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C|Net: Why Apple Should Build a Game Console

C|Net: Why Apple Should Build a Game Console

by , 1:05 PM EDT, May 9th, 2008

Apple wants to get into growing businesses that affect people's tech lifestyles: computers, cell phones, music players and TV set top boxes according to Don Reisinger at C|Net. So it would be a logical next step for Apple to build a game console.

Yet, Apple hasn't gotten into the game console market, another lucrative tech lifestyle market.

[Apple] "has shown time and again that it's committed to being your middleman in almost every way and after it dropped 'Computer' from its name and started to broaden its horizons, showed us all that what it really wants is to dominate your home. And what better way than with a video game console?" Mr. Reisinger asked.

After all, the war for the American electronic living room is just getting started.

The argument lies in demographics. "Today, gamers are more likely to play online, download movies and TV shows with their consoles and do many of the things already found on Apple products," the author noted. "And with such a powerful piece of software in iTunes, there's no reason to suggest the console couldn't be tied to the platform and become yet another way to use iTunes to download music, movies, TV shows, and now, video game demos. Simply put, the infrastructure is in place and ready to go."

There are hurdles. Apple would have to open up the system and play nice with all comers who want to develop for the platform. It should be more like the Xbox 360 than the Wii, but offer Apple's signature level of convergence. [In addition, the game console market has the traditional "give away the razor and charge for the blades" business model. Apple has been consistently averse to developing hardware that doesn't make money on its own merit.]

"And while some may wonder if it's really the best move for a company that's trying to command a variety of markets, I think it's the next logical move for the company that's trying to control all facets of the home," Mr. Reisinger concluded.

TMO notes that Apple also likes to be a leader. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have a heavy penetration in the game console market, and the Xbox has long been a money losing venture for Microsoft. Apple would have to bring something very new to the game to get traction in that market. Time and technology could eventually changes the rules.

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