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Apple Console Speculation

 

Last month a rumor about Apple developing and releasing its own console in 2012 hit the web.  It was said to act as both a TV and a game console with “an iTunes-integrated touchscreen remote and Siri-like voice command technology.”  The TV was said to contain “a built in Kinect-like game console that will go toe to toe with the new Wii U, Xbox 720, and PS4.”  Since then, I have found no further information regarding this TV/console other than much speculation.


That being said, let’s assume this rumor was true and Apple was releasing its own console (not necessarily in 2012, but in the near future. You never know Apple though, they release stuff on a whim, not following any timeline.)  What would we expect out of this TV/console setup?  How would it impact the video game industry?  Who would the console be geared towards?  These are just a few of the questions that came across my mind, and I felt like throwing my input out there.


Hardware:

First, what is to be expected from this TV/console?  It is said to contain a touch screen remote (which would act as a controller too?), voice command, and a Kinect like motion detector, but everything else is completely unknown.  The hardware setup should be at least as sophisticated as the current generation consoles, but would it hold up to the next generation consoles?  I personally think this integrated console would holds its own in terms of power with the 360 and PS3, but don’t think it’ll be near the capabilities of the next generation consoles, even if Apple has been developing this for a few years. Now how much processing power would go into this setup?  I would hope this console would be more on par with the MacBooks when it comes to processing power rather than the iPad.  Either way, would this be enough power for a console to compete in this market?  Depending on how they approach their software, I think this console would be more than powerful for what they need. The graphics would be HD, but would it be 3D capable? Or even be ready for 4K resolutions, depending on the size or sizes of the TV that pairs with the console.  I highly doubt 4K technology would be available, but absolutely think 3D could be a part of this TV/console knowing Apple.  I do not doubt Apple’s ability to provide some decent hardware.


Software:

It’s safe to assume that the full iTunes store and iOS library would be available for download with the TV/console setup.  You would be playing the typical games found on you iPad or iPhone such as Angry Birds, Infinity Blade 2, and Plants vs. Zombies.  Would this be enough of a reason for Apple to release their own console?  Or would Apple approach other companies to port and develop games over to this console such as Call of Duty and The Elder Scrolls titles?  Other than the iOS games, I really can’t see other games being released for this console.  First, developers would need extra time and extra money to create a game just for the new Apple platform.  This requires getting the dev tools and specifications out to work with.  I do not see this to be in the best interest for the companies. It depends on if they could profit enough extra money to offset the cost of development and in this case, I do not think they would.  And traditionally, games haven’t really been geared towards Apple platforms such as the MacBook.  And I really can’t see this changing in the near future.  Another possibility is that Apple could or would develop original IP’s just for their console.  But would this be worthwhile?  I’m highly doubtful this would happen unless Apple really wants to jump into the gaming industry.  So other than the typical iOS games, I don’t see any other software (specifically video games) being released for this console.


Competition and its Impact on the Industry:

Now how would this console impact the video game industry?  And would there be any big competition with other console developers?  To me, this seems quite obvious.  If Apple does not shop developers to port games over to their console or develops their own first party games, I see no effect to this industry and no increased competition in the current console war.  This TV/ console would act as another ‘iPad’ with the library of iOS games.  Since the mobile market is already around and making money, this will just be another product that iOS games can be downloaded on.  I see more competition with the HD TV market, since this is an integrated TV/console setup.  Overall, this will be just another item that the App Store will be available on.


Pricing:

Now this is where the Apple console will stray from the typical consoles we know.  First off, it is a TV as well as a console. And depending on the available sizes of the TV, if there are multiple sizes, I don’t see this costing less than $1000.  Next, it is an Apple product.  And Apple has the tendency to overprice most of their products.  Being a TV/console setup and an Apple product, it will probably run you over $2000, size depending.  Why would someone want to pay over $2000 for an HD TV with an integrated console when they might already have a HD TV they bought for much cheaper?  The pricing is where Apple can completely flop this product.  You can buy much similar setups for much cheaper.  Other than the very dedicated fanbase of Apple users, I really don’t see them selling enough of these to the typical consumer to offset the cost of the product.  Apple needs to be willing to be competitive with their pricing.  This is one product that the Apple logo might not help sell.


Overall Expectations:

I’m not highly impressed with this console release rumor, not just because I’ve personally never been a huge fan of Apple, but because it doesn't seem like an appealing addition to the console market.  I really do not see this product having a strong release, if it is being released in the near future.  It’s a TV/console setup and most people already own a HD TV.  This would sell much better as just a console.  Also, without the knowledge of knowing if developers are planning to release games for this console (other than iOS games), it wouldn't seem worth a buy when you can get the same thing from an iPad and iPhone.  Apple really needs to sort things out or release more information about this console. Until then, I don’t think this is a good move for Apple.

 

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