Gaming reaffirmed as central tentpole of Apple TV revamp - report

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  • Reply 41 of 136
    I smell a future gaming subscription service from Apple. I had already heard they were organizing TV content and trying to bundle it for $40/month. Maybe a higher tier that includes gaming for $50/month ?
  • Reply 42 of 136
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,429member
    Quote:

    The ?TV has already sold over 25 million units. If those owners and new ones can be convinced to get into the gaming model, selling a $5 game, possibly with IAPs to 10 million buyers means $50m revenue for a platformer game that probably didn't cost $50m to make. That's a solid publishing platform. The revenues for big publishers might not come close to their billion-dollar franchises on consoles but they can offer better return on investment as well as being a less risky investment.

    I agree with you.  The thing is that Apple has to convince casual gamers to sit in front of a large TV to play games.  I think iOS did good because casual gamers can play their games in a mobile device.  But, IMO, playing in front of TV's is different.  For example, the Wii did very good targeting casual gamers, but the interest didn't last.  Lot of people had the console, but few were playing it.  Will iOS gamers sit in front of an ATV to play (and keep) playing games or they will move back to their iOS devices?

     

    Let's say that publishers start to develop games for large TVs, then it will be competing with the three big consoles, and that's a hard market.

  • Reply 43 of 136
    Ok, I have to admit that I am completely opaque on the topic of gaming. It is not my world. So I'll readily admit that the questions I have area born out of ignorance. (But I do read about it.)

    Is gaming really that big? Can Apple really make a huge dent in it, given that high-powered hardcore gaming appears to be its own world, with its own ecosystem, including hardware? Do gamers even operate in a Mac/Apple world?

    Don't get me wrong. I have no doubt that whatever Apple throws at it with the new AppleTV will be a nice addition to device's existing capabilities. But will it really move the needle? In either the gaming world or for Apple? Somehow, I am expecting not.

    The thing is, the Wii market is not a profitable one long term. That's the issue Nintendo ran into, people bought the Wii and maybe a game or two, then stopped. Maybe they bought some $10 discount rack junk occasionally, but hardly ever did they buy $50 games. In the gaming market attach rate is a big thing; its how many games are sold on average per console. Ideally it's 5 or higher, I think the Wii was usually around 2.(in 2007 the Xbox 360 hit a rate of 11, which ironically was probably an unhealthy sign, as it meant they weren't selling enough hardware to broaden the base, but that fixed itself)

    Now, Nintendo made a profit per console whereas Microsoft and Sony both used the usual razor and blades model, losing money on HW to make it back on SW. But the Wii basically died around 2010 because most of its userbase was fickle, not reliable, which is why Nintendo swung so hard toward making sure the Wii U would please Nintendo fans, except they had game production issues and the console sat pretty stagnant software wise until 2014. That's the same base Apple will be going after; the people who freaked out when Monument Valley had an update which was almost as large as the original game and cost only $3 more.
  • Reply 44 of 136
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post



    Is gaming really that big? Can Apple really make a huge dent in it, given that high-powered hardcore gaming appears to be its own world, with its own ecosystem, including hardware? Do gamers even operate in a Mac/Apple world?

     

    The gaming industry is bigger than movies and music now. But yeah, not sure how Apple will do.

  • Reply 45 of 136
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DanVM View Post

     

    I agree with you.  The thing is that Apple has to convince casual gamers to sit in front of a large TV to play games.  I think iOS did good because casual gamers can play their games in a mobile device.  But, IMO, playing in front of TV's is different.  For example, the Wii did very good targeting casual gamers, but the interest didn't last.  Lot of people had the console, but few were playing it.  Will iOS gamers sit in front of an ATV to play (and keep) playing games or they will move back to their iOS devices?

     

    Let's say that publishers start to develop games for large TVs, then it will be competing with the three big consoles, and that's a hard market.


     

    The price of IOS games is not the same, the integration with other devices is not the same and the  hub will undoubtably be used for homekit and as a media hub, having all that under one device makes it pretty compelling.

     

    Wii was isolated, had a single use and games were expensive.

     

    This thing will be big seller.

  • Reply 46 of 136
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,361moderator
    Is gaming really that big? Can Apple really make a huge dent in it, given that high-powered hardcore gaming appears to be its own world, with its own ecosystem, including hardware? Do gamers even operate in a Mac/Apple world?

    Don't get me wrong. I have no doubt that whatever Apple throws at it with the new AppleTV will be a nice addition to device's existing capabilities. But will it really move the needle? In either the gaming world or for Apple? Somehow, I am expecting not.

