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Apple Racks Up the Gaming Patents 245

An anonymous reader writes "Evidence has been growing that Apple is developing a new gaming console. Now, there are some possible details about how a combined media/game console might work, based on patent applications filed by Apple in late 2007 and early 2008. Here is some of what we can look for: having your personal music integrated into a title, a 'natural' gesture multitouch interface, and a single online store that sells games, media, and video."
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Apple Racks Up the Gaming Patents

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  • by denttford ( 579202 ) * on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:11AM (#27846097) Homepage
    Apple's other attempt to enter the gaming market. []

    As much as I dislike their products, if Apple goes after the Wii with stong iTunes and iPhone/Pod integration, as a gaming and convergence device, they could hurt Nintendo. The saturated market isn't an issue when you can lower the standard of definition and quadruple the market space (e.g. the "smartphone" market).
    They will probably have to kill Apple TV, though.
  • by b96miata ( 620163 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:15AM (#27846183)

    Sounds like something the 360 does right now.

    Maybe the patent covers a system whereby you're forced to pay the console maker for the music you want to integrate.

  • by Sockatume ( 732728 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:17AM (#27846223)
    All of the stuff mentioned there could apply equally well to the iPhone and iPod Touch, which Apple have been positioning as proper gaming devices anyway.
  • by denttford ( 579202 ) * on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:20AM (#27846269) Homepage
    No, it does better than expected as a niche product []. Still, I suspect a PVR+iTunes frontend+Gaming platform with strong iPod tie ins and in HD would sell very well. It would be a major initiative, and I doubt Apple would let a "hobby project" dilute that market.
  • by Spatial ( 1235392 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:38AM (#27846507)
    And the PS3 and some PSP games. But like all Slashdot summaries about patents, it probably left out some specific to make it sound more stupid than it actually is.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:39AM (#27846511)

    The problem with Apple entering that market: price. One of Nintendo's biggest selling points is their price. If Apple continues with their buy-in-club pricing mentality (and we have no reason to believe that they won't), then I highly doubt Nintendo has much to worry about.

  • by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:53AM (#27846691)
    Lots of people claimed that the Wii would fail because it's graphics weren't adequate for what hardcore gamers wanted. Nintendo proved them wrong.

    I'm just sayin'.
  • by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @12:03PM (#27846857)

    First, separate your game into model, view, and controller components

    It's not that simple. The view is pretty complex in games. The controller has to include networking, file i/o, actually controller input and mapping to a unique internal method.

    Physics, AI, and map decoding go in the model so that they're identical across platforms

    Nice if true, but it's not. Different chipsets (x64, x86 and PowerPC) all require tweaks to the underlying math libraries to optimize performance. Sometimes those tweaks propogate up.

    only part of the view and controller need to be written in Objective-C.

    Without knowing exactly the dividing line, I can say that those components are pretty complicated. So why should we have to use Objective-C at all? Why should I have to have some other language anywhere in my build?

    XNA on Xbox 360, on the other hand, needs games to be ported to the CLR.

    XNA is optional. Objective-C is manditory.

  • No Pippin 2.0 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Millennium ( 2451 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @12:12PM (#27846995)

    After the disaster that was Pippin, I very much doubt that Apple will be going into that business again. Steve Jobs' animosity toward computer gaming is well-documented, and it is unlikely that he would about-face on something like this, as he would have to have done back when this project started.

    More likely, this is an extension of the Apple TV into a more full-fledged set-top PC. Jobs hates games, but he's learned the hard way that games sell computers, so of course he's going to have Apple put some thought into the interface. But this will not be marketed as a game console, and ultimately it will not compete with game consoles.

    On the other hand, it's good to see that they're leaning towards Wiimote-like gesture-based control as opposed to 1:1 motion mapping. It's the best of both worlds: the abstraction of buttons alongside the immersion of motion.

  • by ActusReus ( 1162583 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @12:17PM (#27847071)

    Sigh... in the not-so-distant past, when the Slashdot community was oriented around open vs. proprietary discussions, Microsoft and Apple very much WAS considered to occupy the same basic space.

    These days Slashdot is all about piracy, fads and rumors in social networking sites, and discussions about marketing. The occasional GPL vs. BSD/MIT/Apache flamewar still sprouts up, but mostly it's just fanboys praising or bad-mouthing various shiny objects on the basis of how "sexy" they are.

    Apple sells "better" stuff, Microsoft sells "more" stuff. Other than that, yeah... they are pretty much the same thing.

  • by michael021689 ( 791941 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @12:22PM (#27847153)
    Everyone who buys a DS is playing a game.

    Very few people who buy iphones and the like do so for games.

    They don't have shit to worry about.
  • by Sj0 ( 472011 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @12:36PM (#27847367) Journal

    You guys are about to learn what I learned 10 years ago: Discrete devices work best. A dedicated gaming platform will have better performance, better form factor, and better battery life than a device that's a million things and also a gaming platform. A dedicated music device will have better form factor and better battery life than a device that's a million things and also a music device. A dedicated phone will have better form factor and better battery life than something that's a million things and a phone.

    And you know what? When my DS is dead, I'll still be able to call a taxi, and I'll still have 11 hours of music left on my iPod.

  • by SailorSpork ( 1080153 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @12:41PM (#27847433) Homepage

    Actually, you can also play your own music in games on your Xbox, and Xbox Live has an online store for games and videos. Other than a multi-touch interface (Nintendo DS's turf), what is Apple doing new besides combining these and putting their logo on it?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:11PM (#27847931)

    My biggest problem with Nintendo was their resistance to provide the market with sufficient consoles to meet demand.

    It's fair to criticize Nintendo's supply because they've been known to create "shortages" to drum up hype, press and popularity in the past. However, I'm assuming you're talking about the Wii. (given the Gamecube was not that hard to get, nor has been the DS) And like it or not, Nintendo wasn't hold back supply on this one. It was simply sending the majority of it to countries that had a better currency and higher margins per sale, meaning more money for Nintendo. The US suffered from supply because the devaluation of the dollar. It was stated this several times along with every article discussion the increase supply Nintendo kept pushing out every quarter. Given one cannot just magically make 1 million more units, your assumptions are wrong.

    Apple has "hip" appeal that Nintendo will never have, resulting in people willing to wait for Apple's supply to meet demand.

    Spoken like a true Apple fanboi and not a Nintendo fanboi. I guess all those stories about people getting injured over waiting in line for days over a Wii must be made up?

  • by baKanale ( 830108 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @02:49PM (#27849523)

    putting their logo on it?

    For some people that's all they need to do...

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @05:08PM (#27851431)

    You guys are about to learn what I learned 10 years ago: Discrete devices work best.

    That is true, and that is what geeks prefer. I preferred that myself once.

    But you are soon to learn a more powerful truth. That the general populace prefers convergence when it works. "Normal" people (and I use that term neutrally, not implying anything wrong with being abnormal!) do not want to have two or three devices to charge if possible. These people will happily sacrifice a few things to carry less and not become The Batman.

    The cycle is that you have a dedicated device until the general devices get powerful enough to absorb the specific.

    This is true of course primarily in the mobile space, for fixed location devices I think people will generally either prefer or have neutral preferences on quality devices that do one thing well (like using a receiver vs. having an all-in-one entertainment system). But when carrying stuff space and weight are all premiums that people will sacrifice a lot to improve - not just true in electronics ether, just look at hiking gear...

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun