I agree with hmurchison. Game consoles are much more than just game platforms. They can play HD-DVD/Blue Ray/DVDs/CD, connect to the internet for music and video downloads, show photo slideshows. Sony and MS are direct threats and competitors to Apple. While Apple may have the lead in some areas, they are definitely behind when it comes to games.
Also look at the price points. Apple computers can host games but they are way more expensive then game consoles. Apple has nothing to compete against the game consoles. As I consider buying a media center for my living room, an Xbox 360 or PS3 seem a much better option than a computer. Apples iTV is going head to head with these devices but doesn't do games - that we know of.
I wish Apple would introduce a compete living room media solution. This would include a HD flat panel tv with an integrated iSight camera, a 5.1 wireless speaker system, and a setbox that runs front row, plays games, multiplayer games over a LAN or internet, connects to iTunes, has a dock for an iPod, has an amplifier, connects to cable tv, does TiVi video record/timeshift, iChat A/V, airport hub, a big HD, and one integrated simple remote. With their stores, people could test drive the system and bring it home and set it up easily.
There are millions of people who want a good and simple system but cannot choose and configure a system themselves. They see all the wires and give up. And then there are all the remotes. They juggle five or six remotes and can't figure out how to record a tv show to their VCR like they use to. This is a huge market just waiting to be tapped.
Apple can deliver on all this today except for the games. Or MS and Sony could do their own solution and beat Apple in the living room. Apple has all the pieces but the games. MS and Sony have the games and some of the pieces. But it is not enough to do part of the solution. The first company with the complete integrated solution will dominate.
Right now gaming is a big hole in Apple's quest for living room dominance. They need to fix this hole fast and I think they could do it in a first generation system if it came as part of an integrated system.
I even wonder if Apple could add the games to this living room system by harnessing the processing power of a Mac. For example, one could have an iHome system in the living room and a Mac in the home office of den for example. The iHome system has all the above functionality but when it comes to games, uses the network connection to remote the gaming processing work to the Mac. Use Xgrid for gaming. Thus you have the power of the game console without the costs.
Apple could do this today and have an excellent gaming platform. Heck with boot camp, they could even run PC games from their iHome, or whatever they are going to call their iTV. Thus they come in with a great game solution without all the R&D costs. They then can keep the costs of their iTV/iHome/or whatever it is going to be called much lower.
Add in a smartphone iPhone that also taps into this home network system for VoIP and iChatA/V and intergrates for music, video playback. Add GPS and some PDA functions and you have total integration. Apple could also sell a simpler and cheaper iPhone without the extra functions.
Apple has all these pieces and can make this work. They can also innovate on their software side.
If they get iWork up to task and have it read/write MS Office files and sell it cheap for both PCs and MACs - like $39 - very few people would upgrade Office ever again. Then Apple needs to license their OS for cheap and people would choose that over Vista. MS would lose their major income streams. Combined with a living room system that plays games, MS would lose many Xbox sales. MS would be hurting. That would make news and drive MS shares down, driving many more lemmings to Apple. With so many PC users virus infected, they would gladly move to Apple. Apple could always keep a few goodies exclusive to their OS on their own branded systems. That way the PC world could not threaned their MAC hardware line.
Apple can do this and take over the computer and home electronics markets fast. They already have all the pieces and they already have the mindshare. They also have the stores and staff to help this process along. All they need is the TV set, iHome setbox, speaker system, and iPhone. Apple could easily have all these pieces in place and integrated come January for MacWorld.
Whether or not they do this remains to be seen. They could rock MS Vista's launch and even effect game console sales for both MS and Sony. If they do the plan I outlined, I see total Apple domination in a couple years.