MACE (first mac-based entertainment system)

Discussion in 'Games' started by RickW, Apr 24, 2005.

  1. RickW macrumors newbie

    Apr 24, 2005

    I am the proud owner of a new mac-mini. I recently purchased it for my wife so she could do her layout work at home. When I set it up, I was looking it over and the first thing that popped in my head was "wow this is smaller than an xbox"... and then it occured to me that with a few changes it would be well suited as a gaming console. ;) While trying to figure out what to call it - I inverted emac to mace, liked that, then modified the apple logo to accomodate. A friend of mine modified the images for me after I gave him a concept drawing.

    Think this could work? :p
  2. Leareth macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2004
    Kinda cool concept...
    But I can already see the Mac vs. PC battle raging in another arena
    bad enough there are two OS now two gaming consoles... : )
    I still think PS2 is sweet, I have a XBOX though (shame on me)
  3. whenpaulsparks macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2004
    Tallahassee, FL
    the only problem is that the mac mini is already more functional than your mockups. good idea, but the mac mini already has TV output via adapters (DVI is far more versatile than SVideo/Composite -- it can do SVideo, Composite, Component, DVI, VGA, HDMI, etc.). the only thing it doesnt have is surround audio, which it would probably use optical anyways. plus the mac mini has firewire, a modem, and others. nice try, but you're degrading an already great product. the specs work tho, the mac mini could use a nicer video card.
  4. RickW thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 24, 2005
    I am trying to get it under the $300 mark, and make it a gaming console. Sorry but not too many games rely on a firewire port. :D (FYI, digital coaxial is better than fiber optic - 1 because it's a cheaper component to implement, 2 because the cable needed is cheaper to buy, 3 fiber optic can have issues with jitter)

    I suppose I should agree that I am degrading the mac-mini. That is what they did with the xbox after all (an nforce motherboard with a celeron).
  5. mikeyredk macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2003
    fiber optic is pure digital signal while the coax is still biased around the analog coax cable. but back to the topic, its a nice idea but a 1.0GHz isn't going to cut it. Why USB ports? Why not wireless?
  6. RickW thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 24, 2005
    I don't know what that is supposed to mean. :confused: You could argue that the light spectrum is far more closer to analog than a stream of electrons are.

    Hmm... this thread is not going the way I thought it would. :(
  7. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
    Why not just get a VooDoo PC...

    Macs can't DO gaming.
  8. RickW thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 24, 2005
    Right on the front page of this site, it says otherwise. :D Joint effort between Apple and ATI...
  9. James L macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2004
    It is probably not going the way you hoped it would for two reasons:

    1) Techies who delight in trashing peoples ideas (of which I must confess I have done before).

    2) Long time Apple users know Apple will never release a game console again after the tragedy that was the pippen (Apple's first attempt at a game console).

    Cool thought, but I don't ever see it happening!
  10. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Smaller than an XBox?...EVERYTHING is smaller than an XBox ;) The Mac Mini is, shockingly, smaller than a GAMECUBE (the smallest console). Now that's scary, since it's basicly a GameCube with a G4 instead of a G3, a bigger DVD drive, a hard drive, and wireless.

    Very cool images.

    However, on the specs; how can it run OS X *and* have only 64 MB of RAM?

    Either you do it like an XBox (stripped down to the core functions), or if its a full fledged Mac, give it more RAM.
  11. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Disagree. The GameCube has a 450 MHz G3 and an old ATi card. The XBox has a 733 MHz Pentium 3 with the cache stripped down and a Geforce 3.

    In fact, that MACE there could easily run GameCube games (having the same architecture of both graphics and processor) if Nintendo gave them permission, and a lot of Mac games with that mega graphics card.

    I'd recommend 128 MB of RAM, because that thing has basicly has a graphics card that is 3 to 5 times more powerful than the XBox, but has the same amount of RAM as the XBox.

    BTW, one other thing- add built in wireless.

    Remember, game consoles are usually not sold for a profit. In the recent generation, Nintendo sold the GameCube at a profit, Sony sold the PS2 to break even (hardly profitting on PS2 sales, making loads on the games), and Microsoft sold the XBox at a loss.

    So you can shave $50-$100 off the price just by removing the profit margin.

    802.11b cards cost what, $20 nowadays from the manufacturer? In bulk? Wouldn't be a problem.