    Console/PC gaming is big in terms of revenue. There's an estimate of about $35b in yearly software revenue but this is from $40-60 game titles. Apple will be somewhere over $14b revenue per year for iOS software so per platform, Apple's revenue on mobile is competitive with individual consoles. iOS active unit volume is over 500 million units to achieve this revenue.

    The ?TV is currently over 25 million units total so the active userbase will be smaller. If you were to assume that the ?TV monetizes the same as iOS then being 1/20th the size would mean 1/20th the revenue or about $700m.

    So, initially it won't move any needles much at all. It can grow however and Apple makes profit on the boxes. An extra 10 million units per year means $150x10m = extra $1.5b hardware revenue and then more movie sales.

    The aim that all the box manufacturers have is to be the main box that people interact with.

    There's always the chance they grow the userbase like the original Wii. The Wii didn't sell 100m units all that quickly, it took 7 years:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wii_sales

    The ?TV is 8 years old just now and at 25m units. If they can expand the active userbase to Wii level then it's a whole new platform for developers to sell software and video content. Being able to sell video channels isn't something the iOS devices have done all that well so far. This would be one of the core strengths of this platform. Getting to 100m active users worldwide for TV content is bigger than the biggest local cable networks and makes the reach of video producers global.
    danvm wrote:
    The thing is that Apple has to convince casual gamers to sit in front of a large TV to play games. I think iOS did good because casual gamers can play their games in a mobile device. But, IMO, playing in front of TV's is different. For example, the Wii did very good targeting casual gamers, but the interest didn't last. Lot of people had the console, but few were playing it. Will iOS gamers sit in front of an ATV to play (and keep) playing games or they will move back to their iOS devices?

    Let's say that publishers start to develop games for large TVs, then it will be competing with the three big consoles, and that's a hard market.

    I think the ?TV can reach beyond the Wii in that it automatically applies to the TV audience first. Even if people stopped using the ?TV for gaming, it's still a good TV box. Getting apps for it should be easier too. Consoles still push the disc/retail model more than downloads. ?TV is download-only so every user is familiar with the software distribution model.
  • Reply 47 of 136
    if it's proper iOS and game devs just need to add controller support to their games then i'm sure it'll be a hit. Having it as a home kit base would be interesting and basically i see it as a potential iOS server hub for the house. And if somehow they release it with 4k support, which i doubt, it would simultaneously have a USP over the current gen consoles and also offer a new video format option that would be attractive to people who are buying new tvs (as many i think will opt for 4k to be future proof).
  • Reply 48 of 136
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,429member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post





    The thing is, the Wii market is not a profitable one long term. That's the issue Nintendo ran into, people bought the Wii and maybe a game or two, then stopped. Maybe they bought some $10 discount rack junk occasionally, but hardly ever did they buy $50 games. In the gaming market attach rate is a big thing; its how many games are sold on average per console. Ideally it's 5 or higher, I think the Wii was usually around 2.(in 2007 the Xbox 360 hit a rate of 11, which ironically was probably an unhealthy sign, as it meant they weren't selling enough hardware to broaden the base, but that fixed itself)



    Now, Nintendo made a profit per console whereas Microsoft and Sony both used the usual razor and blades model, losing money on HW to make it back on SW. But the Wii basically died around 2010 because most of its userbase was fickle, not reliable, which is why Nintendo swung so hard toward making sure the Wii U would please Nintendo fans, except they had game production issues and the console sat pretty stagnant software wise until 2014. That's the same base Apple will be going after; the people who freaked out when Monument Valley had an update which was almost as large as the original game and cost only $3 more.

    If Apple goes after the market that failed Nintendo, IMO, they will have the same results.  Nintendo focus in casual gamers didn't help.  People had the console, but their interest went down quickly, and stopped playing it.  I don't think low cost games would have fixed the problem.  iOS gamers is mostly a casual audience.  Do you think their will sit in front of a TV to play the same games they have in their iOS device?  I don't think so. 

     

    Maybe they consider games to be played in the TV, and then they are competing with the big three consoles.  And like I posted before, that's a hard market.

  • Reply 49 of 136

    Apple can't touch Splatoon.

  • Reply 50 of 136
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,361moderator
    danvm wrote: »
    If Apple goes after the market that failed Nintendo, IMO, they will have the same results.  Nintendo focus in casual gamers didn't help.

