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Opinion: Apple's shadow looms over next generation consoles
Opinion: Apple's shadow looms over next generation consoles Exclusive
April 4, 2012 | By Chris Morris

April 4, 2012 | By Chris Morris
More: Console/PC, Exclusive, Business/Marketing

As the next generation of console systems looms, and the industry devours any scraps of gossip about the next Xbox or PlayStation, I'm starting to wonder if Microsoft and Sony are paying enough attention to Apple – and the threat it presents to their living room dominance.

While Steve Jobs never had a big interest in the gaming world, the app store quickly made the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch portable gaming powerhouses – albeit using a vastly different model than Nintendo and Sony. These days, Tim Cook is running the show – and he's not an executive who's going to ignore a $60 billion-plus industry.

The preliminary steps already seem to be underway. Reports surfaced this week that Apple is already working on standalone game control hardware, and there are also whispers about AppleTV.

The two together could be a potent combination (with the addition of the current standalone AppleTV device being another weapon in the company's arsenal). The mainstream world has already embraced apps – and core gamers are playing them more often as well (though certainly haven't given up on traditional titles).

A controller, while it tends to fall outside of Apple's hardware wheelhouse, could give those core gamers a reason to take a step away from their consoles.

Whether that controller comes from Apple or a third party building off of the company's hardware, the real key to Apple's entree into gaming could be AirPlay. Gaming on your TV via the iPad using AirPlay is a seamless experience. It looks good. There are no latency issues (or, if there are, it's not something most players would notice). And while AirPlay might not be ideal for titles like Angry Birds Space, it seems just one killer app away from transforming Apple into a legitimate threat to the industry.

And if that game controller is, in fact, being made, it will only hasten the transformation.

Apple's gaming efforts have already won the company the support of most major publishers. While EA and Take-Two certainly make the bulk of their income from traditional console games at present, they're taking steps to protect against a broader shift to Apple-centric gaming by expanding their mobile divisions and ensuring major franchises have equal exposure on iDevices and consoles. (Let's face it, the lower development costs don't hurt either, especially with the hike that comes with a new generation of consoles.)

Meanwhile, last month, Epic Games threw its considerable weight behind the company, when president Mike Capps, speaking at an Apple press event unveiling the new iPad, declared: "This new device has more memory and higher screen resolution than an Xbox 360 or PS3."

Apple's maneuvering occurs as Microsoft and Sony prepare to do battle with their next generation of home consoles. And if the rumor mill is right, the new machines will be less about hardware and more about services. That's an area Apple specializes in.

Even more troubling: Judging by media reports and what I've heard from developers who have been briefed on the systems, there's nothing really revolutionary-sounding about either machine to date. And the strict DRM measures Sony and Microsoft apparently plan to take with the new machines are likely to irk gamers.

While alarmist cries that both systems will make used games unplayable are ridiculous, players are likely going to have to pay a fee to activate a used game on their system – similar to EA's widely copied "Project $10" initiative (though it will likely extend to both single- and multiplayer elements of the game).

That's creating a lot of ill will towards the companies now among players. Apple, meanwhile, is seeing off the charts satisfaction. A study released Monday from ChangeWave Research finds that 98 percent of owners of the new iPad are satisfied (with 82 percent saying they were "very satisfied").

Sales seem to be ahead of expectations as well, with J.P. Morgan predicting first-quarter iPhone sales of 31.1 million and iPad sales of 13.8 million. (We'll learn the actual numbers on April 24 during the company's earnings call.)

Of course, this is hardly an all or nothing situation. An Apple entry into the living room gaming space won't sound a death knell for consoles, but it could weaken them.

The good news is home consoles have some advantages in this fight. First, they've got a long history in this business – and know the audience better than anyone at Apple. That can help them keep the core gamers satisfied as they wage war for the mainstream.

Perhaps more importantly, though, is Apple's current lack of a visionary as focused as Steve Jobs was. His drive for perfection pushed the company to its current spot in the consumer electronics field, but keeping that magic touch will be increasingly more difficult in the years to come.

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Phil Nolan
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I don't think apple is even remotely a threat, neither is Google for that matter. OnLive, on the other hand, is someone they shouldn't watching.

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Joe Zachery
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Apple is already a threat with out even doing anything. The structure of their business, the acceptance of their brand with the mainstream, and the quality of their products. All of that alone makes them a threat to everyone in the gaming industry. Their only problem is lack of 1st party software, but that didn't stop Sony years ago. As we can see Apple is a way smarter business than them so if they can follow their steps. Doing what must be done at the right times. They could clearly come in and take away hardware sales, and market share.

