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Much speculation is flying around the Internet this week after senior Apple executive was spotted (Gossip Girl style I assume) at the Valve Studios offices.  Knowing that Valve is seeking some hardware talent many in the gaming community are whispering in virtual corners about what such a meeting might mean.  

One option is that the two companies are collaborating on some sort of gaming console that would work with the Apple TV.  I think it more like that if they are in a partnership this would be for providing Steam content to the Apple TV, rather than working on something completely new.  But taking into consideration that Valve R&D is working on some theoretical wearable computing concepts, perhaps that research has something to do with the Apple meeting.  

Apple has definitely cornered the market on mobile gaming, so perhaps the meeting was less about gaming hardware and more about bringing Steam games to the iOS.  Knowing Apple's dedication to the products they have already created, it seems likely that the next step would be to expand their gaming portfolio for a more hardcore market.  With this scenario, however, you would need interface options that iPad and iPhone simply don't provide, which leads us back to the idea of a new console. The console market is definitely something both Apple and Valve are missing out on, and breaking into said market would allow for a huge amount of growth potential for both companies.

The least likely scenario people are talking about seems to be acquisition.  Valve has made itself a powerhouse in the gaming industry, and getting swallowed up by Apple just doesn't seem likely.  If Valve were bought up by Apple, would that mean that their games would only be Mac or iOS compatible? That it self would be a nightmare for PC gamers the world over.

For now we wait and see, and start some whispers of our own.

[via Asia CNET]

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