UPDATE: Never happened, according to Valve.
We actually, 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." So we're... 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.
Last week Tim Cook visited Valve, one of the biggest influencers in PC gaming, to talk about a work-in-progress TV set Apple is working on, according to anonymous sources. Supposedly the TV will be ready for games, complete with Kinect-style motion recognition, touch input through a custom remote control, and support Siri-esque voice input. Obviously, the gaming opportunities for such a mythical piece of hardware are significant, especially if it's able to tap into the huge library of iOS games currently available, but it's unclear how Valve would fit into that picture. Supposedly, this TV set will be available this year, though analysts think that kind of timing is unlikely.
This rumor comes after word that Valve was working on their own console called the Steam Box, after their hugely successful digital distribution platform, but Valve promptly corrected the media by saying they would rather partner with a hardware vendor for that sort of thing. A vendor like Apple? It's hard to say, and I somehow doubt Apple would allow anything but the App Store to sell games on there, but an Apple TV set with gaming powered by Steam would be really, really awesome.
It's worth noting that Valve is perpetually experimenting, including in the realm of wearable computing, but the process is more about gathering valuable information than it is about shipping a product. That said, even if Apple was talking to Valve about a TV doesn't mean they would be directly involved. Steam started supporting Mac about two years ago, and it seems more likely that Cook's visit was about how that relationship is evolving, rather than some high-profile hardware partnership.
In any case, it's interesting to hear about the potential capabilities of a game-ready Apple TV. Could you guys replace your Xbox 360 with an Apple TV that plays games originally optimized for the new iPad?
Source: Cult of Mac
P.S.: For a good laugh, check out Team Fortress 2's Mac update minisite and comic.
Update: Aaaaand it totally didn't happen, according to Valve CEO Gabe Newell.