Biff Bird
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I completely agree with Phil, I don't see how the current iDevices would affect console sales in any meaningful way. If they do release a console, I don't think it would be a major threat since it would most likely be rather expensive and targetted more at the casual market. Nintendo might have something to worry about in that case, but Sony and Microsoft would probably be less threatened than they were by the Wii when it launched.

Jeremy Glazman
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Agreed, if anything iOS hurts Nintendo's chances as recreating the success of the Wii, but MS and Sony console users aren't going to be affected by casual touchscreen games in the slightest. Top end AAA console titles still blow top end iOS titles out of the water in terms of revenue.

If the next gen consoles are focusing on services rather than hardware that's just common sense given the trend of the entire industry and shouldn't have much if anything to do with the App Store.

Jeremy Alessi
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Apple was a threat in 2008, it's gone way beyond that now.

Nicholas Ulring
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I think iPhone and Android have the ability to invade our living rooms. Nothing is stopping these Phones from connecting to your TV. Already some Android phones can connect to a TV via HDMI. You can also connect Bluetooth controllers to them. That seems like home console ready to me. We are not far off to be able to transmit wireless video and Audio to our TVs. I think our phones are going to become our next consoles. We will have games on the AppStore that are designed for mobile use only, games that are designed for TV, and some that are designed for both or a combination of the two. Apple and Google wont have to make a new console. Their existing phones are capable of doing the same thing.

Ian Uniacke
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Except I think there are some intangible things that makes a console a console. Already we can connect pcs to our tvs but that alone doesn't make them a console. I'm not saying that this won't happen but the technological ability doesn't make the product.

Jerome Grasdijk
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Console-ness is mostly about simplicity. If its a simple media-player, easy to navigate, a point-and-fire system for launching your collection of games, then it qualifies as a console. There's no reason a wireless iPhone or iPad couldn't do it, in combination with perhaps an Apple TV box attached to the tv.

The real issue here is around the controller. The controller determines a lot about the gameplay, and I'm not sure any device where you are trying to use a touchscreen in your hands while trying to keep your eyes on a game on a big tv is going to work so well.

Nicholas MacDonald
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Apple will affect hardware sales, but I don't know how much overlap is truly occurring between iDevices and home consoles. Considering that the style of games that sell the highest on iOS are worlds apart from games on consoles, I would argue that Apple is taking away customers that the competition never even had to begin with. These are the people that Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft want purchasing their products, but haven't had as much success as they would like.

If Apple releases any products geared towards putting iOS on the big screen, my best bet would be a revision of Apple TV that includes an optional controller. This would introduce the issue of designing for the controller and designing for iPad Airplay, or potentially having games that only work on Apple TV. No matter how you look it, Apple would be compromising their own values to introduce additional gaming hardware.

Opposite this we have the Nintendo Wii U, which arguably is the perfect competition to an iPad because it can position itself to be the cheaper gaming tablet alternative, especially if Apple starts marketing its products towards the living room. I think it may be too early to say that consoles are doomed, but they certainly will need to evolve beyond what they are now.

Bob Charone
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40 of top 50 grossing (in terms of $) apps on App Store are games, how are they NOT game console company. The Wii U is just an iPad with AirPlay, no?

Russell Carroll
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WiiU has a proper controller, which allows it to play a wider variety of games including both iOS-like apps and those which are now popular on consoles but do not translate well to a touch only interface (from NSMB to COD every spectrum of the console industry is an example of the issue that Apple faces going forward w/o a proper controller).

Apple becomes a console company once games come first, and though games are selling well on iOS, neither the iPad nor the iPhone are games-first devices. Games that mimic a console experience have to overcome the short-comings of the devices at present. If Apple focused on getting games what they needed to compete with console games, then I think we could rightly call them a console company. Right now it is a pleasant extra, not the focus.

Tyler King
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I agree with Joe. Microsoft and Sony have been pushing away from being a gaming first console for a very long time now. Are games a huge feature? Sure, but they want to be seen more as entertainment centers that do everything rather than being mainly gaming devices.

Bob Johnson
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If Apple is a console company then where is my CoD, NSMB, Battlefield 3, SkyRim, GTA, etc ?

