Mac To Build Gaming Console?

Discussion in 'Games' started by mac.head.high, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. mac.head.high macrumors regular

    mac.head.high

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    Los Angeles
    #1
    Aside from pure speculation and sheer hope, my dreams of Apple building a stand alone gaming console have been without proof. I've always felt that the Mac Mini is the form of what could be a great gaming station. It's smaller than the Dreamcast, and in it's none intel state is at least 2x as powerful as the original Xbox. But with no signs of Apples interest in jumping into that game, my insight went without merit.

    But now I fell there may be a glimmer of hope for 2 important reasons:

    1. The new intel macs will be able to be much faster and more powerful while staying within the same size scale, or even helping to create a smaller cooler (temperature wise) mac. Certainly this doesn't hinder the possibility of a gaming console.

    2. And 2 is a very prolonged and interesting phone conversation I had with a Apple Technical Service person on a Sunday afternoon. After initially calling for a simple question about RAM compatibility in my new G5, the conversation more or less drifted in an out of Technical Support and into semi-heavy Mac enthusiast discussion. After 58 minutes and more than several topics from RAM, to Gaming, to legacy PC's our talk finished on a rather interesting note.
    After I mention to the tech support person that I just wish Apple would make a gaming console already, he retorted with, "I wouldn't be surprised if Mac rolled out a dedicated gaming console by 2007. I wouldn't be surprised at all."
    After my rather surprised and disbelieving "Really?!" the tech support person repeated the phrase above almost like a talking point, and then drop this "Being here in tech support we don't have all the info like other departments. But with the intel chips and such, I wouldn't be surprised if a game console came-out by the beginning of 2007."

    This phone call happened on Sunday January 8th 2006.

    I merely submit this rumor for your critiques, as well as for any other info on this topic to come forward. Please remember, I'm not stating anything as a fact.
    The only thing I can say for certain is that this conversation with the tech person actually happened, and it actually took 58 minutes to get a few answers, but the journey may have been worth it for the gem I may have received. Be it a rumor or not, it still gives me hope that the gaming world may just become that much more diverse.
     
  2. Ultimate-Omen macrumors member

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    #2
    sunday was the 8th...just lettin you know :D
     
  3. mac.head.high thread starter macrumors regular

    mac.head.high

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    #3
    Thank you I have corrected it for the readers ease.
     
  4. beige matchbox macrumors 6502a

    beige matchbox

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    Oxfordshire, UK
    #4
    Apple is the company, Mac is the product ;)


    anyway, although it would be cool if apple made a games console, for now at least, i'd much rather they stuck with the Macs etc. :cool:
     
  5. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #5
    I'd like a Mac console. hopefully they'd stay true to gaming and not try and make a computer/console... hell we have those. they're called PC's. just a system that plays games, like the iPod plays music. simple. insert a disc and play.
     
  6. Atlasland macrumors 6502

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    Aug 20, 2005
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    London, UK
    #6
    Can I just say - NEVER.

    Look at the losses Microsoft had had to take in entering the games console market.

    What is more likely are Mac that are gain more promotion for gaming - i.e. with the new Intel chips, Macs can be good gaming machines. Possibly a Mac mini console/computer hybrid. But NEVER a dedicated games console in the near future (i.e. 5 years minimum).

    Any other thinking is just crazy.

    If MWSF06 has taught us anything, its that dreams and reality are rarely the same (especially if your a Mac enthusiast).
     
  7. mac.head.high thread starter macrumors regular

    mac.head.high

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    #7

    Let me just say as for M$ and their losses: That's because they built an unsatisfactory game console with a simple and easy internet gaming interface. They also choose to take the loss in-order to get into the console game, but are still taking that loss. And as for most of the "new" functions on the Xbox 360; it's only giving the functions that home computers have had for years.

    Please note that Sony a month or so ago just started getting returns on the PS2, so the long game strategy maybe the winner after-all. Even though Sony has 70 percent of the gaming market, even they had to take one for the team to keep the technology going.

    Also something to think about. The Xbox was conceived and created in an 18 month window. That's very fast, and some may say too fast thus leading to problems, but the point to take from this is that a game console can get whipped up very quickly, so to say as you did that "Any other thinking is just crazy" is without merit. The money floating in the game business should be enough of an incentive for Apple to produce a Mac gaming console. Not to mention that it would really stick it to Mr. Gates as well as prove just how versatile the Apple product line can be.
     
  8. doucy2 macrumors 65816

    doucy2

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    Jul 7, 2005
    #9
    and failed horribly

    apple doent need a gaming system they need to stay different and keep creating their own things like the ipod for instance
     
  9. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #10
    If Apple were to enter the games industry, they should follow Nintendo's innovator strategy. It wouldn't be worth it to compete with Microsoft and Sony.

