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Xbox project cofounder: Game-enabled Apple TV would "simply kill Playstation, Wii-U, and Xbox"

post #1 of 85
Thread Starter 
A game-enabled Apple TV would quickly attract developers and likely kill off traditional consoles like the Xbox, PlayStation, and Wii, one of the original developers of the Xbox said on Wednesday.

Writing on his personal blog, Nat Brown ? founder and self-proclaimed namer of Microsoft's original Xbox project ? said Apple could quickly come to dominate the gaming sector, should the company decide to add gaming capabilities to its Apple TV set top box or the continually rumored Apple HDTV.

Apple TV
Apple's set-top box could turn the company into a gaming powerhouse.


Brown took Microsoft and other traditional console makers like Sony to task for failing to understand and capitalize on the potential for living room connected devices.

"xBox's primary critical problem," Brown wrote," is the lack of a functional and growing platform ecosystem for small developers to sell digitally-/network-distributed (non-disc) content through to the installed base of xBox customers, period. Why can't I write a game for xBox tomorrow using $100 worth of tools and my existing Windows laptop and test it on my home xBox or at my friends' houses? Why can't I then distribute it digitally in a decent online store... like I can for Android or iPhone, or for iPad?"

He goes on to point out that Microsoft's developer program for its console requires for membership "$10,000/year and a ton of paperwork, with Microsoft holding veto power over your game."

Brown feels that Apple is perfectly positioned to shake up the gaming sector if it decides to bring games to its Apple TV device. Apple's existing developer framework would make it easy to attract small developers, among whom Brown says he would be the first in line.

"Apple, if it chooses to do so, will simply kill Playstation, Wii-U, and xBox by introducing an open 30%-cut app/game ecosystem for Apple-TV... I will be the first to write apps for Apple-TV when I can, and I know I'll make money. I would for xBox if I could and I knew I would make money."

Brown isn't the first established name in gaming to opine on the potential impact of a larger move by Apple into the market. In late January, Valve cofounder and software engineer Gabe Newell called Apple the biggest challenge to the future of gaming.

"The biggest challenge, I don't think is from the consoles," Newell said. "I think the biggest challenge is that Apple moves on the living room before the PC industry sort of gets its act together."

Like Brown, Newell was less than optimistic on the chances of the current console leaders standing up against Apple.

"I think Apple rolls the console guys really easily," he said. "The question is can we make enough progress in the PC space to establish ourselves there, and also figure out better ways of addressing mobile before Apple takes over the living room?"

Apple's Apple TV set-top box has moved from a hobby to an area of intense interest for the company, and CEO Tim Cook believes the television sector could be an area where Apple can contribute.
post #2 of 85

Well, Xbox and Playstation, at least.

 

It couldn't be the same setup as the current Apple TV, though. I mean, I'm starting to like the idea of Apple side-stepping into this industry, but the Apple TV (box) would have to be changed fairly drastically if it's going to be doing this, too. For one, it would have to have greatly expanded internal storage, and that would need to be listed instead of a silent spec. I'd imagine it would need more RAM, too (what does it have now, 1GB?). 

 

But as well as iOS devices have been handling games, an expansion of that ecosystem wouldn't be amiss. I just wish Apple would make up their mind about what the Apple TV is supposed to be, though. Because it's certainly not Apple reinventing television. 

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post #3 of 85
I disagree with mr. Brown. What about people who want blu-ray capabilities and dvd disc like in the Playstation? I do not have super fast internet to be able download 10 or 15GB games. I can't afford a $100 dollars montly for internet.
post #4 of 85
Okay "xBox" is one thing, but "pC"? Really?
post #5 of 85
This is very interesting news! An Xbox founder said that maybe if Apple added games to the Apple TV it might kill off the XBox.

I heard that another XBox founder said, if BMW started making toothbrushes, they might just drive Oral B out of the space.

And yet another XBox founder said, maybe if like Ferrari started putting peanut butter cookies in their cars, they might drive Nabisco out of business.

I can't wait to read what someone else said might happen if something else might happen!
post #6 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by maclancer View Post

I disagree with mr. Brown. What about people who want blu-ray capabilities and dvd disc like in the Playstation? I do not have super fast internet to be able download 10 or 15GB games. I can't afford a $100 dollars montly for internet.

