As Valve finally prepares to roll out prototypes for its Steam Box in as little as four months (opens in new tab) , it's apparently as good a time as any for established Lords of the Living Room to comment on PC gaming's strongest push into their realm. During a talk at Microsoft's TechForum conference earlier this week (via The Verge (opens in new tab) ), Microsoft's head of Interactive Entertainment Business Don Mattrick—that's "Xbox boss" in non-corporese—gave a simple "no" in response to being asked if he considers Valve a competitor.
Thankfully, Mattrick keeps his respect just as high as his confidence, stating he admires Valve boss Gabe Newell and the studio's drive for "doing some innovative stuff." He indicates fellow tech and gaming giants Sony, Nintendo, Apple, and Google represent a "richer scale of products and things being brought to market."
Newell shared his own take on Steam Box's stiffest competition back in January, citing Apple's similar living-room ambitions as "the biggest challenge" facing the project. "I think that there's a scenario where we see sort of a dumbed-down living room platform emerging," he said. "I think Apple rolls the console guys really easily. The question is can we make enough progress in the PC space to establish ourselves there, and also figure out better ways of addressing mobile before Apple takes over the living room?"