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Gabe Newell: Apple will oust consoles

With new living-room hardware.

Valve leader Gabe Newell "suspects" that Apple will render traditional consoles obsolete with a new piece of hardware.

"I suspect Apple will launch a living-room product that redefines people's expectations really strongly and the notion of a separate console platform will disappear," Newell prophesied, during a tech conference reported by The Seattle Times.

What that new hardware will be, Newell admitted he had no knowledge of.

He also has reservations. Newell believes closed platforms are the "wrong philosophical approach", but said people will emulate them because of the success of Apple and Xbox Live.

"I'm worried that the things that traditionally have been the source of a lot of innovation are going," he shared. "There's going to be an attempt to close those off so somebody will say, 'I'm tired of competing with Google, I'm tired of competing with Facebook, I'll apply a console model and exclude the competitors I don't like from my world.'"

Newell considers Apple to be "very closed", and justified this with the example of a book business not being able to exist in "an Apple world" because they "they want 30 per cent" and "don't care" about the teensy life-line margin the business operates on.

Newell promised that if Valve made a hardware platform, it would be open to competing distribution services because that is important to the future of the entertainment industry, according to The Seattle Times' paraphrasing.

Many people already house a Mac mini underneath or alongside their tellies for media/browsing purposes, although consoles - PS3, 360, Wii/Wii U - are busy adding extra-curricular media functionality to their game-playing machines.

Apple single-handedly created a tablet market and has, as Newell said, "redefined" what people want from a smartphone - not to mention Apple's impact on desktop computers, laptops and portable music players.

Should Apple turn such inventive and persuasive clout on the living-room, then Newell's prophesy may not be so far fetched after all.

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Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.


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