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Filing drops more hints at Apple gaming initiative

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Rumors of an impending gaming initiative from Apple received a shot in the arm this past weekend with the company filing for an extension to its namesake trademark that would embody both handheld and console-based gaming entertainment systems.

The filing, first discovered by Trademork, seeks to protect the 'Apple' trademark in relation to International Class 028, which includes "hand-held units for playing electronic games; hand-held units for playing video games; stand alone video game machines; electronic games other than those adapted for use with television receivers only; LCD game machines; electronic educational game machines; [and] toys, namely battery-powered computer games."

The generic class description is not tailored specifically to Apple's ambitions, and could therefore simply represent a tardy attempt on the part of the Cupertino-based company to further protect existing assets such as its third-generation iPod nanos and fifth-generation iPods, both of which include support an increasing number of two dimensional arcade and trivia games.

That said, however, rumors of a broad gaming initiative from Apple have been rife for the better part of a year, fueled largely by comments from analysts and iPod game developer PopCap.

It all began last February when PopCap's Greg Canessa told Wired that he was in the process of taking his firm's the "stable of franchises and games" and customizing them for different platforms, including Apple TV.

"[Casual games] are going to continue to grow into non-core demographics," he said. "This is relevant as it pertains to devices that are not currently earmarked as gaming devices: mobile, set-top boxes, Apple TV, MP3 players and other devices in the home that will reach the non-gamer --Â* people who donÂt think they want to play."

In the months that followed, PopCap would go on to release a web-based version of its widely successful Bejeweled title for the iPhone, which almost instantly drew over 100,000 hits. The response was so great that company mobile business development director Andrew Stein would later inform Reuters that his firm has set its sights on developing additional games that would run natively on the handset, presumably with help from Apple's iPhone SDK due out later this month.

"There are a lot of passionate Mac users here in the company. They looked at the iPhone and thought this would be really cool to do 'Bejeweled' on," Stein said. "We don't typically make announcements about what's in the pipeline, but based on the success of 'Bejeweled', we're looking pretty closely at the iPhone."



Analysts, like Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, would later latch on to this notion, saying they believe it's likely that Apple would soon spawn a new breed of games designed exclusively for its multi-touch enabled handheld devices.

"Rather than simply porting iPod games over to the touchscreen devices and making them available for purchase in the iTunes Store, we believe Apple is developing a new class of games that will make special use of the touchscreens," Munster advised clients in a December research report. "While such an announcement would be relatively insignificant, on a high level it is important to keep in mind that the iPhone has many capabilities that are not being fully utilized, and unique touch-based games are one example."

In its report on Apple's trademark extension this weekend, Trademork also pointed to AppleInsider's recent report on Apple's closely-guarded plan to adopt Intel's Silverthorne ultra-mobile platform for a new generation of ultra-compact and low-power devices, speculating that one such product could be a dedicated gaming device.

The extension request itself is awaiting examination.
post #2 of 23
hmmm...

fairly interesting.
post #3 of 23
apple need to make MACS with better video cards.

The Imacs have weak video, the mini is over priced next to other gameing systems and you can build a low end pc with better video, faster Desktop cpu, ram, and HD for about the same price.

With apple you have to pay $2200 for a Mac Pro just to be able to pay even more for a 8800gt video card. For the same price you can get a nice gameing pc with high end desktops 1 or more good video cards and 4gb of DDR2 / DDR3 ram with better timings and low cost.

apple needs a good $600 and up system with desktop parts and BTO high end video cards.
post #4 of 23
Given: Apple will soon release the SDK for the iPhone.
Given: People will write games using that SDK.
Ergo: Apple needs to keep their trademark active for gaming related stuff.

I don't see anything interesting here.

- Jasen.
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon View Post

apple need to make MACS with better video cards.the mini is over priced next to other gameing systems and you can build a low end pc with better video, faster Desktop cpu, ram, and HD for about the same price.