I don't see them on my iPad.

k s
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@joe Sony never was a console company and MS is shifting away. Sadly we only have one console company left, Nintendo (who are awesome BTW).

Cody Scott
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The problem is the types of games that sell best on the iDevices are not the same types of games that would sell well on a console. Apple would need to start developing their own IP for their console for a descent launch library. Apple in my opinion would be better off making their OSX platforms more for gaming and start pushing cut down mac minis with a controller that can play the same games that are on your macbook.

Mikhail Mukin
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It is same "entertainment money" (and people time) they compete for, so Steam, Apple, Facebook are a big threat. I assume the mid-term goal (from MSFT/Sony) point with new consoles is to create "closed enough" but still "attractive enough" platform so that enough developers want to risk developing for it. If there are enough developers, enough titles will be released, people will want to buy the consoles for the games and MSFT/Sony get $ from every product sale. The "platform economy" becomes sustainable.

I think the main things MSFT/Sony need to do are:

1. Make it powefull and "cool". Attract the hardcore market with best graphics etc. This is what people who buy it first buy it for.
2. Solve re-sale issue. Money from re-sale need to go to developer/publisher/Sony/MSFT. Have a good PR campaign explaining why this it is a good thing that people who make the product get the money, not just re-sellers.
3. Make it easy (cheaper!) to develop, make good tools, make good docs, good forums, make consoles as similar as possible to each other - and maybe PC (yes, Sony and MSFT - with iOS, Android and Steam you both are fighting for survival in this iteration - not just for "who is the first"). You might as well partner up, as weird as it sounds...
4. Make SDKs open, allow community to port engines, provide and promote exchange of code and information. What do you really have to loose? Everybody who is interested knows somebody in the industry who can burn them DVD... so just make it public officially.
5. Make it a good, easy to use device not only for games but for movies, internet etc.

And as to 3 and 4... I really do not want to deal with different math libraries, container libraries, multithreading/job management systems, memory managers, asserts, logging, basic types, different ways to get game stats, XLSP etc on every new project. Having one good set of libraries provided by MSFT and Sony (ideally - in some collaboration) would be real help in porting projects and re-using code. Make it work like Nvidia and ATI - different companies, different HW, but same DirectX/OpenGL APIs.

Just as an example - what SPURS did for SPUs was good - every project I know would either use SPURS or wrote a policy module using SPURS API, so code from different projects, 3rd parties works together reasonably nicely. However, big companies could afford writing a X360/PC system that works similar to SPURS and abstract it... small companies simply do not have time/resources to do deal with it and had to suffer with hacky threading models or inefficiencies, platform specific bugs and work arounds... We need more of that code that abstracts platform HW - making a tech for one project is just too much money and too risky... developers abandoning "big consoles". You can make it back only if you make several games on the same tech... A company probably spending a billion level $ on new console HW could spend $10 mil to give us good basic tech right from the beginning...

Jeremie Sinic
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"2. Solve re-sale issue. Money from re-sale need to go to developer/publisher/Sony/MSFT. Have a good PR campaign explaining why this it is a good thing that people who make the product get the money, not just re-sellers."

So you mean publishers get paid more than once for the same disc? It had better be much much cheaper than games are now, then.

I remember as a kid my means were limited and my time was almost unlimited, so I almost never bought a new game. Sometimes I would receive one for Christmas or my birthday, but I would almost never buy new ones because I wouldn't be able to afford them. And the ability to trade in my used games would let me play more titles.

If there hadn't been a re-sale market, I would've probably turned to other hobbies and might not be buying 2-3 new console games a month as I am doing right now.

This industry's threat is shortsightedness, not Apple.

Mikhail Mukin
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> So you mean publishers get paid more than once for the same disc?
not only publishers. The money go into revenue and shared according to whatever the publishing contract was. Right now - it goes to people who pretty much has nothing to do with making a game. And yes, a lot of people wait for "cheap games" and so do not buy new once - partially due to this. I never buy new once too...

Agree that $60 is too much.

To be honest, I have selfish interests here :) As a developer who has been through 2 previous gen console cycles, I want Sony/MSFT to keep this "protected area", where you still can work on interesting, complicated titles but work reasonable hours, in a good team, and get paid good money, enjoy "doing things right". And I understand that this - to some extent - conflicts with players wanting "cheap titles" :)

Money from resales and rentals, fighting piracy, good PR, good tools, good and reliable HW, good tech support, good Live/Home experience - those are all steps MS/Sony could do to make our (developers) life easier.

