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Apple Businesses Entertainment Games

Apple Console Rumour Resurfaces 201

Posted by Zonk
from the super-dooper-ipod-express dept.
1up has commentary on speculation from an industry analyst, which GamesIndustry.biz has published. Prudential analyst Jesse Tortora gesticulates wildly in the direction of renewed interest by Apple in the games market. From the GI.biz article: "We think the videogame market represents a distinct possibility for Apple, especially considering that it recently announced the availability of videogames for its iPod through its iTunes store ... The game console device could be morphed out of some combination of the MacMini and iTV, while the handheld player could be developed as an enhancement for a future version of the widescreen iPod."
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Apple Console Rumour Resurfaces

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  • by creimer (824291) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @06:50PM (#17139110) Homepage
    Buy Nintendo, slap an Apple logo on the Wii, call it Applicious and get sued by the Beatles (again)!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Considering how much the Wii and it's packaging look like an Apple product, it seems like they are already working together.

      In any case, it would make more sense for Apple to get into some sort of collaboration with Nintendo (iTMS Channel on your Wii maybe?) then to enter an already full gaming market. If Apple already had a games development studio, it might make more sense, but as it is, they're better off interfacing with the existing consoles instead.
      • by steveo777 (183629)
        iTMSChannel? You read my mind. Hell, I'd pay another $25-50 bucks to be able to listen to whatever I want on my Wii when I'm gaming (like the 360). If I could just plug in my iPod... I know there are USB ports on the back. Any idea what they're for yet?
    • Actually, I think it would be a Bad idea for Apple to produce a games system (regardless of whether they bought a company or not) but it could be a good idea for them to partner with a company.
  • It'll work great! (Score:5, Informative)

    by the_humeister (922869) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @06:51PM (#17139124)
    Just like their last one [wikipedia.org]. BTW, isn't the console market getting a little crowded already?
  • by TheWoozle (984500) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @06:52PM (#17139136)
    The only way I see Apple getting into the console business is *after* they've taken the living room by storm with their other media offerings (iTV, etc.). Exactly the opposite of the way Microsoft and Sony are doing it.
    • by maeka (518272)
      The only way I see Apple getting into the console business is *after* they've taken the living room by storm with their other media offerings (iTV, etc.). Exactly the opposite of the way Microsoft and Sony are doing it.


      Fair view, unless you consider console games an essential foot in the living room door.
    • by NineNine (235196)
      Exactly the opposite of the way Microsoft and Sony are doing it.

      What do you mean, exactly? My PS2 is the center of my entertainment now (games, movies, and music). The PS3 will do the same thing for me. What else is there?
      • I think he was saying, in the opposite direction. With the PS3 and XBox, Sony and Microsoft are leveraging what is essentially a game console to establish a foothold in general entertainment (movies and music). The poster was suggesting that Apple, on the other hand, could leverage what is supposed to be a general entertainment system (the iTV, which will play music and movies), in order to gain a foothold in the game-console market.

        I'm not sure it would work, but I'm pretty sure that's what he means by

        • by drsmithy (35869)

          The poster was suggesting that Apple, on the other hand, could leverage what is supposed to be a general entertainment system (the iTV, which will play music and movies), in order to gain a foothold in the game-console market.

          The iTV isn't a "general entertainment system", it's a glorified input switcher.

          • by pboulang (16954)

            The iTV isn't a "general entertainment system", it's a glorified input switcher.
            The same could be said about IE or Firefox.
      • Mood Lighting! [coolstuffcheap.com] Get the blue one to compliment the LED on your PS2
    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @07:06PM (#17139324) Homepage

      On the other hand, they could put "casual" games on the iTV from the start. By "casual", I mean exactly the sort of games they're putting on the iPod right now: Tetris, Bejeweled, Pac-Man, etc. It would be a minor selling-point but be a sort of foot-in-the-door.

      Really, Apple is in a good position to do this gradually. The first thing would be establish the iTV with these casual games. Meanwhile, they should be trying to get game developers to port more of their games to OSX, with simultaneous launches with the other platforms. Then they could release a decent bluetooth gaming controller (or maybe license the technology from Nintendo for the Wii-mote?) Finally, they could release a specialized iTV to run connect to this controller and play these games.

