Apple may be poised to conquer the video game industry

“Apple may be about to make a formal entrance into the video game console market,” Evan Hanson writes for 24/7 Wall St. “Metal, the new graphics API Apple unveiled on Monday, strongly suggests that the iPhone-maker is taking core gaming seriously.””

“With Metal, the A7 chip that powers Apple’s iPad Air is capable of outputting graphics on par with modern consoles: Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare, a game originally released for the Xbox One, was shown running on Apple’s tablet,” Hanson writes. “Industry observers have long expected Apple to enter the video game console business — if it does, it could create a new opportunity for Apple, while putting immense pressure on the existing console players, including Microsoft.”

“To some extent, Apple is already a major player in the video game industry — last year, Apple’s customers spent $10 billion on iTunes apps, the majority of which went to game creators. Extending this app store model to the living room seems like an obvious move,” Hanson writes. “In November, Apple confirmed that it had acquired PrimeSense, a company known for its work on the first-generation Kinect, the motion and voice sensor sold as an add-on to Microsoft’s Xbox 360. Although it’s impossible to know what Apple plans to do with PrimeSense, including the technology in a future Apple TV video game console wouldn’t be shocking.”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “David B.” for the heads up.]

19 Comments

  1. I hope that if they do get into the console business, they team up with Sega. Not only will their iDreamcast becomes a reality, but it would feel like poetic justice. M$ ripped off Sega’s Dreamcast, and made the Xbox, years earlier, they ripped of Mac, and created Windows. I hope they do this.

  2. Apple is certainly laying the foundations for better gaming, but it’s far too soon to try and guess what Apple’s actual plans or what sort of timescale they’re working to.

    It will become clearer when we see the next generation of Apple TVs. If Apple is planning to conquer the video game industry, it will need an Apple TV that is much better optimised for that purpose.

    1. Yes, at the least it needs to move to the A7 chip and get more than 512Mb of RAM. But just letting 3rd party developers put apps on the Apple TV would be great. See what people come up with. AirPlay is great, but a game running natively on more powerful AppleTV would be better, IMHO.

  3. Thanks to the explosion of the “casual gaming” concept (spearheaded by the iOS ecosystem), we now have an growing population of gamers, and a rapid shrinking (shrinkage?) of console gaming.

    It seems that the gaming as activity is slowly moving into the category of time-killer (as opposed to time-waster). Console gaming is increasingly becoming the niche domain of dedicated, hard-core gamers (single men in their 20s and 30s), which means a fairly specialised marked with nowhere near the mass appeal they used to have.

    Apple TV might be the only way for console gaming (as a concept) to remain mainstream. Most people won’t bother buying a gaming console when they have games on their phones. However, it may be easier to justify an AppleTV purchase (for reasons other than gaming), and also get a gaming device in the process.

  4. If the next gen Apple TV contains the new A8 chip, it would seem like a ‘must have” device in this age of the TV cord cutter. I would be a far more attactive device.

    And if Apple decided to also allow a full version of iOS on it, I could also imagine kids spending a whole lot of time on it besides playing gasmes, but maybe use it for homework when connected to a monitor and keyboard.

  5. They need to approach Nintendo and Team up. Nintendo has been really hesitant to put its games on IOS because they want to sell their hardware. An Apple TV with an Nintendo store would be amazing. Include all the games from NES to the Wii U would be very nice.

    1. How many games are there in the Nintendo universe anyway? A few thousand at most. Even the notorious PS2 didn’t have more than 4,000 games.

      On iOS, there are over 200,000 games available for download / purchase. Even if you dismiss nine out of 10 as bad, it sill leaves ten times more than all Nintendo games ever produced for any Nintendo platform (including third-party developers!).

      I can’t possibly see why would Apple need to team up with Nintendo if all they would get would be a few dozen games. There is clearly no shortage of quality gaming development for iOS. If AppleTV ever gets game-console features, the developers will flock rapidly and there is really nothing of value Nintendo (or Sega, or even Sony’s PS division) could bring to Apple and the iOS.

      1. Predrag, each of those “few dozen games” that you posit would sell in the millions, perhaps tens of millions. And “nothing of value”?? Mario has value. Sonic has value. And so on.

        With Metal in iOS 8, Apple will essentially upgrade hundreds of millions of iOS devices in a few weeks. It is a bold initial move for Apple in this area of technology.

  6. So… Let’s keep an eye out for a FULLY FUNCTIONAL Apple TV with game controller, including an integrated noise reduction microphone for chatting with Siri as well as gaming pals. Imagine that. It makes me feel all wiggly. 😉

  7. I believe the next Apple TV will not be like XBOX. Instead it will be what it is now without the lag time in streaming. There is a lot of evidence that they have solved this. Then all the iOS games will be set top box games too. No need to buy twice. No need to open ATV to 3rd parties, their apps will work. Apple tried this before and a few developers made some games. One was a racing game that even had the iOS screen different from the TV and could connect to other iOS devices for multiple players. The lag time was the only problem. Apple has been encouraging people to make game controllers for iOS devices for about a year. Instead of copying MS, Sony, and Nintendo I think Apple will come up with a new way that change the industry.

  8. Wrap your head around this a bit longer, and you’ll come to the conclusion Apple doesn’t need to jack a bunch of power into a console. Rather, it’ll be in all the mobile devices. Apple TV is just a wifi catcher and pusher of video. The heavy lifting is done on the devices, completely counter to how the video game industry works, and much more flexible and capable of moving to next gen power with each and every latest iPhone and iPad sold.

    1. The new Apple TV needs to be future proofed for streaming 4k video and desktop. That, and lower latency 1080p streaming for games, and the competition will be crushed forever.

      1. It would be very nice of Apple to un-cripple the random photo streaming they broke when moving from ATV1 to ATV2 and haven’t bothered to fix. Oh, and a Thunderbolt2 port for those who can’t or don’t want to stream everything. Neither will happen of course as they’re only things that customers want and there’s no real money in it for Apple.

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