Apple's tablet announcement: games could be a focus, music unlikely

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
With Apple expected to introduce the long-awaited tablet next week, the company's content partners will likely play a part in the unveiling. While there is an indication games might play an important role in the presentation, music labels are not expected to be a major presence.



Running down a list of who will and will not likely join Apple co-founder Steve Jobs to unveil the 10-inch touchscreen device next week, Peter Kafka of MediaMemo sent word that big music labels were only recently briefed about the tablet, and only as a "courtesy." It is expected that the iTunes LP format could work with the tablet, but Kafka said not to expect a focus on music with the tablet's introduction.



"One label official told me Apple has expressed an interest in selling higher-quality audio files via iTunes, and I'm sure the labels would be happy to do so, if they could charge a premium for them," he said. "But that discussion didn't seem to be tethered to a tablet."



Kafka also expects The New York Times, "enhanced e-book" providers like HarperCollins, and video providers (likely Disney, where Jobs is the largest individual shareholder) to have a presence at the event.



It's likely that new media content will receive the greatest focus next week, as it is expected that all existing iTunes media, including music and movies, will work with the tablet.



Apple is expected to introduce the hardware next Wednesday, Jan. 27, at an event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. It is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Pacific time.



When invitations for the event went out Monday, among those asked to come was gaming blog Kotaku. Writer Stephen Totilo expressed some surprise over the receipt, as the site's Apple-related coverage is mostly limited to iPhone games.



Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal called the forthcoming tablet a "multimedia device" that will allow users to do a wide range of activities, including play games. It is also expected that the tablet will be able to run existing iPhone software once it is modified to run in a range of screen resolutions.



If games were a focus of the tablet, it shouldn't be a great surprise. Apple and its App Store developers have found great success in making games for the existing iPhone and iPod touch platforms. Last year, well-known game developers like EA and Konami began to embrace the App Store and bring some of their high-profile franchises.



Of course, aside from the tablet, the gaming related invitation could also be centered around the possible unveiling of iPhone OS 4.0, which would likely play a part on future iPhone models.



With more than 100,000 applications in 20 categories, the App Store has a huge selection of games that have been a major factor in the platform's success. Earlier this month, Apple revealed that more than 3 billion downloads had come from the App Store.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 82
    irelandireland Posts: 17,584member
    Air Hockey!
  • Reply 2 of 82
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    Compelling about music --- no need to endanger iPod/iPhone sales.

    Not so much about gaming --- premium game console without any traces of elaborated controller part? the multitouch display just can't fulfill requirements. ummm...
  • Reply 3 of 82
    oflifeoflife Posts: 120member
    ...a horizontally positioned next generation touch screen 27" iMac (Touch)?







    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Air Hockey!



  • Reply 4 of 82
    I'd much rather hear about OS 4.0 than anything else. Tablet? Pass. I don't have any need for one for my daily uses that my phone and laptop can't do.
  • Reply 5 of 82
    "could be" ?



    I think it's more than highly likely that games will feature.
  • Reply 6 of 82
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    I think it can be deduced that there will be a new OS X demo and new SDK. Whether that means iPhone OS SDK, Tablet OS SDK, or both is unknown.



    I’m not sure why a game developer is confused by the invitation when every single demo of the iPhone and Touch since the SDK announcement has relied heavily on games to showcase the capabilities of the HW.
  • Reply 7 of 82
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Who agrees that at least 50% of iPhone app developers probably did NOT use scalable vector graphics when doing their programming?



    For anyone who didn't, it's back to the drawing board, and probably no chance of it being "the same" app.



    But then again, why should it be?
  • Reply 8 of 82
    Quote:

    "One label official told me Apple has expressed an interest in selling higher-quality audio files via iTunes, and I'm sure the labels would be happy to do so, if they could charge a premium for them," he said. "But that discussion didn't seem to be tethered to a tablet."



    So after all of the money I spent to upgrade my tracks to iTunes Plus, now Apple is going to offer to upgrade my tracks to iTunes Plus Plus? No, thank you.
  • Reply 9 of 82
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    "could be" ?



