles are not PCs and PCs are not consoles" as serious buinsess when the only physical difference was consoles not having hard drives and that changes a long time ago.

The difference is firmware, in other word the purpose, else lot of component of a modern computer could actually be considered PC, has their are on their own computer also, but they are actually device with specific purpose, a PC require to be a end-users general purpose computer.

In the case of the PS3 through I admit the earlier version were more HTPC in disguise, at least before they changed the firmware to disable it general purpose computing capability.

OS also have no baring on whatever something is a PC or not, OS are just there has to provide a layer between the hardware and the system.

iniudan:
You are forgetting the common user in a lot in thing you are suggesting. Also Linux is not hard, is just an illusion that the intermediate user have, has most help available will come in the form of command line, even if they are graphic tool available, know why, because advanced user don't want to have to deal with giving instruction for the GUI utility that will do the task, has you are likely to make or they to induce error with all the GUI variation possible, while the CLI is mostly universal.

I'm just going to say that I run Linux here. I know that it's perfectly possible for someone to clickity click buttons that can help do things on Linux, as I've helped people get started with Linux. I don't know what you're trying to say here other than "common user can't get out of their comfort zone!" The way you've worded it is quite confusing to me at this point.

Apple already got their product in the living room, Apple TV, currently it limited to media streaming, but if they open that thing to their app store and release model with better hardware, you gonna start seeing why Gabe consider them the main competition for the living room.

Here's the thing; they're not going to open their products up. They simply won't. This is something that I've learned time and time again from those guys. Considering that they also lost their main force of innovation (hi Steve), I don't see them doing anything like that yet. It'll take a huge change of heart for this to happen.

Also with more and more people having a capable general purpose mobile device on their person, of which the hardware performance have highly improved over the years, you can easily see why a central hub get increasingly interesting for additional people. Has you basically would just need to be in proximity to a terminal or hub connection and your device could become the client or server of the session. In a few years most people will no longer need desktop or laptop, has they would just need to connect a task appropriate device to their phone, basically most desktop and laptop will become thin client terminal, actual desktop or laptop are for those that will still require brute force, but those has year will go by they become easier to replace with remote access server for an increasing number of task.

A mobile device is not going to do the same thing my desktop does. Sorry, touch and other sorts of mobile interfaces will never work for productivity, for me at least. And remote access servers, however much the future they are, are not going to work for some people. Internet issues say hello. There's also the fact of convenience; having everything you need right with you is something that remote access cannot overcome. I can think of many situations that having everything with you is preferable.

Also about any modern general user aimed Linux distro are has easy to install then Windows, if the system doesn't have secure boot, this one, which is mostly a problem with OEM build system, that Microsoft has create with their windows 8 certification requirement.

And this has something to do with our discussion? Yes, it's common knowledge that some Linux distros are easier to install than Windows, so why is this revelant?

Has for the part where you "It called a PC, it can be done off the shelf with the internet" I think your forgetting something in that paragraph, for the general user that not much effort is still too much. Gabe want to give them a solution that not too much, while still flexible and open for advanced user, which Apple will never do, and which Microsoft cannot be relied to do, has Windows might be open for anyone, willing to pay, to use, and it work well, but the thing is their software are made in a way to keep you locked into their grasp. (I admit they become more open over the last few years, but with some of the thing they are pulling with their newest clients OS iteration, it hard to guess if they will continue that way or try to eat the forbidden Apple)

The thing is, it's just as easy to set up a PC like a media center like what Gaben's suggesting. It's ridiculously easy, unless you go into hosting media servers, which is where things can get iffy.

Tanakh:

Ed130:
One is a closed system and the other one isn't.

Last time I checked a mac mini is among the best HTPC you can get and popular brands like AMD's Trinity come with windows and don't offer support for anything else (any other thing should run, but since they are APUs I am not sure about it)... so I am still confused which one is supposed to be closed and what do you mean by closed.

Also, while you can, I don't think defining a hardware by the kind of software released for it, not the one it's capable for, it's appropiate, but that's just me.

Closed as in you are unable to change the hardware (CPU's, install extra RAM etc). HTPC's like the Mac mini can be opened up and upgraded while consoles tend to remain static in terms of processing power.

