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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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  • Xbox 361 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by steelclash84 ( 1129221 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:14AM (#27846153)
    Sounds like an a shiny opengl xbox that will most likely cost more...that will cost money every time they update the firmware. They can't get a very good game support on their PCs, and they intend to get support from developers on this? Highly unlikely...
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:16AM (#27846205)

    They will probably have to kill Apple TV, though.

    To me it seems pretty clear what they want is to dominate casual gaming the way they are starting to in the handheld space (yes I know they are still a long ways behind Nintendo, but there are a LOT of games targeting the iPhone/Touch now).

    In order to do that all that is needed is to add some light gaming abilities and controls to the AppleTV. Perhaps it would not look much like what they have today, but I see AppleTV being the core from which they extend into gaming.

    I never did think they would do a console before as I thought it made no sense, but seeing as how almost all the games I purchase on consoles now are online smaller games I can see it working. With other consoles still focusing on larger games as a focus Apple could really sweep up the smaller game category. Heck, all they'd have to do is court all of the indie game competition winners going back a few years and they'd have a hell of a system.

  • Games != Windows :-D (Score:3, Interesting)

    by starglider29a ( 719559 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:41AM (#27846537)
    Many people [citation needed] use Windows solely because it's how they play their games. With the excuse of "I can't play cool games on a Mac" gone, those "slaves to the game" Windows users will have no excuse, and will switch to Mac.
  • Handhelds only (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jigoman ( 853944 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:47AM (#27846625) Homepage
    I think convergence is what's is prompting this. Imagine making the iPhone/iPod Touch a portable gaming console. Remember when we used to carry a cell phone, iPod and DS? Millions of you already have Apple's gaming device in your hand. I can't see any sense in Apple coming out with a dedicated gaming device.

    Also, I was browsing the AppStore last night and noticed a couple of games that were previously only on the Nintendo DS (Cooking Mama being one). The graphics/gameplay were identical if not better.
  • You'd be wrong (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @12:10PM (#27846973)

    As the other poster noted, the sales are actually better than you'd expect for a niche product.

    But the thing you are not considering is that many people use mac minis as home theater systems. They are not technically counted as "AppleTV" units but it has the same effect - people buy a lot of media from iTunes, and many use the same FrontRow software (though many others use things like Boxee).

  • by NatasRevol ( 731260 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @12:12PM (#27846997) Journal

    Well, since iPhone sales(4M) are running at about 1/3 of DS sales(12M), I'd say they have a lot to worry about. []

    iPod Touch sales add a bit more - the other 2/3 of DS sales

    ~40M iGamingPlatforms. []

  • Apple looking at EA? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Phroggy ( 441 ) <.slashdot3. .at.> on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @12:14PM (#27847017) Homepage

    I was about to dismiss it as unsubstantiated speculation, but I just saw an article claiming that Apple may want to acquire EA []. That would fit in VERY nicely with designing their own game console, which I imagine would replace AppleTV.

    Wow. Apple buying Twitter would be silly, but Apple buying EA could totally change the landscape.

  • by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @12:36PM (#27847357)

    One of the most underutilized - but most fun - options on the original Xbox was the ability of certain games (especially the Tony Hawk series) to replace the default "in-game" music with music ripped from CD's. Make a custom CD with your own chosen playlist, drop it on the box, and boom, you had a completely different experience. I couldn't stand half of the crap-rap they put in, for instance, but I could tell it "never play" those songs, and add in, say, a bunch of Frank Sinatra to the list, or pretty much anything else I decided to put in.

    I wish more games had that option. It's one thing if you have a cutscene with dedicated music or something, but something else for sports games or games that wind up trying to have a "top 40s" playlist stuck in as an afterthought. I know I, personally, get bored with games quicker if I don't like the music that's being blared.

  • by jolson74 ( 861893 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @12:45PM (#27847497)

    Actually... one thing really cool about the Xbox 360 is that if you are playing your own music (either from the hard disk, from a PC via Media Center, or from an MP3 player connected via USB) it will override the soundtrack of whatever game you are playing. But you still get all of the other game sounds (voices, sound effects, etc.).

    Without that feature, I think 'Burnout: Paradise' would have driven me insane.

  • by Gilmoure ( 18428 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:36PM (#27848343) Journal

    Only thing I'd add to this wish list is the ability to put a DVD in an Apple TV and have it ripped to iTunes automatically.

    I spent all last summer ripping 300+ DVD's for use on my Apple TV. I have it tethered to a first gen MacMini with an external 1TB drive for all this.

    If I was to start on this project today, I'd bypass the Apple TV and just get a MacMini. Would be easy enough to script Handbrake and iTunes to do this.

    Maybe they'll come up with a MacMiniAVG for all this?

  • by je ne sais quoi ( 987177 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:40PM (#27848407)

    The only trick would be convincing game developers to write anything for a platform with fewer users.

    You should definitely read this [] then. The rumor on the street is that Apple might buy EA. Now, I know better than to listen to these types of rumors, but if that did happen, they would suddenly have a lot of games being written for them. Who knows if this is true or not, but it is makes a hell of a lot more sense than Apple buying Twitter of all things.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @03:25PM (#27849967)

    I've been screaming for this for years, but I know it will never happen. Let me repeat that: IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

    Apple is very inconsistent in its public stance on DRM. They say it is bad for music, but good for movies and TV shows. The argument is mind-bogglingly stupid: that music CDs never had DRM, but DVDs have always had it. Therefore, they argue that DRM is perfectly reasonable on video content.

    That is, of course, a steaming load of horse crap. But it's the given as the justification for why iTunes will never, ever, ever rip CSS-encrypted DVDs, or whatever-it-is-encrypted Blu-Ray discs, even under fair use doctrine. And it is why the iTMS will never offer the vast majority of its TV shows and movies without DRM.

    I suspect there's also a more personal reason for this - that Steve Jobs also heads up Pixar, and is the largest shareholder of Disney stock. He has a lot more to (supposedly) lose to movie piracy than music, so he's bought into the BS arguments in favor of DRM there. So while he writes these beautiful anti-DRM open letters to the public in regards to music, allowing himself to come across as a saint fighting for the little guy, the dirty little secret is that he wants no such thing for movies.

    Plus, it just seems like the movie industry has a much tighter hold on DRM in their products, and is less likely to lose it like the music industry did. I'll bet the music execs cry themselves to sleep every night, jealous that they didn't think to encrypt CDs like the movies guys did with DVDs.

    Of course, it's all mind-numbingly stupid, because if only one copy gets out successfully, that's the end of the game. And it punishes those of us who just want to exercise our fair use rights regarding the products we willingly paid for. Bah.

    Given all of the above, I'm still amazed that DVD Player and Front Row will actually play (obviously ripped) VIDEO_TS folders from the hard drive. It takes a little more work with some external programs, but I pretty much have what I want now, just not with the easy interface of doing it all in something like iTunes. Oh, well!

Love may laugh at locksmiths, but he has a profound respect for money bags. -- Sidney Paternoster, "The Folly of the Wise"