    I think it's more than highly likely that games will feature.



    It's more than highly likely that game demos will be 50% or more of the entire keynote. A crying shame, since Apple should be demoing it's own software during their own events.
  • Reply 10 of 82
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eizzumdm View Post


    So after all of the money I spent to upgrade my tracks to iTunes Plus, now Apple is going to offer to upgrade my tracks to iTunes Plus Plus? No, thank you.



    I agree it sounds like ham-handed scam, but would you honestly not pay another $0.30 per song to get FLAC or WAV or Apple Lossless?



    I sure as would. Currently I consider it to be a travesty that I have hundreds of dollars worth of sh*t lossy audio that I had no choice but to purchase (work related).
  • Reply 11 of 82
    glhglh Posts: 5member
    It looks as if this thing is aimed at radically changing the whole idea of what a book is. The pieces are there already -- hyperlinks, movies, color, customization of fonts, reading the text out loud, music, perhaps 3d, internet access. Kindle has some of these, but no one has put them together in a compelling way. Or at least in a way that really changes the fundamental nature of a "book." I suspect the tablet will try to do this. Already we see the pieces in place: the app store, iTunes, iPhoto, iPhone, iWork, social networking, games. Apple is the only company with the infrastructure to pull this off. And, of course, the clout. If they execute at the level they have with iPhone, they'll change everything. I suspect the introduction of the "tablet" will strike people as a bit mystifying. "Just what exactly is this thing really good for? What's the big deal?" The same reaction as to the original iPod. But the seeds for fundamentally changing everything will be sown.
  • Reply 12 of 82
    timontimon Posts: 152member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eizzumdm View Post


    So after all of the money I spent to upgrade my tracks to iTunes Plus, now Apple is going to offer to upgrade my tracks to iTunes Plus Plus? No, thank you.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post


    I agree it sounds like ham-handed scam, but would you honestly not pay another $0.30 per song to get FLAC or WAV or Apple Lossless?



    I sure as would. Currently I consider it to be a travesty that I have hundreds of dollars worth of sh*t lossy audio that I had no choice but to purchase (work related).



    The bottom line is if the cost is at least 10 to 20% less than a hard CD and I can still burn a CD then the cost for the higher bandwidth tracks is worth it. If not then I'll pass.
  • Reply 13 of 82
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post


    Who agrees that at least 50% of iPhone app developers probably did NOT use scalable vector graphics when doing their programming?



    For anyone who didn't, it's back to the drawing board, and probably no chance of it being "the same" app.



    But then again, why should it be?



    Isn’t also more than using SVG, but also not tying elements to pixel space. I think that will be the biggest problem for devs unless the iPhone OS was designed to avoid that.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eizzumdm View Post


    So after all of the money I spent to upgrade my tracks to iTunes Plus, now Apple is going to offer to upgrade my tracks to iTunes Plus Plus? No, thank you.



    Then don’t upgrade your audio. 256kbps AAC has been good enough and it’s unlikely you have both the eardrums and equipment to get a better experience from higher-bitrate audio. They’d have to go to ALAC, which is only playable on Apple’s devices, if they go any higher. The only other option is to add other codecs to all Apple devices and actually pull from a real master so the quality is actually good, not just a lossless file from a CD.



    Regardless, there is no need to be nonplussed. (See what I did there? )





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post


    It's more than highly likely that game demos will be 50% or more of the entire keynote. A crying shame, since Apple should be demoing it's own software during their own events.



    I think that gives a good baseline, especially when the game is compared to the previous generation’s hardware and OS.
  • Reply 14 of 82
    Games.



    I think between this 'tablet' and the other 'touch' products Apple has...



    ...Apple have finally conquered the gaming world. By accident or by design? A bit of both?



    App store. Better distribution model. Easy to download. No packing. It's Direct to the User. Access.



    Price. Cheaper game prices not seen since the C64 days! Affordability.



    SDK. Easy to develop for. Floodgates open. No barrier to entry bar Apple's quality threshold policy.



    Back to Basics. Games that focus on playability, simplicity. ie Fun.