      It wouldn't be so far different from what Microsoft has done. What's the Xbox, really? A computer running a modified version of Windows. It plays games which are not very different from Windows games (from what I've been lead to believe). There's no reason why Apple couldn't do the same thing-- release a specialized Mac that runs a specialized version of OSX, aimed at gaming. The difference might be that you could also take those games to your regular Macintosh and play them there, too (I wish Microsoft had done that, and made it so Xbox games could run on your PC).

      • by Blakey Rat (99501)
        If they're going to be trying to woo game developers, they're going to have to do something (and fast) to compete or be compatible with Microsoft's XNA development tools very very quickly. Using XNA/DirectX, developers can simultaneously develop a game for Windows Vista, XP and Xbox 360 with all the industry standard plug-ins (like Havok physics) and support for all the major rendering engines (like Unreal 3.0). That's hard to beat. Windows Vista might be disappointing, but I think everyone can agree that M
        • by Yvan256 (722131)

          And frankly, I'm sure this rumor is all a bunch of hot air. When a company is developing a game console, people know... simply the amount of game studios/tool developers/hardware designers/etc involved will make leaks impossible to avoid. (I mean, everyone knew pretty much everything about the Xbox a full year before its launch.)

          Oh, you mean like everyone knew about the 5th generation iPod which can play games? Even long-time Mac games developers didn't knew about it. Apple are usually able to keep their ne

          • by Blakey Rat (99501)
            The difference between iPod games and Xbox/PS3/Wii games is tremendous. The iPod can play games like a cell phone can play games-- the controls are all off, the games themselves are simplistic, and the graphics and sound are at MAYBE Super Nintendo levels. Making the leap from that to competing with even Nintendo (the least powerful console of this generation) is enormous.

            I don't think iPod games indicate anything... you might as well say that since Bejeweled runs on Motorola phones that Motorola is going t
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by mikey_man380 (1031652)
        the whole reason why Microsoft et al. don't want you to play console games on your pc is so that you BUY a console.
    • The only way I see Apple getting into the console business is *after* they've taken the living room by storm with their other media offerings (iTV, etc.). Exactly the opposite of the way Microsoft and Sony are doing it. Yes, because Sony is a relatively young upstart that sprung into prominence with the release of the Playstation. Never mind that whole Walkman thing, or VCRs, or televisions, or home stereos, or any of the other products that have been infiltrating American living rooms since the 1960's.
      • by Yvan256 (722131)
        Never mind the digital/internet revolution, where Apple knows how it works (Easy CD ripping, easy synching, iTunes, iTunes Store, iPod) and Sony is still stuck trying to force its consumers to eat up locked down/proprietary formats (miniDisc, Memory Sticks, Atrac3, Blu-Ray).

        Apple has always been about computers and software, Sony has always been about separate devices, until recently. The fact that Sony has internal conflicts (Sony Hardware vs Sony Pictures+Sony Music) doesn't help them a bit.
    • by DrXym (126579)
      Except why would iTV take the living room by storm? The device is pointless unless you already own another Mac / PC which happens to be turned on, running the streaming software. Not many people would be inclined to go through all that.

      Besides, if you want to watch movie downloads on your TV, then both the 360 and the PS3 will do it from a single box. The 360's service has already started and Sony's can't be far behind. And both the 360 and PS3 cost less than buying an iTV and even a Mac Mini.

      Apple's po

    • by Xugumad (39311)
      Yeah - joining the console market for this generation would be incredible financial suicide. All three of the major consoles have launched (except the PS3 in about half the world, but never mind), everyone who was waiting for a specific console is now trying to get hold of one. Unless Apple is about to launch a games console imminently, it'd be coming out so far into this generation people would barely notice.

      There's a decent chance one of the major console manufacturers will give up making hardware after t
  • A stripped-down, customised OSX variant for the Wii.

    Hey, they're both white. It's an ideal match. You heard it here first...

