Game Over, Man

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Like a silent anaconda slowly wrapping it’s coils around a sleeping jungle wildebeest, Apple is slowly dropping the last pieces of it’s all-conquering gaming strategy into place.

Apple is not rushing to market….this is slow, methodical and almost sinister in it’s measured progression.

The first steps involved iOS, the iPad, the iPhone, the iPod, the App Store and then software features like Game Center and then micro transactions for games. At this week’s WWDC, we saw a few new glimpses of the freight train that is coming: SpriteKit and SceneKit….two brand new game centric tool sets for 2D and 3D games. Possibly of equal importance will be updates to OSX which allow for completely independent windows to be spawned on Apple TV’s using AirPlay…just like the Wii-U!

The strings are all in place but loosely tied…if Apple is half as intelligent and methodical as they appear to be, all of these elements will be strung together and suddenly yanked into a tight noose around the entire game and console market which will leave little room for escape….But something is missing.

Where is the final piece?

Changing topics for a moment, lets examine the new Mac Pro:

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Just look at this thing. Have you ever seen anything like it? Me neither. Just imagine walking into a pristine, white Apple store filled with airy, ultra thin silver and white devices and then coming across this monstrosity…it sticks out like a sore thumb.

There are only a couple market niches where black, powerful devices for sophisticated high-end users abounds: High end work stations and game consoles.

If Apple can produce a Mac Pro that looks like this thing and is 1/8th the size of the original Mac Pro…imagine what they could do with an Apple TV Extreme…perhaps controlled, via AirPlay or Mifi game controller.

 

Part II: Mobile Software Is Eating Game Consoles

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It’s easy to forget watching the celebrations going on at E3 around the launch of new game consoles that the console market has sprung a leak.

Mobile gaming is the elephant in the room…not used game sales, not DRM, not services and certainly not new console hardware.

The Nintendo was the first to fall…the broad casual market which Apple dominates through their app store turned out to be low hanging fruit. No one wants to pay $50 for a game when the alternative is either a free download game or a $0.99 game from the app store.

Microsoft and Sony will be next. It is likely that mobile may not, by itself, ultimately kill the console market…but downloadable, cheap games will likely be the most important factor controlling for all other variables.

Congratulations Sony, you have won the distinction of being king of the sand castle.  Just hope the wave takes two more years to arrive.

 

 

The Console Market Is Looking Like The Phone Market In 2006

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The new XBox reveal event was today.

Basically, it is the exact same as the old XBox except larger, the interface has been made five times more complicated by the inclusion of a range of hand waving and obscure voice commands, it now requires that you have a plugged-in Kinect at all times, won’t play any old XBox 360 games and…something something something TV.Not just any tv…regular, boring network cable television! Oh and lets not forget…it won’t play used games.

After the debut of the PS4 (yet another large black slab device) and the failed Wii-U, it is fairly safe to say that innovation in the console market is now dead and that either Valve or Apple should now feel welcome to steam roll the current field of mediocrity with something new and different.