Last few years the console industry was branching into 2 distinct categories:
A few "mega hits" (where most developers stuck in pre-defined positions, with little freedom and creativity).
Some XBLA/PSN titles, that are constantly in a crunch - low budgets, no time, no good tech, working on 3 projects at the same time etc. But at least with some freedom and creativity.

Quite a few good people left console industry or thinking about it... it is just getting not fun. Yes, you can always go mobile/social... but (no offence to people making those) - we have been doing that level of games many years ago... it is not that fun to return to it from technical standpoint (though "making money" part can be fun, I guess :)

Apple is not a threat to games industry - it is a threat to "big consoles" games industry. But as life is a survival of the fittest, maybe it is time for us to start dying...

Bob Johnson
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Please back up these articles with examples of the big 360 games we can play on the iPad right now.


Exactly. Crickets chirping.

The overlap between 360 and iOS games only exists with Xbox Live Arcade. And what would an ATV and a controller from Apple cost you? Hint: It is in same ballpark as what a base 360 can be had for now. Oh yeah and you still have to buy the $500 iPad.

Airplay has noticeable latency too. I don't think many have played iPad games on their TVs. I have. It works but it is a worse experience.

This talk also only comes about because the 360 is going on 7 years now. IT is old tech. EVen then it is an exaggeration right now that the iPad has the processing power of a 360. What happens in 2013? That talk goes away.

Johnathon Swift
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This is exactly what I've been talking about with people, but at the same time I don't think Apple would go after Microsoft and Sony directly.

Instead I see the scenario playing out thusly:The Ipad 3 already has graphical horsepower solidly approaching the 360 and PS3. Infinity Blade, Dungeons could definitely be a downloadable game on either. Now take the next generation of Apple hardware, what is a quad core Cortex A15 Ipad going to be able to put out? What if the next Apple tv had the same horsepower?

Then add a controller to this, add a front facing camera to the Apple TV for a Playstation Eye kind of thing. Apple products would suddenly turn into a sort of game console like device. That's the model they already go off of, iOS stuff is already something like a console-ified general computing product. Standardized hardware, tightly controlled software, etc.

With a standardized controller Apple stuff could turn into an entirely new kind of hybrid console. Upgrading every year, cheaper than any of its competitors, with more general computing function than any of its competitors (for an Apple Tv anyway), oh and its mobile of course. To Sony and Microsoft I would preach the same for hardware that developers have been for software as of late: Adaptability. Stay loose, stay alert, and definitely don't feel confident that the old business models are nearly as solid as they once were.

Wylie Garvin
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Before people say "I don't think Apple is even remotely a threat", they might want to watch this presentation by Ben Cousins:

Maybe the dedicated-console game market will not dry up overnight, but maybe it will be surpassed by more general-purpose devices that are just as powerful. Imagine a future iPad sending HD rendered image and audio wirelessly to your TV, and controlled by the player with a dedicated wireless controller... that would be as good as a console when at home, plus you could take it with you to the other room or on the bus and still use it. The next-gen consoles don't arrive for another ~2 years, and things have already changed significantly over the last 5 years.

Bob Johnson
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Except a device like an iPad can never be as powerful as a console can be. CPU and gpu processing power is always greater the more space you have and more juice you can have powering it. iPad is limited by battery life and its slim form factor.

That is why an iPad still isn't as powerful as a 360 even though the 360 is 7 years old.

No the biggest threat to the AAA market is the increased costs of development and an audience that in many cases won't grow enough to support those costs.

NOw direct digital distribution could solve that equation at least for a generation.

Brice Morrison
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Thanks for sharing Wylie, that is a fantastic deck and right on the money. I highly recommend it if others didn't read it.

Absolutely true, overall computing power of consoles is far better than iDevices, as are the controllers. But it doesn't matter. History of arcade games proves it.

Very sad, I've grown up a huge Nintendo fan and loved seeing them dominate with the Wii. But this may be the end -- I wouldn't be surprised if I read about them being acquired in 2014.

Bob Johnson
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A bit too much Chicken Little.

Arcades didn't prove that powerful hardware didn't matter. They proved that consoles were a much more efficient way of delivering games. And proved that consoles were much more convenient. IN this regard an iPad is neither at least inside the home.

Nintendo isn't likely to go away either. They are financially well off. They have strong game franchises. And Nintendo innovates/differentiates with their hardware. The net effect is to create gaming experiences you can't get elsewhere.

