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Will the Apple TV Become a Gaming Platform? 194

An anonymous reader writes "New data strings uncovered in the recently released iOS 4.3 beta 3 suggest that Apple may have grand ambitions for its little hobby known as the Apple TV: the device may soon transform into a gaming platform."
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Will the Apple TV Become a Gaming Platform?

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  • Not a gamer company (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sosume ( 680416 ) on Friday February 11, 2011 @08:12AM (#35172404) Journal

    Apple is not a gamer company. iOS games are only used casually, and Apple hardware scores badly in the cost vs performance tradeoff. Gamers want to be able to tweak their hardware and Apple is not likely to allow this. So for casual games, Apple won't be able to compete with the Wii on the low end, and won't be willing or able to provide high end gaming gear to the hardcore gaming crowd. So this is like Rolls Royce selling bikes - won't work. Combined with the expected resignation of Apple's Glorious Leader Kim Il Steve, this will only improve odds for people going short on Apple.

  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Friday February 11, 2011 @08:20AM (#35172454) Homepage Journal

    Sony and MS's current offerings are actually unbelievably similar - I don't think I've ever known a console generation where there was less to actually separate two competitors.

    Uh what? They are different in every way it is possible to be different while still offering the same basic features.

    • The Xbox 360 is a 3-way SMP system. The PS3 is a CPU/GPU/Coprocessor system.
    • The Xbox 360 has added features with each new major update. The PS3 has removed features with each new major update.
    • The Xbox 360 has motion-detecting equipment (Kinect) which does not require a controller. Sony has motion-detecting equipment which does.
    • Xbox Live costs money, PSN is free.
    • The Xbox 360 is the first console that looks decent compared to the competition, mostly because the PS3 looks like a George Foreman grill.
    • The PS3 uses Bluetooth for wireless controllers, while the 360 uses a proprietary protocol.

    Now, preferring PS3 or Xbox 360 is a matter of personal preference, but it's not because the two platforms are identical.

    The problem is that history has shown us that there is room in the market for three players. Further, the Mac is not where the games are. Microsoft entering the market made sense; Xbox is short for DirectX Box. Where are the Mac games? Where are the Mac game developers?

  • by poena.dare ( 306891 ) on Friday February 11, 2011 @10:22AM (#35173574)

    Y'know I'd buy one if Apple resurrected some old Mac games:

    The Ancient Art of War
    Armor Alley
    Balance of Power
    The Fools Errand
    Cap'n Magneto
    Core War
    Dark Castle
    Dungeon of Doom
    Orlando Poon's Toxic Ravine Clean-Up and Rescue Service

    Shoot me, I'm old.

  • Re:apple tv (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Friday February 11, 2011 @10:27AM (#35173636) Homepage

    It might be "cheapest". However that doesn't necessarily make it the best value.

    It's really funny how the same fanboys that used to screech about their computers being BMWs happily embrace this cheap and crappy approach that Apple has taken with it's newer devices.

    I would rather run XBMC on hardware that can actually play all the stuff I own and all the stuff I am likely to acquire and won't force me to limit myself or limit myself to what Apple sells (or something that's degraded to the point where it might as well have been).

  • by anegg ( 1390659 ) on Friday February 11, 2011 @11:08AM (#35174294)

    Do we really need yet another Apple-controlled walled garden? Don't we have enough of those already?

    So vote with your wallet. I bought an AppleTV just before Christmas as a "santa gift" for the kids (hey - only $99!). My aim was to introduce Internet-based streaming media as a movie-delivery device in addition to RedBox DVDs (we don't have cable TV), and I was thinking only of NetFlix when I bought it. Before I set it up, I did the research I should have done before I bought it, and saw that although it worked with NetFlix, it didn't work with anything else except for Apple's media store. The day after Christmas, I saw a Sony BDP-S370 Blu-ray plus Internet streaming video player for $99 at the Sony store. It did NetFlix, plus some other services (Hulu Plus, Amazon, Crackle). Oh, yeah - it plays Blu-ray discs, too! It didn't play anything from Apple's media store, but that didn't seem such a big loss to me based on the prices I had seen ($1 for a freaking TV show *episode*?). No brainer. Returned the AppleTV, bought the Sony player. I'm happy.

    I think that the streaming video market is so very different from the music distribution market that Apple's "walled garden" play will stumble. Here I am, a long-term Macintosh user (Mac Plus, SE30, PowerMac 7200, PowerMac G4 Digital Audio tower, and Intel-based 24" iMac) with a family of iPods (my wife and I have classics, my two kids have Nanos). I'm happy with iTunes and iPods - we still buy CDs which we then load into iTunes for playback on our SliMP3 player in the living room and our iPods everywhere else - but the movie world is a different beast altogether. I'm not going to rip DVDs/Blu-rays into a home library unless the technology gets a lot better (cheaper, faster, less seemingly illicit), so the whole local playback capability of the AppleTV is moot (as is the DLNA-based local playback of the Sony player - at least to me). What matters in both markets is choice, and while I could use iTunes/iPods and still maintain the power of choice (despite the moans some people make, iTunes/iPod users are *not* locked into the Apple media store), the same is not nearly as true with the AppleTV. Sure, I have some choice - I can choose NetFlix and/or Apple's media store. With any one of a host of other media players (Sony is just one of a plethora of choices now) I can't have the Apple media store, but I can have practically every other distribution option available on the Internet.

    I have to leave the question of whether the video game market is more like the music distribution market or the audio/video movie/TV show distribution market up to those of you who play video games... I don't. In fact, it may be yet another paradigm, as my outside-looking-in view of video games is that they are all walled garden's in a way - each company's game console only plays games brought out on that console - yet video game companies often produce multiple versions of each game title, one for each game console - which means there isn't much of a wall. If Apple chooses to play in the games console environment, won't they be essentially like every other games console? A video game company will choose whether or not to port a title to the Apple console, the same way they choose to port to other consoles. At the same time, some number of "Apple-only" games will probably spring up, just as their are titles available on only Sony PlayStation and only Nintendo whatever and only Microsoft XBox.

    If the lure of a game that is only available on the AppleTV game console causes you to buy the $99 AppleTV in order to be able to play it, isn't that what a free market economy is all about? Each of us is free to buy or not to buy, no one will force anyone to make that purchase to play that game.

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker