We are about to see quite possibly, companies batteling over the living room. Rumors of Apple creating a new "iBox" or gaming console should not be scoffed at completely. We will see many companies including Apple competing for Living room control, I used Microsoft as the example since the Time article Out of the Xbox: How Bill Gates built his new game machineand changed your living room forever clearly shows who Microsoft is targeting with Xbox 360, and what it has to offer this wider audience that they are targeting. Apple can target this audience just as well, if not better (in my opinion) Time Magazine May 23, 2005 Inside Bill's New X-Box "The old Xbox is large and forbidding, a matte black and poisonous green plastic crate the size of a VCR. Perfect for hard core gammers, maybe but if Microsoft wanted to grow its audience, Allard knew the Xbox had to look kinder and gentler. The goal was a design that was welcoming, but not wimpy, that snagged the soccor moms and NASCAR dads and Britney girlswithout loosing the Halo boys. ... We asked people who do you think designed this? And they said Sony or Apple, that was a seminal moment " Page 50 The Conquest of the Living Room ..."D.E.L Digital Entertainment Lifestyle This is shorthand for the notion that all mediamovies, music, games, camers, phones, TVare becoming digital media, and thats changing how we relate to them and how they relate to one another. Theyre merging into a single integrated, portable, customizable media gestalt." .... (iTunes)(iPhoto)... my compare/contrast of Apple Tech to what Xbox offers (iTunes) "Which is why, in addition to games, the Xbox 360 plays CDs. You can also use it to rip songs off CDs and play them from your hard drive. You can plug your iPod into the Xbox 360 and play songs off that too. (DVD player)You can watch DVDs on it.(iPhoto) If you have a digital camera, you can plug it into the Xbox 360 and pop images up on your TV, which beats having everybody crowd around the computer monitor in your study.(Airport) If you have sufficient techno-gumption, you can even connect the Xbox 360 to your PC wirelessly, via wi-fi and access whatever music and pictures you have stored there. .... ...has a fully fledged online service, called Xbox live, to go with its game console... (iTunes & Quicktime)Companies will use Live to distribute game trailers and sell mini-games and new game levels... (iChat)Right now you can use Xbox Live to talk to people your playing with via voice chatthink of free long distance over the internet. (Mail and iChat)Soon you will be able to send email and instant messages. (iSight & Quicktime)If you have a camera peripheral, you will be to send short video messages and even video conference... You will be able to chat with other people over Xbox Live when your just plain watching TV. The words appear over the show or you can chat aloud using a headset. ..." One thing does throw a caution flag on all this though, Microsoft has lost $1 billion a year since November 2001 on Xbox Or at least that it was they are saying, maybe an attempt to deter competitors Besides the games, Apple has all those features, to wich they can throw into a pretty white box with the Apple logo on it, call it "iBox", target the already exisiting loyals, the switchers and the wide audience that Apple has captured with iPod and compete or at least stake the Apple claim in the livingrooms of (possibly) millions. My opinion Apple is most likely in serious deveolpment of a new living room appliance.There has been many rumors of Apple coming up with some sort of new gadget, whether it be something along the lines of the rumored "iBox" the iBox rumor from 2004 http://www.insanely-great.com/news.php?id=2912 Apple may be releasing a device known as the 'iBox', according to a rumor report published at MacOSX.com. The iBox is said to be a combo TV tuner/program recorder/hard drive/Airport networkable device running a G3 CPU with iTunes and iPhoto compatibility. The G3 was a 500MHz unit originally, but is now running a 900MHz G3 in more recent demonstration units. RAM is 128MB (built-in) and the iBox is said to sport a 120GB hard drive. It also has FireWire 400, USB 2.0, 10/100 Ethernet, AirPort Extreme, BlueTooth, RCA I/O and S-Video. The iBox reportedly runs an application called iBox Remote, which can schedule recording times like a VCR. It also allows remote access so users can program the iBox from work or elsewhere. ( COULD THIS BE AIRPORT REMOTE? ) The article also says that the iBox has a SuperDrive built in, as well as a version of iDVD for program editing. Additional features reportedly include iTunes, which any Mac or PC networked with the iBox can access. With the recent addition of video downloads from iTunes, the recent poll "Are you interested in full-length movies for sale online?", led me back to believe even stronger that Apple is prob. developing a set top box of some sort. Yes you could download the movie on your primary computer, burn a dvd and then take it into the living room and watch it, but wouldnt it be easier to download it from a set top box already connected to your tv, and be able to burn a disc from your set top box? The rumors of Apple creating a gaming division and the somewhat recent poll asking people Should Apple spend resources on developing their own Games? makes me believe even stronger that in the near future we will see a set top box from Apple with or without games. With the rumors of a Apple tablet, that could be one of the input device for such a product and/or a stand alone.... Does the idea of Apple competing to stake its claim in the "living room market" seem too far fetched? I would love to hear what people have to say on the "living room market" P.S. to expand on Apple and gaming, I do not feel that Apple will directly compete in the Game Console market (Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo...). The games for consoles, are exactly that, games that can only be played on a certain device ( thats my understanding, I dropped out of gaming after Super Nintendo ) What we will most likely see from apple is development of games that can be played on any mac and not just a specific device. This would give Apple a wider audience of mac gammers and potential gammers (Soccor moms). The games will most likely be ones that are fun enough to play one person, but also are simple enough and fun for the whole family to play together ( Wheel of Fortune, solitaire, Bejeweled, Where in the World is Carmine San Diego...) The battle over the living room isnt exactly new, we have had Nintendo, Playstaion, Xbox and the rest competing for some time now, Each console with CD playing capabilities, DVD... But the battle is now to capture the whole family with an all in one living room appliance, shifting the primary focus away from the appliance being a primary game counsole. One approachable appliance that offers something for each member in the house. An All in one appliance with WiFi internet connectivity, Tivo and WebTV like capabilities, rip and listen to CDs, purchase audio books, music & music videos(and maybe movies) from online stores, watch and burn DVD's, ... and of course play games. One of the biggest established trends on the market front today, and still gathering momentum, is Cocooning - the desire to perform the majority of social and cultural interactions (working, entertaining, relaxing, etc.) from home, rather than by going outside the home.