Joe McGinn
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Good post Wylie. I do get a "whistling past the graveyard" vibe from some of the "nothing ever changes" crowd. Which are in every industry around every establish technology - just ask IBM. Because, you know, nothing ever does change. Until it does.

Bob Johnson
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btw, there is a company out there that sells a machine for under $200 that plays AAA disc games and smaller iOS-type digitally dsitributed games with no lag on your TV. And the machine comes with a controller for that price. It can also play media. Check it out. A company based in Seattle makes it. Micro-something or another.

Adam Bishop
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I feel like suggesting that the iPad will displace consoles is kind of like saying that hip-hop has replaced rock music. Or that rock replaced jazz. While there's definitely some overlap, there are significant differences in the marketplace. Unless the idea is that Apple is essentially going to release a console, one that plays Call of Duty, Mass Effect, Uncharted, etc. But if that's the case, then all we're talking about is moving units from one console manufacturer to another, not a major shift in how or why people play games.

In fact, I'm not even convinced that the iPad is displacing handheld sales. The Nintendo DS sold a little under 9 million units in its first 10 months on the market back in 2005. In the first 9 months that the 3DS has been on sale, they've sold 15 million units, nearly double the quantity! I'm not saying that Apple will never eat into the traditional games market, but I don't think we've seen particularly strong evidence yet that traditional consoles/handhelds are suffering.

Harlan Sumgui
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rock did replace jazz. It's hard to believe, but in the 40 and 50's, jazz was pop music. millions of kids learned sax/bass/etc, but over the course of the 60s and 70s jazz almost disappeared. Yes there are a few acts around, and some people still learn sax etc, but for all intents and purposes, jazz as an industry is dead.

What is really important is what people spend their limited time using, and increasingly that is mobile devices.

Traditional gaming is in steep decline in terms of revenue. No it wont disappear, just like jazz hasn't. But that doesn't mean it wont become a small niche market.

Adam Bishop
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On what basis are we basing the assertion that "traditional gaming is in steep decline"? I suspect a big part of declining NDP numbers and such is the fact that the bottom fell out of the music game market. And are we including digital revenue in our calculations? What's the amount of revenue generated through Steam vs hard disc PC game sales? And where's the evidence that the fall off isn't related to the poor economic conditions we've seen in the past 3-4 years? And even if we did accept that "traditional gaming is in steep decline", what evidence do we have that Apple has anything to do with it?

Jacob Germany
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"And where's the evidence that the fall off isn't related to the poor economic conditions we've seen in the past 3-4 years?"

At this point, I would link oh-so-many links to the sales numbers of iPads, Android tablets, and the like. Over 40 million? Projected to 60 million by the end of the year?

I'm not personally making any statements on Apple, consoles, or console sales, or anything of the like. But, I hardly think it's true that the global recession can be to blame when it seems to have no effect on the sale of a digital device whose cheapest version is more expensive than the most expensive console. It's much more complicated than that.

Harlan Sumgui
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"On what basis are we basing the assertion that "traditional gaming is in steep decline"?"

Number of new games being developed, studio closures, retail decline as per npd numbers, stock valuation of traditional publishers, etc.

Hey, I don't want to be right, I want a growing healthy traditional console/PC big budget games market and I want to see those with the skills in demand.

I have hope that a console refresh will stimulate the market, but little birds tell me that the focus will be on monetizing other aspects of the nextgen and the creation of ecosystems with locked in content so people are tied to the company long term. Gaming will still be the main feature, but that is a long way from when gaming was the only feature of a console. Nintendo will be the exception, though.

One other thought, customer satisfaction w/ regard to consoles is pretty low, especially when compared with things like the iPad. Combine that with the over aggressive hype machines game and console companies regularly employ, and you have a recipe for customer loss.

Take the kinect for example, customer satisfaction is really low for that device, and if you look at the marketing for it during the initial sales push, is it any wonder many feel like they were ripped off? An industry and a company that was concerned about the long term health of their markets would never have marketed that device that way. If you want satisfied customers, you don't promise things you cannot deliver. see Apple as a good example of that practise.

Harry Fields
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Hype... Always hype... The iPad will not replace traditional consoles. Nor will fracking phones, Android, iOS or otherwise. If Apple wants to get into the console race, and they certainly have the money to do so, they will need a dedicated, graphically powerful box with a controller. I don't see Apple doing well in an industry where Hardware generates losses, what with their 100%+ profit on most hardware they sell. A 1200$ iBox U5 will not sell. A 300$ iBox U5 could do well, especially if Apple pulled some coup and bought out EA or Activision.