What about people wanting Blue Ray and or DVD? I'd assume they already have a player. Moreover his point is Apple could kill those systems for casual gamers. Microsoft has already said the X-Box is currently mostly used as a non-gaming entertainment device. If Apple added an App Store for the Apple TV, I would not use my X-Box. I agree with the guy.
post #7 of 85

I can see the games industry going through a major upheaval very soon.  As the consoles have become ever more complex, the cost of game development has rocketed, and you end up with games that are relatively formulaic, either first person shooters, or an update to a sports title every 12 months, since the games studios when spending $100m+ on development can't risk a failure, so look to eliminate risk.

 

 

A much simpler games machine, with a simplified dev environment could encourage some real innovation in games.

 

Personally I also find many high end games have become all but unplayable as realism has gone through the roof with increased physics processing.  I can't drive a Formula 1 car.  If I could I'd be a Formula 1 driver, but I can't, so making a game spectacularly realistic just makes it unplayable for me.

 

It is however also possible that I'm just getting old!

post #8 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by 512ke View Post

This is very interesting news! An Xbox founder said that maybe if Apple added games to the Apple TV it might kill off the XBox.

I heard that another XBox founder said, if BMW started making toothbrushes, they might just drive Oral B out of the space.

And yet another XBox founder said, maybe if like Ferrari started putting peanut butter cookies in their cars, they might drive Nabisco out of business.

I can't wait to read what someone else said might happen if something else might happen!

Ridiculous analogies.

The founder of xBox probably knows a bit about the game console market.

It's obviously just his opinion and could easily be wrong, but that's nothing like your silly comments.
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post #9 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by 512ke View Post

This is very interesting news! An Xbox founder said that maybe if Apple added games to the Apple TV it might kill off the XBox.

I heard that another XBox founder said, if BMW started making toothbrushes, they might just drive Oral B out of the space.

And yet another XBox founder said, maybe if like Ferrari started putting peanut butter cookies in their cars, they might drive Nabisco out of business.

I can't wait to read what someone else said might happen if something else might happen!


I will easily listen to an XBox founder about his opinion on the direction of video games.  He's got the experience in the industry to know.

You on the other hand represent a prefect example of what happens when a nobody tries coming across as a somebody and hope is taken seriously.

post #10 of 85
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Personally I also find many high end games have become all but unplayable as realism has gone through the roof with increased physics processing.  I can't drive a Formula 1 car.  If I could I'd be a Formula 1 driver, but I can't, so making a game spectacularly realistic just makes it unplayable for me.

 

Indeed! I'd enjoy a game that employed realistic physics but allowed me to operate them in a wholly unrealistic scenario.

 

"If I had the power to pick this semi up over my head and chuck it down this mountain at the interstate, I'd like to know how it would crumple and shatter as it hit trees, how the trees would fall, and how the cars at the bottom would react when it finally got there."

 

There aren't any good superhero/villain games…


Originally Posted by TBell View Post
What about people wanting Blue Ray and or DVD? I'd assume they already have a player. 
 

Exactly. And that's Nintendo's modus operandi, as well. The Wii and WiiU don't operate as players for DVD or Blu-ray discs, despite the use of such as the media for said games. It has worked splendidly for them.

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post #11 of 85
Back when it was first introduced, I noticed during the "new" ATV demo that there is a button for games but SJ did not mention anything about it.
post #12 of 85
Woz says iPhones are behind in some areas and the haters take it as gospel, since he, you know, co-founded Apple.

Now watch them come out and claim this former employee knows nothing since he said something positive about Apple.

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post #13 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

A much simpler games machine, with a simplified dev environment could encourage some real innovation in games.

 

Something tells me you may have been paying attention to this current generation of game systems.  Wii has downloadable WiiWare games that cost anywhere form $5 to $10.  This program was designed to do just what you mentioned - bring innovation with minimal financial risk.  To date, there are over 400 WiiWare titles to choose from.

 

PS3 has a similar program which has spawned a number of highly respected games.  Titles like, Stacking, Journey, Flower, Flow and The Cave have won high reviews and shown there is still a lot of innovation in gaming.

 

So this is going on right now.  It's just that most people aren't noticing.

post #14 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Well, Xbox and Playstation, at least.

It couldn't be the same setup as the current Apple TV, though. I mean, I'm starting to like the idea of Apple side-stepping into this industry, but the Apple TV (box) would have to be changed fairly drastically if it's going to be doing this, too. For one, it would have to have greatly expanded internal storage, and that would need to be listed instead of a silent spec. I'd imagine it would need more RAM, too (what does it have now, 1GB?). 

