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May 10, 2008

Apple Strategy: Gaming on the Mac, iPhone and Console

Gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry. Just look at Grand Theft Auto IV and how they sold 4 million units on launch day (est. $390 million). It won’t be a surprise if Apple will revisit the idea of entering the gaming market. They could do so in 3 fronts.

First, mobile gaming is still young with only a few players like Sony PSP and Nintedo DS dominating it. The iPhone and the iPod Touch is a good platform to introduce touch based gaming. Apple has already hinted that Electronic Arts (EA) and Sega will be developing for the iPhone. Nokia has already upped its ante with their new N-Gage platform so this is an area that will be closely watched by many.

mac gaming

Second, the console. It is possible that Apple could introduce gaming via consoles similar to the Apple TV. In a way, the Apple TV could be a potential interface to introduce gaming into millions of home it’s already installed. All they need to do is add some intuitive controller like the nanchuck on the Wii.

Last, the Mac. A number of PC games are already available on the Mac. You got Diablo, World of Warcraft, Neverwinter Nights and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic for example. Why not a lot of people are playing on the Mac may have to do with the upgradability of the system — can’t replace a new CPU or just slap in a much faster and newer video card. It’s also cheaper to set up from scratch a PC gaming rig than a Mac gaming rig.

Apple’s best bet would be in the iPhone and the iPod Touch.

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7 Responses to “Apple Strategy: Gaming on the Mac, iPhone and Console”

  1. jhay says:

    Besides from difficulties in upgrading Macs, their hefty price tag puts off gamers. For a price of a Mac you could already get a kick-ass rig from Alienware. :D

  2. Robert B. says:

    Apple’s iPhone has created a lot of interest with over 100K downloads of it’s programming kit. Prototype games were demoed after just 1 week with 1 or 2 programmers working on them. What is missed is that the same programming environment and APIs, Framework, etc. works for iPod Touch and Macs. Only minor hardware differences must be adapted to. Most Mac versions of games are programmed for PCs with proprietary graphic and not the standard OpenGL graphic routines. They are then converted to run on Macs, usually at a sacrificed speed. The iPhone might make a lot of game developers familiar with Apple software development which could bring many more titles Apple’s way.

  3. Any not-rich gamer who wants to play on non-Win platforms know that the only choice is IBM-Compatible GNU/Linux.

    Even a Mac-GNU/Linux is not an option, again, hardware upgrades.

  4. Kiven says:

    Gaming isnt just about the EAs or the Activision Blizzards of the world but smaller independent studios/publishers as well.

    Iphone and Ipod Touch for gaming? bleh not in this (or the next) generation.

  5. kenshinflyer says:

    I hope Apple learns from Nokia’s first foray into gaming (with the N-Gage)…

    …and that Nintendo is STILL King of Handheld Gaming. (Ask Sega, SNK, Bandai, and Atari. Sony–they’re almost there.)

  6. wow cheers for this just posting on my twitter now.

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