Apple visits Valve, collaborates to make games console? Or is Apple buying Valve?
Was Tim Cook’s visit to Valve headquarters this weekend more than a regular check-up?
When Apple CEO Tim Cook visited Valve last week, speculation immediately started over why. Were Apple finally making a push into video games, after stumbling into them with the success of the iPhone? If you believe rumours, then yes.
Behind critically acclaimed franchise such as Half-Life and Portal, and the game service Steam, Valve know what it takes to be successful in the video games industry. Reports earlier this year even suggested that they were working on a “Steam Box” – an open source video games console – that Valve said wasn’t happening … for now.
Integrate living room
However, not only have Cult of Mac’s sources confirmed that Tim Cook was at Valve but they are aiming to take over the living room. Not with just a TV, but a games console.
Cult of Mac say Apple is working on a TV set with integrated touch controls and Siri as Apple’s voice recognition technology. The TV will arrive by the end of 2012, but the site’s source says the company will launch a Kinect-like console that will heavily rely on touch and motion controls.
Valve’s Steam service has over 30 million users on PC and Mac. As we reported last week, job postings suggested that Valve were working on gaming hardware. While the company later revealed they were working on “wearable computing,” the Steam Box was rumoured to be featuring biometric technology in the form of a bracelet or some other wearable device (which would monitor a player’s pulse, for example, and potentially change the game experience if they became more/less nervous).
In an interview with Penny Arcade last year, Gabe Newell – founder of Valve – was concerned over the closed approach Apple takes to its products. He said that Apple was creating successful products but limiting what they can do with them, which results in people jailbreaking devices to add functionality.
Apple can certainly manufacturer hardware quickly – the new iPad sold three million units in its first weekend on sale. Cult of Mac says to have heard Apple could be considering Valve as a partner, an interesting philosophy dynamic.