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Valve chief says Apple will own your living room

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Valve Software chief Gabe Newell reckons Apple will soon become a major player in the console biz by launching a product that will own the living room.

The prediction was made by Newell at the WTIA TechNW conference this week in Washington DC.

The head of the outfit behind games such as Half Life and Counter-Strike, as well as the digital distribution network Steam, was discussing whether the console business has run its course, The Seattle Times reports.

"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 said.

Hitting out at the Cupertino giant, Valve's topdog said: "I consider Apple to be very closed... Let's say you have a book business and you are charging 5-7 per cent gross margins. You can't exist in an Apple world because they want 30 per cent and they don't care that you only have seven per cent to play with."

When asked if he was verging on hypocritical, with Steam "taxing" game companies that use it, Newell argued that wasn't the case. While Steam does take commission if a title is sold through the platform, developers can also use its free tools to sell games elsewhere, he said.

The Valve boss may like to see Apple crumble, but his foresight into a living-room takeover project could be close to the truth. Apple has filed patents for several technologies that could fit the bill, it's surely only a matter of time... ®

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