    For those that don't know what I'm talking about- Sony and Microsoft have a power contest going on. It's like Coca-Cola vs Pepsi. The two giants are literally throwing their money at consumers trying to edge them out. Microsoft rushed the XBox 360 out the door taking a massive loss trying to get an early lead on Sony. Sony is trying to cram every gizmo into their machine and then sell it at a big loss to get people to buy it (Blu-ray, WiFi, Bluetooth, dual 1080p HDMI outputs). Neither company is making that much money off it- the previous XBox, Microsoft tried to out-do everyone and ended up with a 16% marketshare and a $4 billion dollar LOSS. They beat Nintendo's 14% marketshare, but Nintendo ended up with the highest profits of any of the three companies, even beating Sony (who had the most revenue but not much profit).

    Nintendo's innovation strategy in software has been to literally create new genres and rule those genres- then when competitors copy and the competition makes the price of those games go up, move on to a new genre. Mario 64 was the first true 3D platformer, the greatest game of its time. It didn't have to have spectacular graphics, voice work, cutscenes, complex story, etc. Nowadays, most of the high end platformers have all that- Nintendo hasn't released a Mario platformer in four years (Super Mario Sunshine) on the console.

    Look at the FPS genre (this isn't Nintendo, just an example). Early FPS's were simple. Nowadays, if it doesn't have a great story, great graphics, physics, voice work, facial animation, gameplay, weapons variety, online multiplayer, etc etc, it's not considered good- it becomes very expensive. By creating new genres and moving on, Nintendo makes money. Haven't you ever noticed that no two Mario games play alike?

    Nintendo's more recent strategy, the one I think it's more important Apple follow, is hardware. It's stupid to try to compete on the same level as Microsoft and Sony- you'll just throw away money. Nintendo started with the DS. Make a system that is new, and different, and not trying to out-do the competitor that is selling at a massive loss and has 'teh best grafix!!!111' (aka the PSP). Guess which is selling most? Guess which is making the most money? Nintendo is doing this again with the Revolution. They have basicly said, "This race is stupid. It just means that all the competitors lose, and one loses less than the other. We're not doing it." (paraphrased from Reggie Fils-Aime) Instead, they're going to release a compact, efficient, pretty system that produces good enough visuals in SD that Joe Average isn't going to see a huge difference, sell at a lower price point, provide a new way of playing, and create new genres.

    I'm not saying Apple has to copy Nintendo and try to make up some new controller. But I think Nintendo has the right idea- don't try to compete with Microsoft and Sony on that level. Compete in capabilities, features, and software.

    Apple could probably kill Microsoft and Sony in terms of adding multimedia functions (which honestly, I don't care that much about about in a game system)- iPod and iTunes integration, video downloads and streaming, etc. I doubt they'd get enough third party support to get as many games as Microsoft or Sony, so unless like Nintendo they started making their own exclusive games and lots of them, they'd fail as a console.

    The upshot of an Apple console would be getting developers to write games for Mac (as we can assume the console's OS will be a stripped down OS X). I can see Apple releasing a console just for that. The console doesn't have to outperform the XBox 360 and PS3- it just has to have Mac and iPod connectivity, all the multimedia features of the PS3 and XBox 360, and get enough third parties on board that it starts boosting Mac development. Even if Apple ends up in last place- they get more developers, and more people get iPods.

    Hey, it works with the iPods, right? Some of the other players fit more songs, cost less and have extra features like FM Radio. But the iPod is sleeker and smaller and easier to use. Apple has a 75% marketshare. What does that tell you?

    I can see Apple releasing a Revolution-like, small form factor gaming machine (not necessarily low-price like the Revolution, though), sold at a profit instead of a loss like Sony and Microsoft.

    I doubt it, though.

    Thanks for reading this mile-long post :D
     
  10. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #11
    ^^^ Very good post.

    Apple vs. Nintendo on the innovation front

    Sony vs. Microsoft on the power front.

    sorta like comparing a strategic game of chess to a game of beat-each-other with-a-stick-really-fast-w00t! It would be brilliant to see the sort of innovations Apple could bring to the table. that new power port for one. Wireless controllers recharged by stick a magnetic cable to the controller and console.

    Then again with all this new Mac stuff going on... who says Apple wouldn't rule power? them new MacBook Power thingies look to have an awesome amount of power under their hoods.
     
  11. mac.head.high thread starter macrumors regular

    mac.head.high

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    #12

    SO right on the money. But let me just add this. Let's say they make this system and it has full iPod/iTunes/Store and media intagration, and then Apple makes a bundle pack with an iPod included with your Apple gaming system. I would think it would sell like crack. But you know, the good kind.
     
