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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Will The iTV be Apple's Game Machine?

Inside Mac Games takes a gander at two opposing sides to the question of whether or not Apple might try to get it's game on with the iTV. I've pondered similar things about the Mac Mini, but if anything Apple's game situation has only gotten worse with time.

Tack onto this that we don't know much about iTV. It might not even be running a OS X. In fact, I kinda doubt it since apparently it's got a tiny internal power supply (no external brick). I'm not sure if it's running a hard drive or flash memory - but I'm guessing it's flash. Considering it's smaller than a Mini and yet requires apparently a lot less power to run and effort to keep cool - I'm guessing the iTV might actually be based more on iPod tech than Macintosh. That's clearly a total guess, mind you, I've only seen screenshots of the darn thing.

At best they might allow iTV to play the new iPod games. I'm not sure how well the controls would translate to, say, the Apple Remote. What would the point really be? For one thing, that 320x240 resolution might look OK on a SDTV - but it would still pale compared to any other game system you could hook up to it. Heck, without multiplayer a Atari 2600 would be a better choice.

Unfortunately while I think Apple is missing out on games - I think they'll continue just that well into 2007.

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Anonymous said...

While chilling (that is, consuming illegal weeds) with my Apple intern vet buddy, we discussed the iTV. He told me that they're not trying to compete with Wii, after I pointed out a casual games console would need to be $150 or at most $200 to be competetive. What iTV is trying to do is replace your stereo and DVD player with streaming digital content. If they had OS X they could do casual games, but they figure if you want that you'd just get a Mac Mini for the same price.

So no, Apple isn't going to be making waves in the game industry. The iPod thing might flourish, but thats the only way Apple will make a difference.

Josh said...

Which I gotta say - smart. Nintendo's got the "low end" covered for the near future. I'm certainly not faulting Apple for playing to it's strengths.

I do think closing the door on iPod gamedev is a serious mistake, however.

Anonymous said...

I'll talk 'em into porting what I produce. 8P

Damn, thats a good emoticon.

Josh said...

Well the only way I could see it working (this early morning with little coffee in me) is if Apple delivered an iPod Game SDK, opened a podcast like portal for it via iTunes and then rode on the backs of hobbyist developers until the iTV hits. And then release a decent Apple controller for iTV.

That last bit makes it fantasy, methinks. Well, the first bit is fantasy since Apple has refused to do it in the near future anyway, but until Apple gives developers something new and fresh to chew on - like a grooby game controller - Apple games will still be the low man on the totem pole.