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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 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. 

  • Reply 2 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.
  • Reply 3 of 85
    Okay "xBox" is one thing, but "pC"? Really?
  • Reply 4 of 85
    512ke512ke Posts: 781member
    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!
  • Reply 5 of 85
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    maclancer wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 6 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!

  • Reply 7 of 85
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    512ke wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 85
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,390member

    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.

  • Reply 9 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.

  • Reply 10 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.
  • Reply 11 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.
  • Reply 12 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.

  • Reply 13 of 85
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 85
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member


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

  • Reply 15 of 85
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    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.
  • Reply 16 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).

  • Reply 17 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.
  • Reply 18 of 85
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    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.
  • Reply 19 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.
  • Reply 20 of 85
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    GrangerFX wrote: »
    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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