Why Apple Should Make a Game Console

Someone is playing an iPhone game with a DualShock controller.
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Apple tried to make a gaming console in 1996 called “Pippin” and it turned out to be a footnote in the history of gaming. However, today’s Apple is a very different company than we think it should to Make a Console |

Nothing but rumors

There are always rumors about new products that Apple is working on that will help it to alter a market of which it is not currently a part. Sometimes these rumors turn out to be true, but we haven’t seen any real evidence of a headset, an electric car, or an Apple AR TV. There are also rumors about an Apple game console, similar to the Nintendo Switch. This rumor has no evidence to support it, but we think it’s really a great idea for Apple to make a game console.

Apple has the market (and cash)

While basic gamers may think that major console brands like Nintendo, Xbox and PlayStation are reaping the biggest benefits in the video game market. However, thanks to lawsuits between Apple and Epic Games, it has been revealed that the benefits of Apple’s video games outweigh those of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. combined. In other words, Apple is already a major player in the gaming market, but it does not yet have a dedicated gaming hardware platform.

Given that Apple is (depending on the day of the week) the most valuable or second largest company in the world, it certainly has the cash reserves to make a dedicated gaming console a success. Combined with the benefits it is already reaping from the games in Apple’s ecosystem, formally entering the console space seems like a logical way to expand this part of Apple’s business.

Apple has the hardware

A MacBook M1.
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Apple has now completely switched to its own CPU and GPU hardware. Known as “Apple Silicon,” you’ll find internal hardware on all Apple devices other than the Mac Pro desktop workstation, with a version of Apple Silicon planned for a future release.

Think of the Apple M1 system-on-a-chip (SoC) found in the latest 13-inch MacBook Pro and Air, iPad Pro and Mac Mini. The M1’s CPU is comparable to the Intel Core i7s and even the i9s found in Intel MacBooks and the GPU is in the same performance class as the base PlayStation 4 model. The M1 can also work without active cooling, which is how it’s implemented in the MacBook Air M1 and iPad Pro. Note that the Nintendo Switch, which is much less powerful, needs active cooling to maintain stable performance, and has a relatively short battery life.

Apple GPUs for the M1 Pro and M1 Max SoCs are in the same performance class as the latest high-impact consoles from Sony and Microsoft. In short, Apple has the hardware to make a competitive console. Whether it’s a portable or home console.

Apple has the software

Apple Arcade on an iPhone.

Apple has been constantly working to make its software ecosystem user-friendly for gamers and game developers.

The app store is basically the same as the Nintendo eShop, the PlayStation Store, or the Xbox showcase. It is a walled garden where users have to purchase games and the support of the platform is cut. The main difference is that you can still buy physical games for today’s consoles, although no doubt the winds are blowing towards a fully digital future.

Apple also has a subscription-based gaming service in the form of Apple Arcade, as do console brands. It still doesn’t have the substance of something like Microsoft’s Game Pass, but in the mobile space it offers the best selection of error-free titles for mobile games, such as in-app purchases, microtransactions, and advertising.

Apple also has its own graphics API (Metal) and an existing development environment. There are games on iOS that use the same game engines as console games. Although relatively scarce, you can also play a select number of console ports such as Grid Autosport or The Talos Principle.

Not only can you play these games, but Apple has standardized driver support for your devices. This means that any iOS game with driver support must work with Apple-certified drivers. This includes drivers for the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series consoles. This started with Apple’s MFi (Made for iPhone / iPod / iPad) program, which unified third-party driver support, and is now the most complete mobile driver standard.

Apple (sort of) already has consoles

A game controller and an Apple TV.
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If you think about it, there’s no fundamental difference between playing on a device like Apple TV and a video game console. The same goes for connecting an Xbox or PlayStation controller to an iPad and loading a game. The gaming experience on Apple’s mobile and connected devices is already like a console, and of course, consoles meet them halfway by offering streaming apps.

At this point, you may be wondering why Apple needs a dedicated console if its devices are already nearby. That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there.

First, unlike a game console, mobile games may break or stop working if you upgrade your device. The worst example of this happened when Apple stopped supporting 32-bit applications. Any developer who didn’t think it was worth the effort to update their games left players out of the house. This is not like switching from one generation of console to another, users lost access to the software of their existing devices, even though the applications were running before the operating system update.

Second, while Apple devices offer good gaming performance, they’re not specifically designed for this. There are features and implementations of software and hardware that slow down these devices. If Apple made a dedicated console, it could, for example, eliminate low-power cores and use that property for more GPU cores. The best version of iOS games would live on the Apple console.

Having a dedicated Apple console also changes the incentives for developers, who now have a target platform with (presumably) long-term support and stability. In the end, making your platform attractive to developers is key, as a game-free console is a paperweight.

Apple doesn’t have the games (yet)

This brings us to the first big problem with Apple’s idea of ​​making a console: Where are the games? Unlike major console companies, Apple does not currently make its own games. You can pay developers to make games for services like Apple Arcade, but there are no Apple game developers.

In recent times, Microsoft has been buying developers, making big franchises such as Aspen, Negative consequence, i The old documents, whose future releases will now live exclusively on their platforms. The last piece of the puzzle for an Apple console would be the establishment or acquisition of game development studios. That would also be very hard to hide! Therefore, if Apple starts publishing game development work or purchasing studies, the odds in favor of an Apple console increase.

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