Recently there has been much talk in the tech world about Apple making a much bigger splash into the gaming space. Some have made claims that the company is already testing an “air controller,” which, if true, shows that Apple is willing to cater to those who have little to no interest in all touch screen gaming. This controller — if it exists — will also make Apple’s iOS platforms more like our home consoles than ever before.
For this to work, Apple needs to make a play for the living room, and according to analysts and insiders throughout the tech industry, that is exactly what’s happening this year.
Among the chatter is the talk of an iTV. An always-on and always-connected high definition display, sold and powered by Apple. In the same vein that their Apple TV set top box is your living room gateway to iTunes, the rumored iTV will open up that same space to Apple’s industry leading App Store. This device — if it becomes a reality — will play as a key move for Apple to make an honest attempt at grabbing some market share from Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft.
Here are a few reasons as to why and how Apple could play spoiler to the big three next gen.
Developer and Publisher Support is Through the Roof.
If you haven’t taken a gander at the iOS App Store in a while, I highly suggest you take a peek. Before you do though, take a look at your current game collection. Write down the names of the publishers that you have in that pile. I can guarantee you that out of the games you currently own, at least 75% of those publishers already have some kind of footprint in Apple’s App Store.
Considering that the platform is entirely digital, there is no used game market to speak of. This will no doubt entice AAA title publishers to bring their bigger games to the platform. As an added bonus, in-game content and add-ons won’t need to go through rigorous approvals and certifications, nor would the publishers have to overvalue extras in order to meet any platform-determined fixed pricing structure.
They Already Have Your Payment Info.
A survey conducted by CNBC released this week showed that there’s at least one iOS product in half of all American households. Additionally, one in ten of those that didn’t have one planned on buying one in 2012. When you set up an iOS product, Apple makes you create an iTunes account. Once you decide to start consuming media and apps you have to add your payment information.
The fact that they have access to all of your info makes the shopping and consuming experience easier. Music, movies, and now applications and games show up on one convenient statement. Publishers and developers will relish it because you’re all set to make some impulse purchases. In turn (and in favor of gamers), the prices of these titles should technically be lower since they’ll all be fighting for your impulsive buying dollars.
Apple Can Make it Rain.
What does the entire economy of Singapore, all of the illegal drugs in the world, and the GDP of Denmark have in common? Apple is worth more than all of them. As it stands right now, Apple is sitting on so much liquid cash that during their most recent earnings call they used the time to figure out what to do with it all. With so much cash flow, if they really wanted to make this work, they can throw enough money at it until it does. Oh, the luxuries of 80 billion dollars.
On top of that, they currently have no equal when it comes to marketing muscle. A department where both Sony and Nintendo aren’t so hot. Sure, Microsoft does a good job of making multiplatform titles like Call of Duty look exclusive, but Apple’s advertising is so strong and creates such an emotional connection that they will make it look like they invented video games, or at the very least make it appear as though they are the only people selling them.
These are three biggest reasons as to why and how Apple can really play spoiler for the big three in the next generation of consoles. At this point, it’s understandable to brush this off as speculation, but if the analysts are right, and there is, in fact, not only this “air controller” but also an iTV on the way, Apple will make this industry (and the competition in it) a whole lot more interesting. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.