Aside from the fact that the Mini is not a gaming machine, 'other' or otherwise, could you please spec a system that can for $600 to $800 or there abouts.

My son says that it would be crap. Perhaps his opinion might be biased considering the moneys he has borrowed from us to set up 'his' (pc) dream machine. But then he is now eyeing the Mac 8-core.
post #6 of 23
Apple tends to unwisely focus all of their resources on very narrow areas of the company they want to grow. Their users are their biggest asset, and yet we continue to be shut out in the development of games and future products. It's bizarre.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #7 of 23
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtbJWbt6kn4

Oh, and Pool 1.0 for the iPhone is one of the coolest things I've ever seen.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Aside from the fact that the Mini is not a gaming machine, 'other' or otherwise, could you please spec a system that can for $600 to $800 or there abouts.

My son says that it would be crap. Perhaps his opinion might be biased

$800 should fit Radeon 3850 or equivalent graphics, which means twice the gaming performance of the faster iMac or more. Enough power to play all current games (Crysis!) at least at low resolutions. That's not crap any way you put it.

Half the price of a 8800GT-equipped Mac Pro buys about equivalent gaming performance.
post #9 of 23
>...we believe Apple is developing a new class of games that will make special use of the touchscreens

Probably a remake (for multi touch) of the classic "MacPlaymate" from 1987...
post #10 of 23
PacMan or should I say "MacMan or ipac / macman???

Astorods and a handful of OLD games, to get OLDER folks buying mac's or the New Mac iGame …

Skip
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gon View Post

$800 should fit Radeon 3850 or equivalent graphics, which means twice the gaming performance of the faster iMac or more. Enough power to play all current games (Crysis!) at least at low resolutions. That's not crap any way you put it.

Half the price of a 8800GT-equipped Mac Pro buys about equivalent gaming performance.

I gather my son doesn't like low resolutions.

However, if you are going to jump into the conversation, perhaps you could follow up my original quest, i.e., "could you please spec a system that can for $600 to $800 or there abouts?" which was in response to a previous statement, i.e., "the mini is over priced next to other gameing systems and you can build a low end pc with better video, faster Desktop cpu, ram, and HD for about the same price." That's all.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

I gather my son doesn't like low resolutions.

What is called "low resolution" on PC is "high resolution" on a console. I'm really trying to say that the $800 spec makes for a really solid gaming machine. The "low resolution" tag was there more like to emphasize the only way that spending more money would improve the gaming experience: you get to use even higher resolutions and effects.
Quote:
However, if you are going to jump into the conversation, perhaps you could follow up my original quest, i.e., "could you please spec a system that can for $600 to $800 or there abouts?" which was in response to a previous statement, i.e., "the mini is over priced next to other gameing systems and you can build a low end pc with better video, faster Desktop cpu, ram, and HD for about the same price." That's all.

$800 stretched to cover a set of gaming hardware looks roughly like this:

http://arstechnica.com/guides/buyer/guide-200801.ars/2

Of course if one wants to compare to the mini (which is nonsensical as the Mini is about the last computer you'd want to use for gaming) then the screen, mouse, kb and speakers would need to be dropped and build cost added.

The periodic Arstechnica and Anandtech guides are my starting points of choice when following the trends of gaming hardware and what is the best value at a given moment.

Over here the best bang for buck for a ready-built gaming system is found by picking a good computer builder company and either going with one of their gaming models or (if you are really well on top of current hardware) either making tweaks on their gaming model spec or speccing from the ground up for them to build. I don't know if in the US market you can get a reasonable gaming system from big brands as well.
post #13 of 23
Your recommendation buys you a pile of parts and leaves out the OS.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Your recommendation buys you a pile of parts and leaves out the OS.