But as well as iOS devices have been handling games, an expansion of that ecosystem wouldn't be amiss. I just wish Apple would make up their mind about what the Apple TV is supposed to be, though. Because it's certainly not Apple reinventing television. 

And a monster processor. The Xbox 360 has a tri core and the next Xbox is rumored to have an 8 core one. Might be possible to circumvent that on the cloud but that would be an issue with those that have data caps.
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post #15 of 85

I agree with the Xbox project cofounder. Apple needs to get busy with this. They need to act quickly and start making moves.

post #16 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

Woz says iPhones are behind in some areas and the haters take it as gospel, since he, you know, co-founded Apple.

Now watch them come out and claim this former employee knows nothing since he said something positive about Apple.

While that's very true so is the opposite.
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post #17 of 85

I expect this to become reality within the year. Any Apple TV initiative has got to include full screen gaming to be taken seriously. 

 

I (reluctantly) bought an XBox 360 for my two girls this past Christmas strictly for Kinect gaming. Not impressed with the set up, UI terribly designed, slow, games limited ... but the full body game thing is great for entertaining this early teen age group. They play on rainy Seattle days with their friends and its something that Apple doesn't come close to offering. But they could, and do so much better. The wristband thingie with all its sensors plays into this, in part. (Or that is what I keep telling myself).

post #18 of 85
Kill the console market? Doubtful. At least not in the sense of them going away. Consoles are becoming increasingly home media centers and not exclusively game consoles so I think there is a place for a reimagined AppleTV but the more hardcore games are going to stick with PS, Xbox etc.
post #19 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Indeed! I'd enjoy a game that employed realistic physics but allowed me to operate them in a wholly unrealistic scenario.

"If I had the power to pick this semi up over my head and chuck it down this mountain at the interstate, I'd like to know how it would crumple and shatter as it hit trees, how the trees would fall, and how the cars at the bottom would react when it finally got there."

A game like that can be made be it would take 2-3 discs to hold it.
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post #20 of 85
An AppleTV would not need to match the features of the other consoles in order to kill them. It would simply need to change the pricing model for console games. New console games cost $60 while iOS games (some of which are more popular than console games) cost only a buck or two. Many of them start out as free. Thus far none of the major players have made any move to make games much more affordable or to make it easy for anyone to develop on their platform. Consoles will continue to exist for the same reason that PCs are still a great platform for games. They will offer a premium market. I am just not sure there will be enough profit for them to continue developing new $500 consoles and $60 games.
post #21 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrangerFX View Post

An AppleTV would not need to match the features of the other consoles in order to kill them. It would simply need to change the pricing model for console games. New console games cost $60 while iOS games (some of which are more popular than console games) cost only a buck or two. Many of them start out as free. Thus far none of the major players have made any move to make games much more affordable or to make it easy for anyone to develop on their platform. Consoles will continue to exist for the same reason that PCs are still a great platform for games. They will offer a premium market. I am just not sure there will be enough profit for them to continue developing new $500 consoles and $60 games.

The difference being that console games cost millions to make and Sony/MS/Nintendo get about $10 per game sold. While I don't think it'll kill the Xbox and PS I do think that they'll be a evolution in games. We need more than just first person shooters and sports games.
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post #22 of 85

AppleTV $99

 

PS3 $299

 

XBox $199

 

WiiU $299

 

Game Prices...

 

When the prices for console can compete with AppleTV and games are either free or $0.99 then we can talk competition. Otherwise AppleTV can steamroll the consoles.

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post #23 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

Woz says iPhones are behind in some areas and the haters take it as gospel, since he, you know, co-founded Apple.

Now watch them come out and claim this former employee knows nothing since he said something positive about Apple.

Let's see.

The person who invented the XBox is talking about products that might compete with the XBox. Yes, he knows something about it.

Woz left Apple decades before the iPhone was even envisioned and therefore never had any involvement with the iPhone. He has no more credibility than a layman.

See the weakness of your silly comparison?
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post #24 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Let's see.

The person who invented the XBox is talking about products that might compete with the XBox. Yes, he knows something about it.

Woz left Apple decades before the iPhone was even envisioned and therefore never had any involvement with the iPhone. He has no more credibility than a layman.

See the weakness of your silly comparison?