Kyle Redd
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One major benefit Apple has if they decide to enter the gaming market in a major way is that, regardless of what form their hardware solution ultimately takes (most importantly the controller), they're guaranteed a massive amount of free press, publicity, and praise right from the get-go.

Even if it turns out to have serious flaws in the design, which isn't exactly far-fetched given their limited experience in gaming hardware, it won't matter in the slightest to the initial audience. The press will almost certainly declare it to be revolutionary long before the first "official reviews" are ever printed.

Nathaniel Marlow
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I can buy that, it'll be like when a MacBook refresh happens and every corner of the internet is abuzz about it.

I never get to read about incremental updates to, say, the HP EliteBook or whatever. That's basically what I'm getting at here, the free press Apple gets over unremarkable things is impressive.

shayne oneill
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I've long thought Apple should Aquire Nintendo or Sony , or strike partnership with them to build a common API for games. Personally I think Nintendo would be a great fit as they seem to have a likemindedness about aesthetics and general stability (Both Apple and nintendo make fairly solid hardware) and theres no handset market conflict-of-interest. It would give apple an instant-in to the games world, as well as helping nintendo with its north american market credibility. My hidden agenda: It'd bring more games to the mac in the way that windows/xbox's synergy keeps titles on the PC. And I want more games on my mac!

Jacob Germany
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That's what I was thinking. I would think Sony or Microsoft would make even more sense than Nintendo, though, so as to leverage a very quick reply to the Wii U, as opposed to Kinect and PS Move, which were late to the Wii-sponsored motion-controlled party.

John Flush
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I've spent more on iOS games (iPad games specifically) than I have console games for the year. The trend is showing up at least. The problem is Free-to-Play (or better said, pay-to-win) will damage the brand enough that people continue to not take it seriously. There are few games on iOS that aren't out to micro-transaction you to force you to grind - that is definitely slowing down progress of the platform.

Jonathan Murphy
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(flips coin) Google teams up with Valve to make a next gen console in 2015. It's all guessing for now.

Jason Hu
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I was just reading a related article and thought I might share it here.

waz smith
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Ok, here's a wild idea. Since 50% of IPad use is at home, why shouldn't the Wii U Controller replace the IPad?

Leon T
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In an world where ios is a threat during its rise the PSP grew to a 70 million install base and the DS grew to a 130 million install base and counting. The 3DS has a 20 million install base with multiple million sellers and Vita is slowing selling along. The 360 is having its best years and the PS3 and Wii are still selling.

People keep saying that ios is a threat to consoles but since consoles keep selling along the same cycles as if ios does not exist I will keep ignoring these people.

wes bogdan
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The bigest way apple can shake down consoles is in the e-shop i mean who's going to pay $59 for a digital mass effect 3 on psn if you can get it on apple tv @ a much better price say $29-$39!! Though if apple wants a stable of first party games nintendo's the closest vision wise to apple..imagine mario on a future apple tv crunched on apple servers so the device wouldn't need much power to deliver better than ps3/360 graphics,sound etc.

Heck even roku has games with the roku 2 players -though the lack of 5.8ghz has kept me far away as my roku-xr and xd/s both have the 5ghz band supported.

If the next boxes arrive with everything locked down,well the more opressive/controling policys become the more cracks will be made as people seek something which treats them as humans not 0110001100...... but seriously ps2 and xbox were the last friendly consoles as by ps3/360's end we've had many bad decisons:online passes,cutting out the users from class action so we can all be screwed later,dropping the 5 systems down to 2 and lumping psp/vita together so you can't have 2 psp and 2 seperate vita systems-Sony must really not like money as before you were encouraged to buy 3,4 or 5 ps3 systems as media centers but now they don't want people buying more than 2 systems and when ps4 arrives you'll be punished for having 2 ps3 systems as i expect ps4 to count against my ps3 count.

I own : 3 ps3's,3 xbox360's,2 wii's,every ds,blue and zelda 3ds,1 3g vita,2 gcn,ps2 and xbox 1 but have never gameshared with anyone even my brother though i'm still being punished for doing nothing wrong.

I was even speculating on how else we'd be screwed by sony,ms or nintendo and if consoles fall with the next gen said companys need check no further than the nearest mirror.