  12. kretzy macrumors 604

    kretzy

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    Canberra, Australia
    #13
    Apple, would do a good job, but I think that's one industry that is already pretty full.
     
  13. 2nyRiggz macrumors 603

    2nyRiggz

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    Thank you Jah...I'm so Blessed
    #14
    bring it on apple...i would buy one but in the meantime nintendo is the apple of the gaming world


    bless
     
  14. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #15
    How about an Intel Mac Mini, minus the hard drive, with an added iPod dock, and sold to break even or a small profit (then profit off software)? That could be sold at $299 methinks if Apple stops trying to charge such a premium- they don't have to sell for a loss like Microsoft and Sony though if they don't try to compete on that level.

    Perhaps make it so that the iPod functions as the hard drive :D Otherwise make it an optional addon. Perhaps have a copy of Mac OS X installed on the hard drive to put Mac OS X in the hands of gamers.

    Anyway, my post was speculating what Apple would/should do if they entered the market- but I highly doubt they will, sadly :(
     
  15. d_saum macrumors 6502

    d_saum

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    NC
    #16
    As much as I love gaming, I think this would be a bad move for apple. Id love to see it, and I would love to buy it if they made it, but they probably wouldn't do well. I think the best thing they could do is make the mac mini media center with the dvr and tv out, and then with the move to x86, get some developers to make games... BAM... game console (almost). ;)
     
  16. Ultimate-Omen macrumors member

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    #17
    Although i see what you're getting at with this, it's never going to happen due to technical reasons. the ipod (any hard-drive ipod) uses a 4200rpm HD (90% sure on this one), a bit slow for storing games and playing them off the HD. second, the ipod isn't meant to run for a gamer's session (since no one really plays a video game for an hour and then stops), the ipod would just overheat (no real ventilation on the ipod) and die.

    how ever, what they could do is a sort of sega dreamcast thing where the controller could be used as storage device. but in this case, the controller would have a small flash drive (1 or 2 gigs) for game saves, settings and data. Hell they could even program buttons on the drive! then if you're going somewhere, just remove the drive and use it as a mp3 player (seperate optional product of course :D )
    wow, i got carried away on this post. my 2 cents.
     
  17. greatdevourer macrumors 68000

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    #18
    Hehe, I've always imagined Nintendo as the Apple of the gaming industry. The real innovator, with a lower market share, but still making a massive profit. I can imagine Apple releasing bits and pieces for consoles, but never a full console again
     
  18. SamIchi macrumors 68030

    SamIchi

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    #19
    I don't see it happenin', and I hope it doesn't. Nintendo is enough for me. I just hope w/ the intel chips, Macs are goin' to be able to play, and update games like a PC.
     
  19. Symtex macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    How about Nintendo an Apple get into a agreement to make a console together to compete against Microsoft and Sony ?
     
  20. 7on macrumors 601

    7on

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  21. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #22
    Oh no, we wouldn't want to store full games on the iPod. Too slow and the games would take too much space (three DVD's would fill up a 30 GB iPod). I was thinking savegames, profiles, downloaded content like extra maps, etc.

    YOU got carried away? Look at mine. :)
     
  22. Boelman macrumors regular

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    Jul 15, 2004
    #23
    This would be a awesome idea to get a mac gaming system. It would be nice for Mac to compete with Microsoft in this area.
     
  23. mac.head.high thread starter macrumors regular

    mac.head.high

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    #24

    I would just like to see what kinds of game-play and engrossing entertainment experience Apple, which I feel is well suited for interactive experience, would create. Whether, it's a new genre or even a game-style that defies current definitions, I just know that Apple with it's way of doing things can redefine the home gaming entertainment experience.

    Now that we've all laid it out for Apple, all they have to do is build it for us.
     
  24. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

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    Feb 10, 2004
    #25
    I'm at work and didn't have time to read all of this, mroe a skimming... (it's almost 5, gotta get out of here!) I've long thought that Apple and Nintendo should partener on a gaming machine. This was pre-Intel days, but the GC (and Revolution) use PPC chips, so Apple has some experience working with the hardware.

    Mostly, though, I thought they should let Apple design the device and the standard interfaces. Then they should team up with services, like iTunes and .Mac. iTMS to sell games or add ons (this was pre MS 360 marketplace), as well as music through the console, and .Mac to store and share save games, high scores, screenshots, etc.

    Also let Apple develop the media software for the system and let Nintendo focus on games. I was thinking a DVD player, music player, slidshows, etc. Basically front row.

    I would have also liek to see it grow into an iPod type gameboy.

    Seems like this has about 0 chance of happening, sadly... for so many reason, but especially with Apple's relationship with Sony the last couple years...
     

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