I didn't think what Woz said was all that bad, and being a person unlike us that carries around multiple devices and uses them extensively would have a proper opinion of them.
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post #25 of 85

I don't care if the Pope said it.  It's still a wild speculation about what might happen if a company might do something.  The frivolity of my post matches the airy conjecture of the article. 

post #26 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by I.P.Freely View Post

AppleTV $99

PS3 $299

XBox $199

WiiU $299

Game Prices...

When the prices for console can compete with AppleTV and games are either free or $0.99 then we can talk competition. Otherwise AppleTV can steamroll the consoles.

Except that view is disconnected 100% from reality. The reality is that gamers (the people who spend billions yearly in this industry) have panned the notion of taking 10 steps backwards to accommodate iOS gaming in the living room, look for this same article in gaming sites and you can see the vitriol and crucifying he received for his comments, they are out of touch with the industry and the people spending their money.

The difference between console gaming and ios gaming is like the difference between Hollywood and some horrific day time soap. The production values are nowhere near the same, and Apple stands very little chance to sway the core audience from established platforms.
post #27 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by 512ke View Post

This is very interesting news! An Xbox founder said that maybe if Apple added games to the Apple TV it might kill off the XBox.

I heard that another XBox founder said, if BMW started making toothbrushes, they might just drive Oral B out of the space.

And yet another XBox founder said, maybe if like Ferrari started putting peanut butter cookies in their cars, they might drive Nabisco out of business.

I can't wait to read what someone else said might happen if something else might happen!

 

Why are you on a rumors site if you're not interested in reading...well, rumors?

post #28 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil 
It couldn't be the same setup as the current Apple TV, though. I mean, I'm starting to like the idea of Apple side-stepping into this industry, but the Apple TV (box) would have to be changed fairly drastically if it's going to be doing this, too. For one, it would have to have greatly expanded internal storage, and that would need to be listed instead of a silent spec. I'd imagine it would need more RAM, too (what does it have now, 1GB?).

It would need to change some things but it's not that big of a leap. The PS3 and XBox 360 have 512MB of total RAM. The XBox has a 3-core 3.2GHz Xenon PPC. The PS3 has 7 SPEs running at 3.2GHz with 1 dedicated to the OS, again PPC. Both CPUs over 6 years old.

The PS3 GPU is based on a 7900GTX, which as you can see here:

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=GeForce+7900+GTX&id=1254

is about 60% as fast as the 6630M in the Mac Mini. According to John Carmack, the iPad 2 was around half the performance of the PS3 and 360:

http://www.maclife.com/article/news/carmack_ipad_2_about_half_powerful_xbox_360_ps3

I think it would be safe to say the iPad 4 is on par with the PS3 and 360. Mobile graphics are behind in features though compared to DirectX and OpenGL. This should be fixed somewhat with OpenGL ES 3 in the PowerVR 6 series - the demos they show off are quite bad as they are limiting the GPU bandwidth with the setup they use to about 1/10th or so of what it should be:




Instancing, deferred shading, displacement mapping, OpenCL compute:

http://withimagination.imgtec.com/index.php/news/introducing-the-brand-new-opengl-es-3-0

A gaming Apple TV would need about 32GB of flash memory (32GB iPod Touch = $249) and games could be up to a DVD size of about 8GB. Games can be split too. A game like Mass Effect 2, which is 15GB on the PC can be split into 2 parts for the Apple TV like it is for the XBox or there can be exceptions for some games. They can even have in-game purchases for levels and stories.

There can be a non-gaming 8GB Apple TV at $99 and a 32GB one with a controller at $199 with additional controllers at $29. The gaming one would have a dual-core CPU and quad-core PowerVR 6 graphics.

The great thing is that when people buy content from the iTunes Store, the games can work on their iPads and iPhones too and savegames can go into iCloud. They can also upgrade their Apple TV every year and all the games still work.

They'd get Disney exclusive games for the kids. It would be pretty serious competition for the Wii U and it wouldn't have to be all that aggressively marketed. Apple can pay for game ports of old games and they just get 50-100 major AAA titles on there and it's done.
post #29 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

What about people wanting Blue Ray and or DVD? I'd assume they already have a player. Moreover his point is Apple could kill those systems for casual gamers. Microsoft has already said the X-Box is currently mostly used as a non-gaming entertainment device. If Apple added an App Store for the Apple TV, I would not use my X-Box. I agree with the guy.

