Here’s a tasty little snippet of info flying around the web today. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently took a visit to Valve HQ, the team responsible for the games Half Life, Portal and Left 4 Dead, as well as the digital PC game distribution platform Steam.
The reason for the visit, which reportedly happened last week, is unknown, but coincides with some interesting moves from both companies. Firstly, Apple are on the brink of revealing their 2012 MacBook Pro and Air models. Secondly, Valve have been making fairly overt hints that they’d like to add a hardware arm to their already robust software one.
Could it be possible that Valve and Apple are to team up to make dedicated gaming hardware? Maybe!
Recently, Valve CEO Gabe Newell stated in an interview that if his company had to enter the hardware race to ensure the future of PC gaming, they would. The project name “Steam Box” has since been bandying around the web, bolstered by a Valve job listing looking for someone to join a “highly motivated team that’s doing hardware design, prototyping, testing, and production across a wide range of platforms.”
“We’re not talking about me-too mice and gamepads here – help us invent whole new gaming experiences,” teased the job listing.
Apple on the other hand, whilst pretty much having the mobile gaming market sewn up, have struggled to make a dent in the PC gaming market, and have never had a presence in the living room. It’s possible that they’re joining forces with Valve in order to bolster their position, and could be helping with the production of the Steam Box, or maybe even a gaming-orientated MacBook. Such a partnership could see Apple wrestling with Sony and Microsoft’s PS3 and Xbox respectively, while Steam would grow beyond their hardcore PC gamer roots.
All rumour for now, but one thing is fairly certain; this wont affect the forthcoming MacBook Pro and Air range. Expected to be superslim, they’ll likely be packing an Ivy Bridge processor and possibly wont even have a dedicated graphics chip, as it would compromise the slim design. Ivy Bridge will have improved integrated graphics capabilities, but nothing that could match even a low-priced gaming PC with a dedicated graphics card.