Apple CEO Visits Valve Headquarters

It turns out that the wild speculation was too good to be true, because in an interview with Seven Day Cooldown, Valve managing director Gabe Newell has officially stamped out any rumors of a visit by Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Seven Day Cooldown is still editing the full interview for their podcast, but they released a clip of the discussion on the site, in which Mr. Newell says the following:

We all sent mail to each other, going, “Who’s Tim Cook meeting with? Is he meeting with you? I’m not meeting with Tim Cook.” It’s one of those rumors that was stated so factually that we were actually confused.

No one here was meeting with Tim Cook or with anybody at Apple that day. I wish we were! We have a long list of things we’d love to see Apple do to support games and gaming better. But no, we didn’t meet with Tim Cook. He seems like a smart guy, but I’ve never actually met him.

There’s nothing more to see here, folks. You can go about your business. Move along. Move along.

Let the speculation begin! AppleInsider is reporting that Apple CEO Tim Cook was seen on Friday visiting Valve’s headquarters in Bellevue, Washington. What this means is anyone’s guess, but let’s parse the possibilities.

Valve is well-known in the world of gaming. In addition to developing beloved series like Halflife and Portal, they also run the gaming platform Steam, which is basically an App Store for computer games. And since Apple has come to recognize gamers as an important segment of their market, a collaboration with Valve could be huge.

Apple CEO Tim Cook.

What kind of collaboration is anyone’s guess. Rumors of Apple releasing a gaming console have run rampant for years, and last month talk of Valve entering the console market started surfacing on the Internet. Could the two companies be planning a box to compete with the next generation of consoles from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo?

Adding a wrinkle to the speculation, Valve posted last week that they’re hiring people to research potential “wearable computer” technology. The article says:

For years, Valve has been all about writing software that provides great gameplay experiences. Now we’re developing hardware to enhance those experiences, and you can be a key part of making that happen…We’re not talking about me-too mice and gamepads here — help us invent whole new gaming experiences.

Since Apple and Google are locked in a constant battle for domination of the tech world, Apple might be looking into “wearable computing” to compete against Google’s recently announced Project Glass.

Valve Corporation Managing Director Gabe Newell.

What Cook’s visit to Valve headquarters means– if it even means anything– we have no idea. What we can say is that Valve and Apple seem to have similar corporate philosophies, so a collaboration makes sense. Both companies limit the number of products they put out, and try to make those products as excellent as possible.

If something does come of this meeting, and it involves Apple getting deeper into gaming in any way, it could be very exciting. Now is a time of great change in the videogame world, and the possibilities are endless. Feel free to post your speculation in the comments section below.