    • The Wii has the lowest specifications of this console generation and it's already documented that the OS X kernel is slower than others such as Linux, which would be a better fit. Although a custom game-specific OS kernel would probably be even better.
  • iTV not released yet (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mkiwi (585287) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @07:33PM (#17139692)
    Seeing as the "iTV" has not even been released and gone through a few revisions, I can't possibly see this happening in even a year. It could happen, though, as many games are written with OpenGL (as opposed to DirectX)- and it could be totally cool, since if you have a broadband connection and a wireless card, you can play games in your 7.1 THX certified 45" LCD home theater setup wirelessly over the Internet (Read: CmdrTaco's ultimate WoW fantasy).

    Only problem is getting people in that particular age group and price point. But, one man told me, "Parents buy things. That's what they're for." [Insert inflamitory jokes about Paris Hilton here]

    $0.02

  • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @07:39PM (#17139762)
    Here's a concept that should be considered: Apple are clearly wanting to build a living-room device that displays content from the network and internet on the television. The hardware they will use will be better than the mere "just enough" to get the job done. So why not invest a couple of extra bucks and partner up with Nintendo so their living room device plays Gamecube and Revolution games? Surely future Apple hardware could hack it. Neither side has anything to lose: Apple's living room device becomes more versatile while the market for Nintendo games grows substantially. Plus, don't underestimate the the value of Steve Jobs and countless Apple ads saying the word "Nintendo" on multiple occasions. Nintendo need the added mindshare.
    • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @09:07PM (#17140560)

      After the cell processor was more or less confirmed to win the battle for the console, but before Apple announced the switch to Intel this move seemed like a no-brainer. A virtual Nintendo console built into every mac would have been a real win. Now, however, the development for both the Wii and the Mac virtual console might be too hard. If Apple, Nintendo, and Sony were willing to shake hands in order to deliver a combined kick to Microsoft's groin they could to it as follows: build a single development platform on top of OpenGL and similar technologies that allow a game developer to target the Wii, Mac, Linux, Windows, and PS3 with minimal effort. Promote it like hell and hand it out to every college student everywhere. All the players are already behind OpenGL in one way or another. This would have a similar, but more widespread effect and threaten some of MS's lock-in with respect to their crown jewels (Windows). But then I've always been one of those "a strong offense..." types.

    • by 7Prime (871679)

      What's a "Revolution"? Wasn't that the predicessor to the Wii?

      What a silly name. Glad they changed it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thermal_7 (929308)

      So why not invest a couple of extra bucks and partner up with Nintendo so their living room device plays Gamecube and Revolution games?

      For the same reason that Nintendo don't release Nintendo franchise games to non-Nintendo consoles. Exclusivity drives people to buy Nintendo consoles, which they actually make money off as well as the games. In addition they also lose brand recognition as the Nintendo console is no longer seen as a magical wonderful box but as something easily emulated. And lastly, what

    • by Evangelion (2145)

      I have a better idea.

      Just port iTunes over to the Wii.

      People will want to buy music on the Wii, and people will want to watch movies and TV shows, so let them buy them from iTMS. The Wii has USB , so you could even sync your iPod with it.

      Or if Apple just wants to tie the product to their CPU sales, have them port the iTV "streaming" software to the Wii, and still require a Mac on the LAN to stream from.

      While it wouldn't directly make Apple money from iTV-like hardware sales, it would be a strategic interce
  • Microsoft uses DirectX [roughlydrafted.com] to tie game development to Windows and the Xbox. That presents a significant weakness for an Apple assault into serious PC gaming, on the level of Microsoft trying to displace the iPod with the Zune. Microsoft can spend billions for years and may still end up no better luck than five years of Janus/PlaysForSure [roughlydrafted.com].