A consoles primary purpose is to play games and while this has faded somewhat in recent times it still holds true. In order to do this in the most efficient manner possible and to help game developers consoles are 'frozen' hardware-wise, so that for example a 360 made in 2005 would be able to run the exact same game as one made today with minimal fuss.

thesilentman:
And this has something to do with our discussion? Yes, it's common knowledge that some Linux distros are easier to install than Windows, so why is this revelant?

Because you said this:

thesilentman:
Look at Windows Phone/Mobile. Windows is on "90% of all PCs!" which is bullshit, due to the difficulty there is figuring out Linux installs.

So most likely just a sarcasm that didn't get through.

The thing is, it's just as easy to set up a PC like a media center like what Gaben's suggesting. It's ridiculously easy, unless you go into hosting media servers, which is where things can get iffy.

It easy for us, not for the vast majority, for example my father could actually do it, but he not comfortable with computer and associated concept, but he can dismantle an Harley Davidson to not having a single piece left attached together then rebuild it and no he not a mechanic, that just something he did because he freaking love his bike, which he must have kept in working order for over 15-20 years of actual use, and not just been pretty in the garage, would you find that easy ? I sure don't, has I have no interest in mechanic.

A mobile device is not going to do the same thing my desktop does. Sorry, touch and other sorts of mobile interfaces will never work for productivity, for me at least. And remote access servers, however much the future they are, are not going to work for some people. Internet issues say hello. There's also the fact of convenience; having everything you need right with you is something that remote access cannot overcome. I can think of many situations that having everything with you is preferable.

Your mistaking what a device can do with what you do with it. Don't you think you could use a mobile device just like a desktop if you connected it to a terminal or thin client equip with a screen, mouse and keyboard.

And who said the server had to be on the internet, once the tech and software cost are low enough and up to the task, desktop will mostly just be staying in environment with low number of user with high hardware demand, workstation laptop, will most likely survive for a longer time, has it filling a niche market in between desktop high end hardware and mobile general use hardware.

Here's the thing; they're not going to open their products up. They simply won't. This is something that I've learned time and time again from those guys. Considering that they also lost their main force of innovation (hi Steve), I don't see them doing anything like that yet. It'll take a huge change of heart for this to happen.

They don't need to open their product, they have an app store, that they easily can integrate to Apple TV, it mostly just not available due to their current application not been adapted to a big screen (has each app version target a specific device, has the GUI is not made to scale between iPhone and iPad for example), they will integrate it when it ready. Has for hardware like controller, they will do like every peripheral that are not essential for the use of their hardware, third party make them and have you ever seen how big the peripheral market is for Apple product, considering their market share. Apple doesn't need to do anything beyond enabling the app store for Apple TV to get a console going without any risk themselves, their user might mostly be the lowest common denominator when it come to computer knowledge, but Apple is not stupid, even if they lost the marketing genius that Job was.

Apple died with Steve Jobs. There will be no meaningful living-room competition. This is Gabe trying to get Apple to accelerate its death by pouring money into a market it has no experience with. Best case scenario is that it maybe makes something super-trendy that pulls in a few more old people and bored housewives, but Apple has never, ever, ever, EVER been about software. So instead of marketing to non-tech-savvy computing outsiders with the Reality Distortion Field in place, Apple markets to...hardcore living room gamers.

It's...beautiful, really. King Laius? More like Mark Antony, beyatches. Calling Apple their 'greatest competitor' in the console market is just the unkindest cut of all.

Evil Smurf:
I'd buy an apple console over a steam console actually. i like apple more then Valve.

Comparing Apple and Valve is like comparing apples and...WAIT A MINUTE...

But seriously, Steve Jobs was a tyrannical design purist who burned out several nerds in order to see his designs made as sexy as possible for the non-computing masses. When he was fighting against Bill Gates, this was a great advantage, because Gates' affinity with the workaday PC users and hardcore gaming types that Apple generally despised when it wasn't ignoring during most of its years was benign at best, dismissive at worst.

But Gabe Newell started out as a database designer...then went and designed a game with design so sexy that even now few games dare to try to replicate it (it's just too much work even for plagirists...how many "Half Life clones" are there really?)...and then, while making the sequel to that game, decided to make the greatest collaborative game database in the world, while making it as easy as possible for other devs to join him.

Strength: Valve is not a publicly traded company, answers to no shareholders beholden to current fashion or tech 'trends,' can see a good thing, hire, and develop it long before other larger companies do(KOFFKOFFDOTA2KOFFKOFF) and can thus speak and act more maturely and realistically than anything on the market. As long as we're quoting Julius Ceasar, he does not possess the "lean and hungry look" of one into technology simply for the money, power, or fame it gives. He just made the best possible things he could with his skillset and did his best to ensure that other people could too.