What games are you paying on Xbox?
post #30 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post

What games are you paying on Xbox?

The Gears of War series is great.
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post #31 of 85
Now is an optimal time for Apple to move into this space if they are going to do it.

The xbox is at the end of a cycle. The Wii U (just launched) and 3DS are convoluted and underwhelming products that will set Nintendo back and possibly result in them going the way of SEGA and losing their hardware business.

If Apple can integrate some light multitouch elements to a traditional "eyes-free" controller and create a vibrant application platform that really showcases premium (~$30) AAA games to help them stand out from the 99c or free-to-play crowd (so that the entire gaming industry doesn't succumb to death by micropurchase) then they have another industry on a lock.

It's not that hard, the sequencing just needs to be done properly by someone who understand what good gaming is. Why Nintendo had it, misunderstood it and lost it. I would gladly show them.
post #32 of 85
Originally Posted by I.P.Freely View Post
AppleTV $99

 

PS3 $299

 

XBox $199

 

WiiU $299

 

Except since the Apple TV seems to be receiving a yearly update, games will be made during the standard "five year" lifecycle that the earliest Apple TVs won't be able to play. 

 

Meaning $495 for Apple TVs to play all the games in the same timeframe that a standalone console would be able to play.

 

OR you're asking developers to hold their games back for the old models, which Apple never does.


Originally Posted by ifail View Post
The reality is that gamers [who?] (the people who spend billions yearly in this industry) have panned [citation needed] the notion of taking 10 steps backwards [citation needed] to accommodate iOS gaming in the living room…

 

Your replies?


Originally Posted by Dunks View Post
The Wii U (just launched) and 3DS are convoluted and underwhelming products that will set Nintendo back and possibly result in them going the way of SEGA and losing their hardware business.

 

Not in the slightest.

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post #33 of 85
A lot of variables will need to be worked out on the Apple TV if they want to run games on it. It's not over in a long shot for the console makers.

Playstation bought Gaikai...you can figure out what they are going to do with that acquisition. Just need to make sure there is enough bandwidth out there for the average user to take gaming to another level.

Too bad the first(OnLive) that tried this didn't figure out how much it's going to cost them until they are going BK. Apple has a long way to go in this sector if they choose to jump in.
post #34 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by AAPLpeaked View Post

A lot of variables will need to be worked out on the Apple TV if they want to run games on it. It's not over in a long shot for the console makers.

I disagree with the first part and agree with the second.

It doesn't appear that it would be all that difficult for Apple to get games working on the Apple TV. It's running the same OS and the same CPU as the iPhone, iPad, etc. The current version is somewhat limited (single core, very limited storage, etc), but it doesn't appear that it would be very hard for Apple to offer a Gaming version with A6 processor and enough storage to keep a few games on hand.

However, I agree that the console makers still have a significant window of opportunity. Some percentage of the population wants to run games at high resolution with very high frame rates and the Apple TV can't catch those. That, however, creates a major problem for the console makers - their development cost is large and they count on huge volumes to recover their cost. If the volume is reduced by even a modest amount, that could hurt them significantly. Still, there appears to be time to address the issue.
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post #35 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I disagree with the first part and agree with the second.

It doesn't appear that it would be all that difficult for Apple to get games working on the Apple TV. It's running the same OS and the same CPU as the iPhone, iPad, etc. The current version is somewhat limited (single core, very limited storage, etc), but it doesn't appear that it would be very hard for Apple to offer a Gaming version with A6 processor and enough storage to keep a few games on hand.

However, I agree that the console makers still have a significant window of opportunity. Some percentage of the population wants to run games at high resolution with very high frame rates and the Apple TV can't catch those. That, however, creates a major problem for the console makers - their development cost is large and they count on huge volumes to recover their cost. If the volume is reduced by even a modest amount, that could hurt them significantly. Still, there appears to be time to address the issue.

Consoles are usually basically super computers when first released, they're usually years ahead in computing power. They could never sell a console for profit because very few people would be able to afford it. So how to they stave off competition from Apple? Less powerful devices that are more affordable and refresh them quicker?
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post #36 of 85
There's a major flaw in your logic - to become an Apple Developer, all you need is $99 and a Mac. For Xbox and PS3, to get a dev kit it's thousands of dollars. I believe the PS Move SDK is $200, and the Kinect is around the same.

