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Get Ready for a New Gaming Console... Maybe.

By: Aragrist Feb 10, 2011 | 12 Comments

Apple may be planning to enter the console market with their Apple TV turning it into a streaming gaming console.

I heard from MacRumors that some one has found code in the newest 4.3 Beta build of iOS that make several references to something called "ATVGames" and  "ATVThunder" that point to a controller of some sort. It also suggests leaderboards, multiplayer game scheduling and an Apple TV App Store.

Some are comparing its streaming gaming platform as similar to OnLive another streaming game service where games are streamed to you rather than stored locally on your device.

With what's been seen running on the new iOS gaming wise and the fact that the hardware is the same as that running in the iphone 4 and iPad, the Apple TV should be able to put out some really good games with visuals matching and even surpassing the Wii. Don't expect massive RPG's with lots of high end 1080p graphics but you should get some really nice 720p visuals.

The bigger question is how are you supposed to play games on a system that has no real control? I have an Apple TV and the remote may be able to be used as simple directional controller but it lacks a lot of what we are used to in a controller. I suppose if you used your iPod touch, iPhone or iPad as a controller you could costumize the controls for every game. But how about a stadard controller? It wouldn't be hard or expensive to simply release a gaming remote for the device and even link more than one to the Apple TV for multiplayer games.

iPad games should be able to make a direct jump to the Apple TV given they already have a higher resolution. But once again the controller for those games would have to mirror the touch screen of the iPad to make them playable. They could release a Wii-like controller to allow touch-like gestures on your tv but that would also require another sensor bar so I doubt they will go for that.

My guess is that if you have a touch iphon or ipad you will have access to games on the Apple TV when and if it goes console. $99 bucks for a console isnt bad either.

Apple just announced the new iPod Touch and it looks to be the perfect all in one system.

Now I say it's an all in one system which means more people will use it for other things other than gaming. It holds the largest market share of any portable system out there outselling both Nintendo and Sony combined but those numbers only state that the units sold outnumber Nintendo and Sony not that all those units will be used by gamers. The upside for gamers that use iPod Touch is that game companies will have to start taking apple's device seriously as a source of revenue. Even if only 50% of the people that buy an iPod Touch buy games for it that is still a big enough share of the market to make companies like Capcom think about developing new games that take advantage of the 4th gen hardware in the new iPod Touch.

It is very possible that the 3DS will kill and take over the market again but it is unlikely it will out sell the iPod Touch. The difference will be that the 3DS will bring out better 3D games while the iPod Touch will more than likely bring out ports of older side scrollers and a few original 3D titles. The price point of classic games will be around $0.99 to $5.00 while original games or high end game ports will be around $5.00 to $9.99 which will appeal to the same crowd Nintendo likes to target.

Sony needs to make a new portable system or simply give up on that market like Microsoft seems to have done. Sony is in a position to build a system that can rival Apple's and Nintendo's if they just focus on it. but it seems they are spread thin across multiple markets and their gaming focus seems to be home consoles. Their latest attack ads show off crappy $9.99 games to try to get iPod Touch gamers to jump ship. The problem is that most iPod Touch users use their Touch for a lot more than just games. Sony doesn't seem to know this or they just refuse to acknowledge this fact. Sony should consider making the PSP hardware part of their cell phone line or better yet make new hardware that is smaller more powerful and focuses on gaming.

Until Nintendo gets into the cell phone game or until they try their hand at Micro Computers like Apple I don't see a real competitor to the iPod Touch.


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