Myrmecodon:
Calling Apple their 'greatest competitor' in the console market is just the unkindest cut of all.

Gabe never mentioned console, but simply the living room, if Apple released purely a console it would indeed fail, has it not something their current market would really buy in great quantity, the thing is that if they give Apple TV the capability to be a console, now that an other kind of problem, has Apple TV is actually selling decently, even if not pulling the number of their other device.

I love that so many people here seem to know the entire industry better than Gabe Newell... it makes laugh. Gabe = billionaire entrepreneur due to his understanding of markets and consumers and ability within the industry. People on here who know more than Gabe Newell = average forum users who have average day jobs at best.

I think Gabe would know more about what his biggest competitor to his own plan is.

Let's see: Microsoft, Nintendo and now Valve all consider Apple their main enemy. Maybe they should team up to take on Apple?

Okay, here's some food for thought, folks:

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/01/the-rumor-that-wont-die-apples-perpetually-pending-video-game-console/

Summary: The Apple gaming console that will destroy/revolutionize (take your pick, depending on your point-of-view) the gaming industry has been on the "it's coming, any day soon, now" list in everyone's mind EXCEPT Apple's since about 1996 (the Pippin was a completely failed experiment, and Apple has not tried again since), and this mysterious, magical console has yet to materialize as anything more than a rumor and link-baiting headline. Pretty much what this comes down to, to me, is the same thing that always happens in technology news. Someone needs attention or page views, so they create a headline and article with Apple in the title.

Look, I admit 100% that I am a complete Apple fanboy (I prefer Apple's products because I'm more productive with them than I am with other products; they just fit my usage, workflow, and thinking patterns better), but given what I know about how Apple works, what markets it's targeting, and what it's priorities seem to be, even I feel the idea of an Apple gaming console is currently a preposterous idea; it's not something I'm going to sit around holding my breath to wait for. Even if such a console were to finally come to light, I doubt it would be any threat to the core of the gaming industry, as it would tend to focus on a much more casual segment that almost none of the posters here on the Escapist (or any other gaming forum, for that matter) would care about or be affected by (though some might scream, cry, and bitch like it does, even though the truth is that it doesn't).

Once the Apple-hate just seemed like irrational anger or childishness. Now, it's starting to sound like insane paranoia of a company having powers and abilities that it's not possible for it to have; people just imagine that it does. The only "reality distortion field" I've ever seen is the one generated by tech-pundits, web-bloggers, and forum posters.

Knowing Apple, their console would be a box made literally of the worst decisions made by the big 3 in recent years. I think an Apple console would be the least gaming-centric console on the market. It'd be an overpriced console with features that you don't need(in the form of apps and a gimmick to control the games(iPad/iPhone compatibility as secondary controllers...).

I also think that Apple would act like SEGA/modern Nintendo towards the 3rd party.

thesilentman:
-snip-

I said MS have successfully been IN the living room for 7 years. That != ruling the living room. It simply means they have had a successful time being in the living room.

As good as Jim is, I drew other conclusions. His bit on PSN+ is good, and he's right, but I'm going off market and mindshare, which MS has had the most of between the two big consoles this generation. It's only on the back end of this gen that PS3 is expected to out ship Xbox 360.

I'm not saying that MS have the best system with Xbox live, but it's certainly been successful for them in getting a foothold in the living room, and no doubt they'll seek to strengthen that. That said, I'm looking forward to seeing what Sony will do with PSN on the next cycle, too. The two big players leveraging their relative strength in the market in this area will only be a good thing.

Back on topic:

Regarding Apple, they'll have to first of all make a console that has something different to offer. With the way the specs are panning out for the next gen of consoles, MS and Sony have finally learnt that power comes secondary to making a great integrated system and developer support. So Apple making a console more powerful will be a moot point. They COULD leverage their iOS system in Apple TV and make it an integrated media hub, however that will cannibalise the sales of Apple TV, unless they are going to sell the two side by side as a tiered "in the home" system. So unless they come up with something that nobody else ever see's coming, they truly will just be another brick in the wall. Not to mention, it will no doubt be, in typical Apple fashion, massively overpriced and patented to hell.

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