Additionally, the company appears to be making a move toward designing its own chips for Apple machines, which could alter the gaming landscape. However, the gaming strategy that the company could roll out wouldn't have to be limited to just notebooks, desktops and mobile devices -- Apple could have amazing success with its own platform.
1. Apple Is Due: Some of the Cupertino crew's competitors are already well established in the gaming market with their own consoles. Microsoft has the Xbox and Sony has the PlayStation. While Apple has spent much of the last decade remaking the mobile music industry, the time could now be right for a foray into gaming. The brand has exploded in popularity since the release of the iPod in October 2001 (the Microsoft Xbox, as a point of reference, was released in November 2001), and it's not hard to imagine fanboys lining up to purchase an Apple-branded gaming device.
2. iTunes Store: Apple already has a well-established and viable way of distributing games to customers via the Internet. Downloading a song or movie through the iTunes Store is becoming a standard skill for many people. An Apple gaming console, then, could function similarly to the Apple TV or Xbox Live store. Droves of people already have accounts, so if Apple can distribute games directly to the console via iTunes, customers wouldn't even need to leave the house to get their game on.
3. The iPhone And iPod Touch: Apple's mainstay portable devices are already beginning to establish themselves as gaming platforms. A quick look through the Apple App Store reveals a plethora of games that range in price from free to a few dollars. EA, for example, just released "Need For Speed Undercover" for the iPhone, retailing at $10. Apple customers are already playing games on the iPhone and iPod Touch, so why not tie those devices to a gaming console?
4. Synching Between Console And iPhone: This seems like a no-brainer. iPhone users already sync their smartphones to a laptop for updates and purchases, so why not do the same with a gaming console? Games could be developed with special add-ons designed specifically for the iPhone or iPod touch. That way when a gamer has to leave the house, these side missions can be synched onto the iPhone, expanding Apple's gaming reach. Instead of riding the subway and listening to music or surfing the Web, users could continue to play the game they started back at home.
5. Better Talent: An Apple-branded console would attract top-notch talent to develop games for the platform. Just look at the success the company has had with independent developers creating applications for the App Store. Face it, not every game needs to be another installment of the "Call Of Duty" series. Assuming the iTunes Store is used to distribute the games, the process of getting a product listed there should be similar to the existing policy -- perhaps even a little less draconian. For bigger releases, companies such as EA would be facing a tough crowd of Apple fans who would expect nothing but the highest quality in the games on the platform. That would challenge publishers to bring on smarter talent and create better games, further enriching the gaming community.
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