What Apple did was more than revolutionize a certain product or create one of the biggest ecosystems in tech, they also created a platform that is VERY easily to develop for and sell on. Turning the AppleTV into a casual gaming console (even by proxy) is a much more modern solution than Sony or Microsoft can come up with - because they just don't have the same sort of open platform that iOS is. I'm sure that sounds ironic when talking about Apple, but you don't have over 750,000 apps because its inaccessible...
post #37 of 85
Originally Posted by tazinlwfl View Post
…to become an Apple Developer, all you need is $99 and a Mac. For Xbox and PS3, to get a dev kit it's thousands of dollars. 

 

So… also roughly a thousand dollars… lol.gif

 

But no, you're right, the testing hardware for the dedicated consoles is quite expensive. With iOS development, there's no barrier beyond owning hardware that runs OS X.

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post #38 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

So… also roughly a thousand dollars… lol.gif

But no, you're right, the testing hardware for the dedicated consoles is quite expensive. With iOS development, there's no barrier beyond owning hardware that runs OS X.

Trust me - I am completely aware of how much it takes to buy into the Mac life. We just switched to a 100% Apple household, including a new iPad, iMac, and rMBP. Total for everything was about $8,000

That being said, we could almost run an entire development studio off this hardware - can't really run Photoshop of an Xbox Dev Kit...
Edited by tazinlwfl - 2/13/13 at 6:45pm
post #39 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by tazinlwfl View Post

There's a major flaw in your logic - to become an Apple Developer, all you need is $99 and a Mac. For Xbox and PS3, to get a dev kit it's thousands of dollars. I believe the PS Move SDK is $200, and the Kinect is around the same.

What Apple did was more than revolutionize a certain product or create one of the biggest ecosystems in tech, they also created a platform that is VERY easily to develop for and sell on. Turning the AppleTV into a casual gaming console (even by proxy) is a much more modern solution than Sony or Microsoft can come up with - because they just don't have the same sort of open platform that iOS is. I'm sure that sounds ironic when talking about Apple, but you don't have over 750,000 apps because its inaccessible...

But I think there's a method to that seemingly madness. They keep games to a manageable amount thus giving those that spend a great amount of money developing a gamebbetter chance to be profitable. I've read stories of people who spent their life savings to make a iOS app only to fail because their app got lost in a sea of competition. What percentage of games on iOS are almost copies of each other. How many Temple Run type games are out there? How many Angry Birds copies? It's not much different with consoles but it's much better. Every once in a while a innovative game like Heavy Rain comes out. Does the high start up cost hinder innovation or does it drive a developer to make something new and fresh?
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #40 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

But I think there's a method to that seemingly madness. They keep games to a manageable amount thus giving those that spend a great amount of money developing a gamebbetter chance to be profitable. I've read stories of people who spent their life savings to make a iOS app only to fail because their app got lost in a sea of competition. What percentage of games on iOS are almost copies of each other. How many Temple Run type games are out there? How many Angry Birds copies? It's not much different with consoles but it's much better. Every once in a while a innovative game like Heavy Rain comes out. Does the high start up cost hinder innovation or does it drive a developer to make something new and fresh?

You're absolutely correct, but what helps a game or app stand out is the uniqueness of the app in the sea of redundancy. Not to be confused with originality, but really more to do with innovation and design. Not every developer has the means to create a beautiful feature rich app in an efficient way, but those who can usually thrive. If you put a developer like Naughty Dog to develop a game for iOS and you can be sure that they have plenty of resources to do so (take away the PS3/PS4 for a moment). There really aren't any games that come close to the popularity of Temple Run or Angry Birds, and apps like Google Maps proved old dogs can learn new tricks and make a simple and elegant app that solves a problem well. There are games, like Real Racing, that push the hardware to the limit and prove that there's a gap to be filled. There are NOT a huge amount of crap apps for iPad... at least not nearly as many as there are for iPhone/iPod touch. I think that has more to do with the curated nature of the iPad platform. It's a different screensize, different design process, and often a different customer. I think getting Games and Apps on an AppleTV would do the same - create a self-governing sub-market of games that are really dedicated for that screen and experience.

AND - most importantly - Apple can sell more iPhones, iPods, and iPads in a year than both MS and Sony consoles combined. Turn that market towards a gaming-by-proxy mini-console, and you'll get the Wii market in a year, that doesn't get stale because of the annual updates expected of the ecosystem.
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