It’s time for Apple to take over the game console market

“With iOS 7.0.3 and Apple TV 6.0, iPhone and iPad games are already playable on a TV, according to Kyle Richter, but can be hard to control,” Tim Nash writes for Seeking Alpha.

“When it comes to playing iPhone and iPad games through Apple TV, AirPlay currently has too much latency it takes too much time for your game to respond on the TV and if Apple is to truly take over the games console market, Apple TV needs to be able to also handle the larger blockbuster games, which can be 50-60Gb,” Nash writes. “So it is far better and easier to upgrade Apple TV and make it a games console, which can also be the household media center and backup drive.”

Nash writes, “What would this cost? $399 [same as Sony PS4] for 1TB or $499 (same as MS Xbox One) for 3TB. Apple offers the iMac Fusion Drive upgrade for $200, but iMac pricing already includes a 1TB hard drive and so the $300 extra on top of the $99 for the current Apple TV should cover costs + the usual Apple margins. While Apple could hit a lower price point now, it can save any discounting for older models when it launches a new model for the holiday season every year.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple granted 29 patents covering Multi-Touch, 3D gaming, an iPhone cooling system and more – July 3, 2013
Apple’s new Sprite Kit framework targets gaming on iOS 7, OS X Mavericks and – shh! – maybe even Apple TV – June 21, 2013
Apple’s new Apple TV SDK could completely revolutionize home gaming; Sony and Microsoft should be very afraid – June 19, 2013
WWDC 2013: Now it looks like Apple’s going to take out the console market – June 14, 2013
Apple TV dominates digital media receiver market with 71% share – May 29, 2013

22 Comments

  1. Oh yes. But Apple can’t go in this alone. They should partner up with…get ready…Sega! A Sega/Apple joint production could do wonders for both companies. In the past Sega partnership with M$ (and Apple’s partnership with Bandai) weren’t exactly matches made in heaven, but it’s a new era, and I can totally see this happening.

  2. I hate all these Seeking Alpha articles posted recently. The first page is barely better than the summary, then they want me to join to see the second page. I have to learn to start noticing it in the summary and not bothering to click the article.

  3. It was reported (via a citation on Daring Fireball) that Microsoft loses $2 billion a year on the Xbox. Seems like Apple should stay out of the market and let Microsoft continue to do that as long as possible.

    1. Both HD and NAND memory are dropping like a rock. Get rid of the Intel processor tax (use A8 processor) and an AppleTV could compete nicely for the console market, if Apple chose to do so.

      An enhanced AppleTV along these lines could store a ton of content, iTunes purchased or recorded from TV, as well as games. Through in WiFi 802.11 ac with Apple’s setup user interface and you have an easy to install/use console.

      All that said, I don’t see it in Apple’s future.

  4. Apple doesn’t need to create a full fledged game console device. I can rely on its echo system of connected devices (Macs, iPads, time capsule, etc.). The storage of game data can be delegated to these other devices while the heavy graphics processing is performed on the Apple TV (assuming an A7 processor in there). The only thing missing is a game controller interface and access to the Appstore. Not all games would even require close range mass storage. Definitely a possibility to disrupt without having to play on the other guys’ terms.

    1. The dumbbell at seeking alpha is twisting the original blog post to support his own idiotic conclusions. Richter’s post was about how Apple is already getting the latency down to manageable levels, and how you WOULDN’T need a standalone device other than the $99 Apple TV. The way he wrote the article it looks like Richter is agreeing with him when in fact it’s just the opposite. I had lazy, underhanded hack jobs like that.

      @fumancha – Apple has already released a game controller API – and I’ve seen some of Logitech’s prototypes at the apple dev conf – hopefully will be released soon. I’m wondering if there will be some other big news that goes along with it…

  5. Apple does not need to create a “game console.” It can all work through an enhance AirPlay mode.

    The “enhanced” game would be a regular iOS app, that can be played through the device on its own screen. Apple TV not required. But when an Apple TV is detected on the local network, enhanced AirPlay mode is made available in the game.

    When entering enhanced AirPlay mode, the iOS device sends a portion of the game to the Apple TV, and this portion of the game runs ON the Apple TV. The iOS device becomes a remote control device, with customized screen (NOT the game screen) for use with that particular game. This is equivalent to using the Apple TV remote control app on an iOS device; the Apple TV is running its own software and the iOS device becomes the remote control interface.

    Advantages of this approach:

    No need to create a new online market (“app store”) just for the Apple TV. The games work as regular iOS apps, with the entire iOS user base (not the relatively small number of Apple TV users) as potential customers.

    Therefore, no hesitation from iOS developers to add enhanced AirPlay mode to games. Apple can make it relatively easy with new APIs, like when iPad was introduced to iPhone developers, or when the Retina display was added. If this was a separate (Apple TV) game console platform, there would be hesitation from developers to support it.

    No “latency” issues, because the Apple TV is doing the heavy lifting, NOT the iOS device. Only game control user input is transmitted over the network most of the time; the entire game screen is NOT being continuously “streamed” from the iOS device to the Apple TV. This also preserves battery life on the iOS device.

    The Apple TV does not need to have permanent onboard storage. The game app is stored on the iOS device, and only the portion needed is sent to the Apple TV, “on demand.” So, the Apple TV only needs temporary storage, which is already in the existing Apple TV design.

    Everyone with an iOS device (and an HDTV) will want to get an Apple TV, to use this enhanced AirPlay mode. This is how Apple makes Apple TV NOT a hobby anymore. And with more Apple TV customers “out there,” Apple has the added clout to improve Apple TV’s “standalone” features, content, and services.

  6. The core gaming market of the future will be on Steam and the coming SteamOS and Steambox. Valve understands the core market and what developers want. They are building a monster and they have a visionary focus.

    Apple can make a ton in games without taking the console market.

    Consoles themselves are the pinnacle of dedicated gaming hardware and vertically integrated gaming software. What makes them great is that for 5-6 years you pretty much have a guarantee that every piece of software released is going to work out of the box without question and the whole machine is designed at its core to play games before anything else.

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