Apple CEO Tim Cook spotted at video game designer Valve's headquarters

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014


Apple's chief executive Tim Cook reportedly visited the Bellevue, Washington headquarters of Valve Corporation earlier today, inciting questions about new potential for collaboration between the two companies.



Valve, created by two former Microsoft employees in the mid 90s, has grown into a major video games developer and maintains the Steam gaming platform, which distributes over 1,400 games to an audience of over 30 million active users.



Steam works similar to Apple's iOS App Store within iTunes, providing a market for PC video game titles and a mechanism for automatically delivering the latest software updates to players.











After months of rumors that suggested Valve would begin supporting Mac users in Steam, in early 2010 the company announced it would bring a series of its own video games, including Half-Life 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and Team Fortress 2, to the Mac platform for the first time. It also announced it would simultaneously release Portal 2 for the Mac and Windows that winter.



At the time, John Cook, the director of Steam development at Valve, stated that Apple had "been a great partner so far and we look forward to growing our relationship with them over time."



Apple's big turn around in gaming



The shift was particularly significant because less than three years earlier, in late 2007, Steam co-founder Gabe Newell had publicly complained that Apple simply didn't get gaming.



"We have this pattern with Apple," Newell said in an interview, "where we meet with them, people there go 'wow, gaming is incredibly important, we should do something with gaming,' and then we'll say, 'OK, here are three things you could do to make that better,' and then they say OK, and then we never see them again.



"And then a year later, a new group of people show up, who apparently have no idea that the last group of people were there, and never follow through on anything. So, they seem to think that they want to do gaming, but there's never any follow through on any of the things they say they're going to do."



Newell added at the time that video games are "one of the biggest things holding them back in the consumer space. If you look at a Macintosh right now, it does a lot of things really well compared to a Vista PC, but there are no games. Why, I don't know. If I were a Macintosh product manager, it would be pretty high on my list."



iOS and Game Center



Apple's seemingly indifferent stance on gaming appeared to change rapidly following the release of iPhone and the new iPod touch in 2007, and in particular after the release of the App Store in early 2008.



Games became a major focus for iOS developers and accounted for a large percentage of the software Apple's new App Store began selling, threatening the business of entrenched gaming companies including Sony and Nintendo.









Apple has since added gaming-centric features to its hardware and to iOS, including Game Center. The company has since announced plans to bring Game Center to the Mac in this summer's OS X Mountain Lion.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

«13456

Comments

  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,990member
    Tim Cook at Valve?



    ? Huh.
  • buckeyestarbuckeyestar Posts: 38member
    With all the rumors of Valve making their own console, this could be very interesting if true.
  • kpluckkpluck Posts: 499member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple's chief executive Tim Cook reportedly visited the Bellevue, Washington headquarters of Valve Corporation earlier today, inciting questions about new potential for collaboration between the two companies.



    Collaboration, possibly. Purchase? Unlikely I suppose but a lot more interesting.



    -kpluck
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 7,906member
    I like STEAM. I signed up as soon as it was released for Mac, and I've managed to get many Mac games for a pretty reasonable price. I also like the fact that you basically own the games for life, and your entire library will always live on the cloud, no matter which machine you use.



    Tim Cook being spotted at Valve's HQ can only be seen as a good thing.
  • dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Buckeyestar View Post


    With all the rumors of Valve making their own console, this could be very interesting if true.



    Apple produced hardware...
  • poochpooch Posts: 768member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple's chief executive Tim Cook reportedly visited the Bellevue, Washington headquarters of Valve Corporation earlier today, inciting questions about new potential for collaboration between the two companies.



    inciting? really? is that the best word you professional journalists could come up with? hardly relevant in this context.
  • kennethkenneth Posts: 832member
    That's good. Did he stop by T-mobile HQ too?
  • d-ranged-range Posts: 396member
    Could it be that Valve is looking at Apple as a partner for their SteamBox hardware? That would be freaking amazing, an Apple-built box with first-class support from Valve and Steam. It could actually get me interested in PC-gaming again, after years of just consoles. I gave up on PC gaming because I got fed up of building and upgrading my ugly big PC towers, that almost continually seemed to lag behind what the games required. That, and the awful experience of having to dick around with Windows, drivers, installers, etc.



    Imagine a box like the Mac Mini, fast enough to run current games, using a hardware profile that developers can target, and (say) a 2 or 3 year upgrade cycle, that can also be used as a fully capable OS X machine. The hardware is not the problem, but the support from developers, and Valve could make that happen.
  • dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by d-range View Post


    Could it be that Valve is looking at Apple as a partner for their SteamBox hardware? That would be freaking amazing, an Apple-built box with first-class support from Valve and Steam. It could actually get me interested in PC-gaming again, after years of just consoles. I gave up on PC gaming because I got fed up of building and upgrading my ugly big PC towers, that almost continually seemed to lag behind what the games required. That, and the awful experience of having to dick around with Windows, drivers, installers, etc.



    Imagine a box like the Mac Mini, fast enough to run current games, using a hardware profile that developers can target, and (say) a 2 or 3 year upgrade cycle, that can also be used as a fully capable OS X machine. The hardware is not the problem, but the support from developers, and Valve could make that happen.



    Not going to happen unless Cook and company has been really working hard on a tool set that can rival Direct X...
  • buckeyestarbuckeyestar Posts: 38member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post


    Apple produced hardware...



    The 3 things I'd buy if they existed:



    Apple television

    7" iPad Nano

    Apple game console, integrated into the TV would be even better
  • xero910xero910 Posts: 41member
    As much as I would love an Apple-made Steam-box, I wouldn't hold my breath. I could see them trying to integrate consoles better into their AppleTV plans. Maybe that's what this is about.
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,052member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Tim Cook at Valve?