    Mainstream. Apple have taken the 'mainstream' music audience they have (iTunes users) and transferred that 'trust' to their 'games' store. (and they'll probably do the same with 'ebooks' in time...)



    Honking mid-towers with cooling systems with 'so serious' FPS games...eclipsed by the iPhone/iPod and the pending iTab.



    Good luck Nintendo and Sony. You're going to need it.



    My only question is whether Apple will use Nvidia's Tiger GPU or Power VR? I'm guessing the latter...



    Apple are dismantling the old ways. From phone monopolies to games monopolies.



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 15 of 82
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Isn’t also more than using SVG, but also not tying elements to pixel space. I think that will be the biggest problem for devs unless the iPhone OS was designed to avoid that.



    Re: game demos..

    I think that gives a good baseline, especially when the game is compared to the previous generation’s hardware and OS.





    If you used a lot of the built in graphics you should be OK, ie: a ToDo or Notes app using all iPhone UI items.



    Games and such are different. Major developers who have used the SVG directly from other versions of those games will have no problem.



    The simple dev who built everything from scratch...who knows. I'm sure its case by case, and undoubtedly there will be a 6month to a year crossover period, before even "Most" App store apps are available on the Tablet, or on the Mac as widgets for that matter.



    re: game demo, if they are truly impressive and signify a new level of portable (Apple) gaming, then sure maybe 2 demos would be reasonable, along with a few other title announcements (not demos) that get people's imaginations immediately going.



    My point, Apple has filled space with demos before, because they had nothing else to show. ie: 3GS introduction. I hope the tablet has enough Apple-developed features/software that they need a lot of time to show it off. If that's not the case, then the Tablet probably won't be what I was hoping it would be.
  • Reply 16 of 82
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I think it can be deduced that there will be a new OS X demo and new SDK. Whether that means iPhone OS SDK, Tablet OS SDK, or both is unknown.



    Now this idea intrigues me. Considering that both OS X and Windows 7 are pretty much on par now as far as mainstream operating systems go, the next versions are going to have to be something really damn cool to get people to say anything other than "Oh. A new OS version". This may very very well be a tablet OS...



    Even if this tablet comes to be true, the OS will have to really wow people in order to gain any real attention. It can't be just a big iPhone or a small iMac. It's the software that's going to grab people. Look at the iPhone... if the underlying software was utter crap, no one would have given it a second glance.



    While I'm rather blase about the tablet rumors (I'll believe it when I see it) if Apple does have one ready to go, I hope against hope that they have come up with something that no one else has even thought of when it comes to a tablet form factor.
  • Reply 17 of 82
    wigbywigby Posts: 689member
    why does everyone keep thinking developers aren't excited about this? they can respin existing ip and charge the same if not more. if they sold 500,000 downloads on the iphone, they're guaranteed to sell at least half of that (re-purchasing + new customers) on a tablet platform without having to develop the app from scratch.



    but if apple was smart, they would create some kind of automated coupon system that automatically gives you 50% off the purchase of any upscaled tablet app that you already purchased for the iphone.
  • Reply 18 of 82
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    No, no. Nothing still suggests games will be a focus on the new platform. They may just announce some more gaming support as part of iPhone OS 4.0. Just gaming-focused blog host may not necessarily be anyone in the gaming industry.
  • Reply 19 of 82
    successsuccess Posts: 1,039member
    multitasking...that's it! please
  • Reply 20 of 82
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wigby View Post


    why does everyone keep thinking developers aren't excited about this? they can respin existing ip and charge the same if not more. if they sold 500,000 downloads on the iphone, they're guaranteed to sell at least half of that (re-purchasing + new customers) on a tablet platform without having to develop the app from scratch.



    but if apple was smart, they would create some kind of automated coupon system that automatically gives you 50% off the purchase of any upscaled tablet app that you already purchased for the iphone.



    Um, pretty much everyone reasonably expects that any Apps they currently own will not be re-purchased for the Tablet in any way.



    This isn't the case if go buy myself 3 more iPod Touch, and it's not going to be the case with the Tablet.



    If it were, then iFail would be the only appropriate name Apple could give it.
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