    Apple's best bet may be to target competition with the Wii - leave Sony and Microsoft to fight over $500-700 game consoles (they are both the same price with HD optical media p [roughlydrafted.com]
  • About time! (Score:3, Funny)

    by The-Bus (138060) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @07:45PM (#17139818)
    We needed a Dreamcast for this generation and the original Microsoft Xbox team has been pretty nervous about "being the next Dreamcast" ever since the 360 debuted its weird circular logo and brought Peter Moore on to lead the whole thing.
  • by djupedal (584558)
    "...especially considering that it recently announced the availability of videogames for its iPod through its iTunes store"

    I know I get all tingley when I think about playing 'Pong' & '2-D Centipede in My Pants' on my iPod...ohhhhhhhh....ahhhhhh! Start of a revolution, that! Look out PS3! U 'pwned!!
  • What would make me giddy like a schoolgirl is if Nintendo and Apple somehow got together and made it so I could play emulated NES/SuperNES games on my iPod, assuming it's even technically feasible given screen size, processing power, etc. Given those two, I imagine it would be possible to make a controller that plugs into the connector on an iPod. Would be awesome!
    • That could only improve the sales rate of Nintendo's cash cow portable game machines.

      Oh wait, no.

  • how many games do you play that can be made to work with just one button on the controller?

    • by UtucXul (658400)
      Didn't the Atari 2600 joystick have only 1 button? And Steve Jobs did work for Atari. So as long as Asteroids and Pacman are good enough for you, it should be fine.
  • Steve Jobs has never embraced gamers as a legitimate target audience, regardless of the evidence that gaming is the number three reason people buy home computers, right behind the web and email. Even now, getting Apple to add decent video cards and support is like pulling teeth. Their implementation of OpenGL performs abysmally.

    Apple may join the gaming fray, but they'll fall flat on their face with that egotistical moron running the show. He's gone out of his way to impede game creation on MacOS for fear t
  • by Esc7 (996317) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @08:06PM (#17140018)
    There's a big problem that is brought up in the article: Console makers sell hardware at a loss. Yes, yes I know about the Wii and how it makes a "profit" but I doubt that is Nintendo's primary source of profit. It has been and always been the games. With Apple notorious for selling overvalued hardware in shiny plastic, this business model is something foreign to them. And then ponder this next point. So what GAMES is this iConsole going to have? If it just has ports of everything else no one in their right mind is going to buy it. It needs a killer app. Good luck Apple finding a developer to create a "must have game" on a new, possibly disastrous platform, for something you know absolutely nothing about. I detest companies trying to do everything for everyone. Do something and do it well dammit.
    • I concur. There's no way in hell Apple will survive in the console market. Gamers are not willing to pay the premiums that Apple users gladly shell out. Not when there are comparable products from proven producers out there. They'll re-Pippin.
    • by 7Prime (871679) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @10:07PM (#17141044) Homepage Journal

      Noone would buy a Mac if it simply had Windows installed on it. People buy Macs because they love OSX, and its integration with the hardware. OSX is to Apple what Zelda and Mario are to Nintendo. People wouldn't buy a Nintendo, anymore, if Nintendo stopped selling great games, and stop trying to create an inspired atmosphere for developers to do the same. People wouldn't buy Macs if Apple stopped making OSX and stopped pushing developers to be more consistant, interface friendly, and created a framework for them to create better software.

      It's all about infostructure, and both Nintendo and Apple have very similar philosophies when it comes to their developer frameworks.

      The only real difference is how they ACTUALLY get their money. In the gaming industry, hardware is sold at a loss or at only a small profit (even Nintendo wouldn't stay in the game if they ONLY had their hardware profits to live off of). In the computer world, hardware is sold at a huge profit, and software is used to promote the hardware (iTMS and the iPod being a good example).

      Simply because Apple, itself, doesn't "do games", per-say, has very little relivance. They don't do games because the Macintosh lost the gaming war LONG AGO, and it would be futile for them to put a lot of money into trying to win back that market. Also, Apple's plug-n-play, and hard-nosed infostructure is much better suited for the console market than the Computer Gaming market, which are very different.

      So, you're right, Apple doesn't have a snowballs chance in hell in the Computer Gaming market. They have about as much chance as Nintendo does in the PC gaming market. Both have an attitude very well suited to the console gaming market.