    The situation for Apple is between the following options:

    1. sell an ?TV box without gaming
    2. sell an ?TV box with gaming

    If option 2 can shift more units, increase software revenues with little investment then it's better than option 1, which they do just now. I think it's worth adding value to the ?TV but the big gaming platform for them will always be the iPhone/iPad.
  • Reply 51 of 136
    They will be able to sale more units then the PS4 if they don't that's pathetic. However it will not be a PS4 competitor so it does not matter. For apple to compete with the PS4 it would have to cost around 350-400 just to be comparable far out of range for a streaming device.

    the only thing pathetic is people believing they're trying to compete with niche gaming use cases. it will be as causal to gaming as the iPhone cameras are to photography. yet be as massively successful. hardcore gamers will get their fix elsewhere.
  • Reply 52 of 136
    macapfel wrote: »
    Oh wow, gaming! That is innovation!! Siriously, if that's all, I'm unimpressed. I have no objections for Apple going into the gaming market. It's probably interesting for investors, who see a big market there and lots of money. But that's not how I connect to Apple. I want them to innovate and be on the forefront of technology (and arts). The money will follow ... but without lead, no follower in the long run. And no turning to Apple for the others, to see where the way is leading to over the next decade. The **** don't just enter decade old markets.
    But let's see what Apple has up its sleeves. I hope this massive venue will be used for something much more inspiring.

    (Edit: Interesting ... Appleinsder replaces the F-word by stars.)

    innovation is how you do something, more than what it is you're doing. you toss around the word innovation when you mean invention.

    also, games are arts. duh.
  • Reply 53 of 136
    danvm wrote: »
    The ?TV has already sold over 25 million units. If those owners and new ones can be convinced to get into the gaming model, selling a $5 game, possibly with IAPs to 10 million buyers means $50m revenue for a platformer game that probably didn't cost $50m to make. That's a solid publishing platform. The revenues for big publishers might not come close to their billion-dollar franchises on consoles but they can offer better return on investment as well as being a less risky investment.
    I agree with you.  The thing is that Apple has to convince casual gamers to sit in front of a large TV to play games.  I think iOS did good because casual gamers can play their games in a mobile device.  But, IMO, playing in front of TV's is different.  For example, t<span style="line-height:1.4em;">he Wii did very good targeting casual gamers, but the interest didn't last.  Lot of people had the console, but few were playing it.  Will iOS gamers sit in front of an ATV to play (and keep) playing games or they will move back to their iOS devices?</span>


    Let's say that publishers start to develop games for large TVs, then it will be competing with the three big consoles, and that's a hard market.

    I always thought playing on a big screen TV would be great, but the truth is playing on anything bigger than a 24" TV/monitor makes for less effective gaming. I was playing Halo on a 42" TV, and was playing poorly. I found myself inundated with the game environment, so I switched to a smaller screen, and I immediately went from a subpar player, to often times the best, or second best on my team.
  • Reply 54 of 136
    nolamacguy wrote: »
    They will be able to sale more units then the PS4 if they don't that's pathetic. However it will not be a PS4 competitor so it does not matter. For apple to compete with the PS4 it would have to cost around 350-400 just to be comparable far out of range for a streaming device.

    the only thing pathetic is people believing they're trying to compete with niche gaming use cases. it will be as causal to gaming as the iPhone cameras are to photography. yet be as massively successful. hardcore gamers will get their fix elsewhere.

    The camera analogy is bad. It was easy for people to leave a point and shoot camera at home, and use the iPhone instead especially when one can very quickly, and easily upload photos to FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.., and almost instantly share those photos with friends, and family. One can't do that with a point and shoot.

    Gaming consoles don't get moved around. One buys it, hooks it up to a TV, and it stays there for years. This is also the first time that Apple is moving into a category in which the incumbent devices do most of what the Apple device can do, and will still be better at gaming.  
  • Reply 55 of 136
    Marvin wrote: »
    There's a video of kids playing with an old GameBoy and you can hear at 5:30 how they say they'd just go back to their iPad or iPod Touch:

    [VIDEO]

    One kid says 'I kinda feel sad for people in the past'. Another complained that it doesn't sense your skin and you have to press buttons, which is like the scene in Back to the Future ( ). Consoles still have buttons of course but kids will associate mobile gaming with touch now.

    And their kids will complain that their parents' video games required heavy VR googles and controllers instead of directly stimulating your visual cortex and sensing your thoughts. Their kids will probably think it's weird to have a screen, let alone touch it.

    I do have to wonder what, exactly, the AppleTV will use for input? Since it's running a version of iOS, maybe it will support the MFi BlueTooth controllers.
  • Reply 56 of 136
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NolaMacGuy View Post





    innovation is how you do something, more than what it is you're doing. when you toss around the world innovation when you mean invention.



    also, games are arts. duh.