Linux is free and you can play a few games on it. Quake 2 for instance. Also, I enjoy a few of the free games a great deal: Sauerbraten, Enemy-Territory...
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When will the governments realize it's got to be funky, sexy ladies?
-Flight of the Conchords
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post #15 of 23
Yes... a few games. But Quake 2 is generally not something most people crave nowadays. Not trying to knock the platform (OS X isn't stunning in the games department either), but why would you want to buy that fairly reasonable computer and play Quake 2?

(Again, not saying those games are bad, but just seems a little pointless).

And the current iMacs handle Crysis just fine at 1024*768 with low-medium details. The most important settings are shaders and physics, which can be set to medium easily. Same for texture detail, even with only 128MB VRAM.
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Call on God, but row away from the rocks.
- Indian Proverb.
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post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon View Post

apple need to make MACS with better video cards.

The Imacs have weak video, the mini is over priced next to other gameing systems and you can build a low end pc with better video, faster Desktop cpu, ram, and HD for about the same price.

With apple you have to pay $2200 for a Mac Pro just to be able to pay even more for a 8800gt video card. For the same price you can get a nice gameing pc with high end desktops 1 or more good video cards and 4gb of DDR2 / DDR3 ram with better timings and low cost.

apple needs a good $600 and up system with desktop parts and BTO high end video cards.

You are not going to find a system priced $600 retail that will prop up a geforce 8800GT. Even if you did you are talking about bottleneck city.

While your at it why dont you put an outboard motor on your yacht, or a car engine in your private jet.
post #17 of 23
A dual-core processor and $170 video card to play Quake2?

that's hilarious... oh Linux nerds...
proud resident of a failed state
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proud resident of a failed state
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post #18 of 23
As was mentioned before in regards to the Mini and iMac as gaming machines.. bear with me, on many pharmaceuticals at the moment for the Flu, so what may ensue could be contrived as sporadic and nonsense.

What I think most people fail to take into consideration when comparing the cost of Macs to PCs, IS the OS...

The hardware subsidizes the cost of making the OS, the support, and all that goes into the programming. Maybe subsidizes is the wrong word. Maybe the term, "No Such Thing as a Free Lunch" would be better applied. You pay for it somewhere, You pay for Mac Engineering, You pay for the OS, and lets not forget about Apple's Marketing thus-far. Apple has never really focused on gaming. Has never really designed a system around a gamers' need. Its all been for the video and music editing crowd, which just HAPPENED to coincide with the minimum hardware requirements of some games, and so some companies saw fit to pursue games for the Mac. Sure you can build a PC that runs Linux (Or the "better" FreeBSD, [FlameBait]), but unless you can make WINE work flawlessly with every distribution of Linux, as well as every Mainstream game, you might as well invest that TIME (which to some costs money), into build a reliable, purpose built PC, (or Mac Pro).

I for one am happy with my Macs, and the prospect of even more gaming Vendors signing on to the Apple experience. Not only that, I'm a veteran *nix geek, and frankly, you don't spend $1000+ on a PC just to run Quake2/3/4,Doom. Sure there are plenty of hacks to get Steam working with Wine, but again, the TIME factor comes into play. Your time would be better spent convincing Apple that Gamers are more than just a niche market. I use the term PC loosely as well. Cause in relation to gaming versus time versus a working reliable OS, you would STILL be better off investing in a Mac.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Your recommendation buys you a pile of parts and leaves out the OS.

That was a snapshot of one component configuration that results in a good gaming machine, to show what approximate level of performance you should get in the $600-$800 price class gaming hardware. Not a fixed recommendation.

Because you talk about a "pile of parts", apparently you missed the part where I mentioned going with a vendor's gaming-oriented build, or paying them to build to your spec. Granted, I extensively edited my post after making it, which might have caused you to miss these things.

About the OS - we're talking hardware for gaming. The cost of Windows has to be added to both Apple and small-builder hardware so might as well leave it out of the discussion.
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gon View Post

That was a snapshot of one component configuration that results in a good gaming machine, to show what approximate level of performance you should get in the $600-$800 price class gaming hardware. Not a fixed recommendation.