      • by Txiasaeia (581598)
        "Noone would buy a Mac if it simply had Windows installed on it. People buy Macs because they love OSX, and its integration with the hardware..."

        Off-topic, I know, but I bought an iMac about a month ago solely for its form factor. I needed a small, silent, reasonably fast machine for everyday use and couldn't find anything with as small a footprint as an iMac. I really despise OSX and use it only as a media player, but XP flies on it. So yeah, there are some people out there who buy Macs for the hardwa

  • by tji (74570) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @08:15PM (#17140084)
    I think they're smarter than that. They wouldn't go after an entrenched market, where they have no particular skillset advantage, especially one that you need to throw tons of money at to get a foothold. Gaming has been done, by many more qualified competitors.

    I wouldn't be surprised if they offered a few simple games, for the casual gamer, on a device like the iTV. Similar to what they do for the iPod. But, I wouldn't call that going after the gaming market, any more than I would call the iPod a GameBoy/PSP competitor.
    • by mgblst (80109)
      This is the whole point. They start of selling a few games for the iTV, just to say they have something to download. If people really enjoy these games and they take off, then they should be to capitalise on this, and start really pumping out the games. If they keep them cheap and simple, then there is a market that isn't really being tapped at the moment.
  • by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @08:17PM (#17140100) Homepage Journal

    Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are battling it out for console supremacy, devoting massive resources to winning this war.

    Hey, what a great time for Apple to jump in! Low barriers to entry. No entrenched competitors, and a vast unserved market with pent-up demand. It's *perfect*!!!

  • Just think about it. Nintendo tends to shoot for the family and low end market. They strive more for inovation of design. Their sales are not all that spectacular. It seems they are a worthwhile company for someone like apple to buy out. Further more it would open up the desktop gaming market to them as they could port all the nintendo games past, present, and future to OSX.
    • Actually lately Nintendos sales are spectacular, look at the DS 20 mio consoles sold and no end, and the Wii seems to become a success as well.
  • Marketshare is needed if they want to not waste billions like Microsoft and Sony did.

    Nintendo already uses powerpc chips and making another wii with macosx and frontrow would be great. They could use nintendo api's to backport alot of wii titles to teh mac if any developers want to target that market as well. Too bad Apple switched to x86.
    • by p0tat03 (985078)

      Apple is still a computing company first. Moving to x86 is probably the single most important thing they've done in YEARS. The possibility of running Windows on a Mac is what has converted many of my colleagues to Mac over the last year. The Switch is occurring much faster than it has ever before, and much of that is thanks to the Intel move.

  • n-Tunes (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Pi_r_ed (1003627)
    Nintendo's "Shop Channel" has so-far only shown games, and had us all waiting for the Opera browser. Why not team up with Apple, and include an iTunes application for the thing? It can't play CDs anyway...
  • Buy an iMac... shove Boot Camp on it... Games Machine!!

    Seriously though, maybe they should concentrate on having people write games for their computers then. I mean granted, you have Civ IV and Doom, but 99% of Mac games arrive late and it's just embarrassing. I mean they have Myst as the splash graphic for Strategy Games on their store for Pete's sake! My local Game store here in the UK has just removed its Mac shelf (yup, one shelf) to make room for... more console magazines.

    If Apple are really seriou
  • ...and I do not mean 3D as in 2D graphics with 3D drawings but real 3D graphics, as in floating in mid air images with 360 degrees visibility. The technology is already available.

    And if such a console was coupled with an innovative control method analogous to the Wiimote, it could be a success.

    I do not see Apple succeeding in the console market in any other way.
  • I think that Apple probably is trying to come up with some strategy to address the problem of not enough games for the Mac. I don't think they will make a separate video game console. I think they will do some things to try to make the mac more attractive to game developers and maybe they will create some games of their own for the Mac.
  • How about a $199 add on to a Mac that makes it XBox360 compatible, using the existing DVD, hard drive, display, sound - i.e using the Mac as an audio and storage peripheral, and steal its monitor to play games? And that can also work with any PC whose manufacturer takes the trouble to tweak the software?

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