The rumors are once again finding their way to us from a number of sources suggesting that Apple is apparently again looking at the possibility of offering their own gaming console of some type.
The reason for this is apparently that Apple would like to further expand the iOS platform; and it comes as no surprise that the majority of the best selling applications for the iOS platform happen to be games, and this is something that Apple maybe didn’t think was going to happen, but it has.
Apple’s best ticket into a gaming console of some sort is said to be a very robust and upgraded AppleTV box that would apparently use the A5 processor, which would yield somewhere between five times to as much as seven times the horsepower that we have seen in the previous generations. That could be the ticket for Apple to move into this space.
Still, we think that the AppleTV business (which the company continues to describe as a hobby business) has given Apple a foothold in the living room. Producing a much more robust AppleTV platform that is actually slanted more toward a gaming console isn’t really a leap, if you look where gaming consoles are going today; they are adding all of the entertainment and content infrastructure that Apple already has, and they have the digital delivery in place, which means they just need the platform.
While rumblings suggest that it might be yet this year that Apple offers a game console offering, we think it will come in the package of an enhanced AppleTV offering, or maybe an AppleTV Plus, if you will. Don’t look for them to announce it at E3, and if they do announce it yet this year, it will come when they roll out the new iPod and iPad offerings, which we believe will wait until next year at the soonest.
With Nintendo launching a new console in the first part of next year, we think this holiday season might be the best ticket from a strategy perspective. We will have to wait and see.