Because you talk about a "pile of parts", apparently you missed the part where I mentioned going with a vendor's gaming-oriented build, or paying them to build to your spec. Granted, I extensively edited my post after making it, which might have caused you to miss these things.

You mentioned it, but what is that going to cost? Without specific examples (model number) of a real machine done that way at $800, it's not much of a point. I doubt paying someone to build a gaming computer to your spec is going to be an $800 machine.
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

You mentioned it, but what is that going to cost? Without specific examples (model number) of a real machine done that way at $800, it's not much of a point. I doubt paying someone to build a gaming computer to your spec is going to be an $800 machine.

I'm just buying a machine built to my spec. The shop charges 50EUR for assembly and one year system warranty. AFAIK their own configurations are priced the exact same (component price + 50EUR), only the components for them are picked and stocked for higher availability.
(I realize the first thing that comes to mind is that cost must be hidden in the components, but this vendor's component prices are very competetive in our market. Sometimes even the best. They are extremely gaming and enthusiast oriented.)

I did a google for custom pc builders, priced out a gaming PC with an E8200 and a 3850 at one vendor and hit $830. I think it's pretty clear there is another vendor out there that does $30 better than first random google result.

Have you actually tried to find a local vendor who builds to order from a wide range of components, and asked what they charge? I think you might be positively surprised if you do.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gon View Post

I'm just buying a machine built to my spec. The shop charges 50EUR for assembly and one year system warranty. AFAIK their own configurations are priced the exact same (component price + 50EUR), only the components for them are picked and stocked for higher availability.
(I realize the first thing that comes to mind is that cost must be hidden in the components, but this vendor's component prices are very competetive in our market. Sometimes even the best. They are extremely gaming and enthusiast oriented.)

I did a google for custom pc builders, priced out a gaming PC with an E8200 and a 3850 at one vendor and hit $830. I think it's pretty clear there is another vendor out there that does $30 better than first random google result.

Have you actually tried to find a local vendor who builds to order from a wide range of components, and asked what they charge? I think you might be positively surprised if you do.

My son still thinks it is crap. Again, he has invested a lot more and obvious has a bias for anything less. Anyhow, most of his gaming now is via his XBox. In particular, when his buddies come over and bring their own paddles; which is most of the time and which you can't (multi-player) on the PC.

Now that he is also working, he is beginning to realize that time is money. Spending time setting up and maintaining his PC is taking away from his playing time. He hasn't had to reset, reload, re…whatever or call for support to some computer geek for his XBox. And if his pc does go down, it seems it is always when the 'local vendor' is closed or gone out of business. And when you do find a replacement, it is always, "I wouldn't have used that, or that, or…it's crap."

XBox vs (any) PC: fantastic graphics, significantly cheaper, easier to operate, more fun with his buddies, more time to play and more money to spend on beer.
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

XBox vs (any) PC: fantastic graphics, significantly cheaper, easier to operate, more fun with his buddies, more time to play and more money to spend on beer.

As general remarks those are biased.

PC's have more graphics horsepower than consoles. That has been the case almost constantly in the past.

Initial cost is significantly higher on a PC - assuming one doesn't use it for anything else than gaming, which I think is rare. But over a certain timeframe, the console will catch up a lot due to higher prices on games, controllers (I have a console too, and I have spent more on controllers than the console itself) and in the case of the XBox, the constant cost for the network play. It all adds up. Of course, if a person doesn't buy many games, never plays on a network, and doesn't invest heavily in controllers, the console will retain the initial price advantage.

Being easier to use and freeing time (a little or a lot, depending on your skill) are legit upsides of a console. So is shared-screen multiplayer. PC, on the other hand, continues to be ahead on network multiplayer. This is also reflected in the game genres that are strongest on each - arcade games are a good fit for shared-screen, and they are well represented on consoles, while the PC has a lot of strategy gaming and FPS which work well in network multiplayer.
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