    ? Huh.



    Yeah, somehow they stretched it into a whole article. Well written recap of the players, but nonetheless a bit thin on "what's new?" other than Tim Cook being spotted somewhere OMG what does it mean???
  • nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,134member
    Gaming played big part in pushing iOS. Now that Game Center is coming to OS X it makes sense for improved Mac App Store for Games. Apple's best bet is to go after someone with experience in gaming and buy them. We don't want what happened with Bungie to happens again.
  • d-ranged-range Posts: 396member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post


    Not going to happen unless Cook and company has been really working hard on a tool set that can rival Direct X...



    OpenGL can already rival DirectX, especially if you have full control over the hardware specifications. In terms of capabilities, OpenGL + vendor extensions = just as powerful as DirectX.



    Did you know the PS3 runs OpenGL?
  • boogabooga Posts: 1,070member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post


    Not going to happen unless Cook and company has been really working hard on a tool set that can rival Direct X...



    Are you actually talking about DirectX, or Direct3D? And, in particular, the desktop version or Direct3D Mobile and comparing that against OpenGL, or OpenGL ES?



    To summarize, Apple's doing perfectly fine with OpenGL ES (especially 2.0 which adds much more flexible shader pipelines) compared to DirectX Mobile, and the rest of DirectX (video, etc) Apple's way ahead on. As for the desktop versions, as long as you're not on a Windows kernel they're pretty comparable. Microsoft hobbles OpenGL on Windows by keeping the necessary OpenGL support out of the kernel leading to excessive context switching and thus worse OpenGL support. This should be considered a deficiency of Windows, not of OpenGL.
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,052member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    I like STEAM. I signed up as soon as it was released for Mac, and I've managed to get many Mac games for a pretty reasonable price. I also like the fact that you basically own the games for life, and your entire library will always live on the cloud, no matter which machine you use.



    Tim Cook being spotted at Valve's HQ can only be seen as a good thing.



    I also think highly of Steam. It works. EA should really stop trying to compete with it.

    Game Center is a bit of an unknown. (Incidentally, Games for Windows is completely dysfunctional and constantly updating itself when all you want to do is play a game, intruding into user experience, something that Microsoft has loads of experience at fucking up.) Interestingly, when a CEO goes to visit another, its usually because he wants something. Whatever Tim Cook's business is at Valve, I hope it means good things for Mac and iOS.
  • mysticalosmysticalos Posts: 25member
    Apple has shifted their focus, to iOS gaming. macintosh desktop gaming is still sub part. Lion pushed opengl 3.2 as a sub feature, barely even mentioning it at all, and highlighted a bunch of features relevent to a mobile platform instead. Even then, 3.2 was about 2 years too late to end user. Even with 10.8, no 4.x is in sight. They aren't working very well with ati and nvidia either in bringing the latest hardware to us sooner, instead of having to settle for a 2 generation old card still being sold at a premium price when it is flat out obsolete (5870). Mac pros that haven't been updated since 2010, about the only true hardware for a high end gamer. Apple has not turned their feelings around even remotely. What's 10.8's most promising feature for gaming? Gaming center? more apis that mean more to mobile gaming like a macbook pro or air, then an actual desktop gamer would care about. But no modern advances to the things that actually IMPROVE our gaming hardware or even software performance in sight. Companies like blizzard and steam and the like spend more time trying to make their games work at all then they do making them work smooth. It's no secret a mac boote into boot camp running same game will run it a ton better there then in OS X, there is a reason for that, and it's because windows platform actually has real gaming focus and not "oh look, you'll get to play angry birds with friends in 10.8 on gaming center"
  • brlawyerbrlawyer Posts: 828member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Tim Cook at Valve?



    ? Huh.



    Well, he would be really high on my CEO list if he did two things related to gaming:



    - Buy Steam and ensure porting of every Valve game to Macs;



    - buy Bungie and make us all enjoy Marathon for Lion!
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,990member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MysticalOS View Post


    ?instead of having to settle for a 2 generation old card still being sold at a premium price when it is flat out obsolete (5870).



    You can't use that as evidence.



    Quote:

    Mac pros? ?about the only true hardware for a high end gamer.



    No, that's not true at all.



    Quote:

    But no modern advances to the things that actually IMPROVE our gaming hardware or even software performance in sight.



    Li~ke? what?



    Quote:

    Companies like blizzard and steam and the like spend more time trying to make their games work at all then they do making them work smooth.



    No, companies take the lazy way out and make idiotic Cider ports instead of native software and then whine when it doesn't work.



    Quote:

    It's no secret a mac boote into boot camp running same game will run it a ton better there then in OS X



    Secret to me. OS overhead is marginal at beset.



    Quote:

    ?there is a reason for that, and it's because windows platform actually has real gaming focus?



    No, not in the slightest. That's not the reason.
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,052member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by d-range View Post


    OpenGL can already rival DirectX, especially if you have full control over the hardware specifications. In terms of capabilities, OpenGL + vendor extensions = just as powerful as DirectX.



    Did you know the PS3 runs OpenGL?



    I don't disagree, but I think the OP was referring to the entire DX code stack, which was originally designed to abstract away all access to the PC hardware. Audio, input controllers, video display devices were hidden behind DirectX, not only making games work on different generations of PC hardware, but the Xbox as well. OpenGL really ony deals with a subset of graphics programming: 3D rendering. However, Apple has done a pretty good job adding gaming APIs into iOS to complement the non-3D graphics hardware access provided by OpenGL, so in the end, what he's wishing for probably already exists, without a name like DirectX to draw attention to itself
Sign In or Register to comment.