How Apple Frittered Away its Early Lead With Apple TV Games

5 minute read
| Particle Debris

Apple, at one time, had the gaming world in its very own clutches with the Apple TV. How did Apple hose that up? At iPad Insight author JHROGERSII, has written a two part essay (with #3 still coming) entitled:

  1. The Nintendo Switch: How Apple Had a Gaming Giant on the Mat and Let Them Get Back Up- Part One
  2. The Nintendo Switch: How Apple Had a Gaming Giant on the Mat and Let Them Get Back Up- Part Two
Apple TV (4th Generation)

Apple TV (4th Generation) stumbled as gaming platform.

The articles mirror my own thinking about Apple and the Apple TV. First, Apple has never shown signs that they are immersed in the TV technology movement and have poured on the coals with Apple TV technology. The same thing seems to have happend with gaming. There was no obsession and no cut-throat competitive instincts with killer products ushered to market. As the author points out: “You have to actually give a crap about gaming to make an impact on it.”

However, despite the small amount of effort that Apple actually put into gaming, they never really cared enough about the category to own it, and their actions over time bear that out. Apple has made a habit of farming out innovation and the task of defining their own hardware to developers for a while now.

We saw this just a couple of years ago with Apple leaving it to devs to supply meaning and purpose for the original iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil. They also expected the same with the initial launch of the Apple Watch. In both cases, third-party apps weren’t enough to define these two different product categories. However, in both of these cases, Apple listened to user feedback, stepped in and took control, and ultimately changed course to adjust the product experience accordingly.

Unfortunately, they never took such action with gaming, and at this point, I’ve given up hope of that ever happening.

The author goes on to look at the mentality of purchasers of gaming apps, how belated support for a game controller was ignored by developers, and how the competition has seriously upped its own game and came back strong.

The Apple TV has had all the earmarks of a top-down management approach that dictated its limits and hamstrung the product managers.

Next Page: The News Debris For The Week Of July 31st.  Do iPhones promote teenage depression?

2 Comments Add a comment

  1. Lee Dronick

    Frittered? As was quoted in the article: “You have to actually give a crap about gaming to make an impact on it.”

  2. geoduck

    Lee: Exactly right. Apple has never cared about gaming. Not on the Mac, not on the iPhone, not on the iPad and not on the AppleTV. Gaming is just something that happens on their systems but they put no effort to support it. It isn’t in their DNA.

    Teens and smartphones: I suspect the engineers, in their 30s, and their managers, in their 40s and 50s, never thought people would be staring at a phone screen for hours at a time. Using an iPhone for reading gives me, and people in my age group, a headache and I have trouble making out details in pictures on the tiny screen. That’s why I carry my iPad every day. None of that is true for someone in the 12 to 20 age group. For a teen or tween, it’s just another display. I suspect nobody ever expected they’d be using them this much.

    Malls: Well time for me to drag out my old complaint. Here on Vancouver Island we have NO Apple Stores. Almost a million people, most concentrated between Victoria and Parksville and we all have to go to London Drugs to get our Apple products serviced. The biggest mall in BC is three km from my hose, Woodgrove Mall. Nothing there. Oh there’s five Apple Stores in Vancouver, an expensive ferry ride away, but nothing here. Come On Apple. (Yes I have written them).

    Net Neutrality: Yes, the writing is on the wall for Net Neutrality. I also expect the US will follow the lead of China and Russia on VPNs as well. Probably in “secure backdoors for the police” will come to pass. The damage to the country will be massive, but those that influence Congress and the White House will get what they want. I suspect this is why TC holds his nose and stays on Trump’s advisory boards, to have some influence. But it will do no good.

Add a Comment

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter, Facebook) or Register for a TMO Account