    It would work, but Apple would have a hard time rallying support. It'd be cool though. Playing GameCube games would boost sales.
  12. Poff macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2003
    Stavanger, Norway
    That's what I was thinking too when I read the post before this. Sending signal through coax won't be "more analog" than thru optical. It's either analog or digital, and the only difference is that analog has a continous spectrum while digital is divided into bits.
  13. RickW thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 24, 2005
    Okay, I suppose I can up it to 128mb, just because (uninformed) people will instantly think "wow that's more than xbox" which is a good marketing ploy. It wouldn't be running Mac OSX exactly - it would be extremely stripped down just like XBox's NT kernel is. It would have enough to run a GUI, some basic drivers, and OpenGL. I was also thinking about running a web browser and email client, just so MACE could also compete with WebTV.

    Running GameCube games would definitely be awesome - as far as the licensing is concerned, couldn't the game manufacturers just easily port them to MACE? It would take standard dvds...

    Now that I think about it... onboard wireless would be awesome since wireless routers are so common now. I'm sure not a lot of people run ethernet jacks to their living room to accomodate the entertainment system, so this would be a great marketing pitch. "Just plug it in and you're on"
  14. lordmac macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2004
    Santa Cruz, CA
    No, I believe that the gamecube was sold at a loss too just nearly as great as the loss Microsoft took for the xbox which think at the beginning was nearly a 200 dollar loss. The ps2 was the only to break even towards the end of it. I mean the game cube only sells for a $100 there is no way they are making a profit on that.
  15. Platform macrumors 68030


    Dec 30, 2004
    Well looks good................but I don't really think that it is going to be a hit....people want Xbox 2 and PS 3 they will be immensly powerful as well :rolleyes:
  16. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Nope. The GameCube sold for $200 originally, at a profit. The ONLY time period in all of the GameCube's life span where it sold for a loss was when they first dropped it to $99, but just for one quarter, then the cost of the parts went down a little bit more and they're selling at a profit again.

    That's why, despite being outsold 2x by the PS2, Nintendo actually posted greater profits (though lower revenue) than Sony.
  17. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Sounds good.

    The only concern would be whether they can get Nintendo to agree to let them. Since Nintendo wants everything to play GameCube disks (GameCube, backwards compatible Revolution, future GC compatible handheld, etc), they just might.

    GameCube disks are backwards-spun DVD's. I don't know if you can write a software driver to read the DVD's backwards, but it might be possible. Worst case just stick a second laser in the drive, to read the GC disks.

    If Nintendo didn't want to, sure, Apple could try to get them to port it, but they'd be written for GameCube API, so if Apple didn't have permission to use GC's API, developers would have to put a lot of effort into porting it.

    Yup, same thing as the Nintendo Revolution is doing as well.

    Further, you probably don't need to worry about going to 802.11g since few people will have connections faster than 3 mbps and you're not doing network transfers. So 802.11b will be fast enough. So adding wireless would be cheap.

    This would actually be an extremely good idea for Apple. Compatability with GameCube games would give it an existing library if they have a hard time finding developers for themselves, and they could probably get existing Mac developers to tweak existing games to run on it. Further, they could make PowerMacs run the games the MACE does, burning the "Macs suck for gaming" reputation.

    Another thing. No previous generation graphics cards. Stick a current generation card like the X600 in there ($150 on the market, outperforms Radeon 9800 Pro) or X600 XT ($200 on the market, less in bulk you know) or something. Far better than a Radeon 9700, yet not much more expensive.

    And if Apple decided to sell it for a loss, and waited ONE YEAR...imagine.
    2 GHz G5 instead of 1 GHz G4...and stick, oh, a Radeon 11600 card in there? (we'll be getting the next gen graphics cards at the end of this year. It was 9600, 9700, its X600, X700, I'm guessing 11600, 11700, and 11800, but they'll probably get a cooler name)

    That'd be sweet.
  18. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    Sorry, this just makes me laugh. Cute though.
  19. Poff macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2003
    Stavanger, Norway
    Too bad Apple would never release such a device. On the other hand, why buy a Mace to play GC games when you can get a GC for $99?

    And people keep comparing this Mace thing to the current gaming consoles, which are soon to be outdated. 1GHz will definitely not cut it compared to the other consoles.

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