    I guess, that's what I clarified in my second post (#26 of 55), in which I basically agree to what you say. Of course I mean innovation. However, people say Carl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler invented the car, although the more picky ones would claim that there were power driven four wheel vehicles before. In this sense, the word processor was not an invention, but innovation of the type writer, etc. etc. So to some extend it's a matter of standpoint whether you call the smartphone/iPhone an invention or an innovation. So I'd say, if Apple throws in another gaming console without something really different no one really expects, that would be a game changer and some real innovation, invention, whatever. That's the problem with the Apple Watch: it's a fantastic product, but so far no one figured out what's really new/different/outstanding about it. With the iPod, iPhone, and iPad – most people realised from the start why this is something new and different.

     

    Therefore: an Apple TV that solves the problem of easily accessing content from different stations, live content (e.g. sports, grammy awards, etc.), streaming providers with a simple pricing scheme (remember the $0.99 per song in iTunes was part of the tidal change in the music business) – that would be a massive game changer. Much more than another gaming console in a rather rigid market as others pointed out here.

  • Reply 57 of 136
    Some possible solutions:
    • Download games/content to your Mac (or PC) and crossload to AppleTV for playing
    • Cloud option as you suggest
    • Recode the Cloud games/content in h.265 reducing download file size and bandwidth by 40-60%

    The AppleTV is purported to have efficient h.265 decoding (hardware?) -- so you could begin playing/viewing almost immediately while the download or crossroad continues in the background.


    This is an anecdotal observation:

    My grandson has a PS4 which he normally plays in his room. Saturday was his birthday and he had a friend (sleep?) over ...

    They played PS4 games all evening/night/morning on the big TV in the family room.

    I noticed that there are quite a few delays when the PS4 loaded a new game, new level, etc.

    These delays seemed quite long and frequent -- compared to what I am used to running apps on the Mac.


    Maybe that just comes with the territory for game consoles.


    Is it possible that the new AppleTV hardware and iOS combination are robust enough to eliminate these delays?

    Those delays come purely from the storage media. The PS4 uses a hdd rather then SDD. It would not be cost intuitive to sale SDDs in the sizes they need while staying under 500$. If apple wanted to release an HD console they would have to release it with an HDD to prevent it from being priced to oblivion compared to the competition.
  • Reply 58 of 136
    Some possible solutions:
    • Download games/content to your Mac (or PC) and crossload to AppleTV for playing
    • Cloud option as you suggest
    • Recode the Cloud games/content in h.265 reducing download file size and bandwidth by 40-60%

    The AppleTV is purported to have efficient h.265 decoding (hardware?) -- so you could begin playing/viewing almost immediately while the download or crossroad continues in the background.


    This is an anecdotal observation:

    My grandson has a PS4 which he normally plays in his room. Saturday was his birthday and he had a friend (sleep?) over ...

    They played PS4 games all evening/night/morning on the big TV in the family room.

    I noticed that there are quite a few delays when the PS4 loaded a new game, new level, etc.

    These delays seemed quite long and frequent -- compared to what I am used to running apps on the Mac.


    Maybe that just comes with the territory for game consoles.


    Is it possible that the new AppleTV hardware and iOS combination are robust enough to eliminate these delays?

    Those delays come purely from the storage media. The PS4 uses a hdd rather then SDD. It would not be cost intuitive to sale SDDs in the sizes they need while staying under 500$. If apple wanted to release an HD console they would have to release it with an HDD to prevent it from being priced to oblivion compared to the competition.

    I don't know about the PS4, but on the PS3 the DVD drive was awfully slow. Any games on DVD format would take forever to load. Turns out what worked fine for movies didn't do they same for games.
  • Reply 59 of 136
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,429member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NolaMacGuy View Post





    the only thing pathetic is people believing they're trying to compete with niche gaming use cases. it will be as causal to gaming as the iPhone cameras are to photography. yet be as massively successful. hardcore gamers will get their fix elsewhere.



    Casual gamers already have their iOS devices to play their games.  I don't think they will move to play in an ATV just because they can.  And right now, IMO, playing games in an iOS device is more accessible than sitting in front of a TV to play the same game.  I'm still not seeing the benefit of casual gamers playing iOS games in the ATV. 

  • Reply 60 of 136
    nolamacguy wrote: »
    innovation is how you do something, more than what it is you're doing. when you toss around the world innovation when you mean invention.

    also, games are arts. duh.

    I actually wrote "when you toss the world innovation like that you come off sounding like a troll". not sure why the mod felt the need to rewrite my thoughts for me into a sentence that fails grammar and makes no sense. was my sentence offensive? did I break a forum rule? if so, which one? I didn't use any ad hominem nor attack anyone. be specific.
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