Why future of casual gaming could be own by Apple
Everything is pretty much there, all it needs is a UI
(This was written in August 2011, some numbers, metrics, links, facts might be outdated)
No debate that Apple owns digital music distribution by far (see not even walmart could beat itunes) and i don’t see Google Music or Amazon offensives changing the game anytime soon. Music is the third biggest industry.
With movies & TV shows, iTunes offer is getting even bigger and except OnDemand services like Hulu or NetFlix (only available in USA), $99 Apple TV + iTunes is sadly again the best / easier to use service available outside Uncle Sam’s land. Since it’s the biggest industry worldwide by far, Apple is still a small player but its new datacenters & (recent) deals with Hollywood draw a clear path forward this industry.
No debate neither mobile devices own the gaming-on-the-go business, and with Worldwide Nintendo 3DS Price Drop Echoes Sony PSP Go’s Failure, i can’t agree more with LG: “The Era of the Dedicated Handheld Gaming Platform is Over”.
The iOS platform alone has more market share than the Sony PSP, and if combined with Android it has a third of the market share at 34%. And soon that number could go all the way up to 50% if Sony and Nintendo don’t do anything about it. (source: iOS/Android Continue To Take Market Share In Mobile Gaming Market)
So with this in mind, i see no reason Apple wouldn’t bring AppStore games to Apple TV.
Think about it:
- a $99 Apple TV with its tiny controller for everyday use (movies, tv, shows, music, …)
- mobile devices as gaming remote controllers (with free dedicated app to download for non-iOS devices — iPod Touch or iPad Mini incl.)
- AppStore as a digital shop to bring you games, movies, tv-shows, game center, … all with one single account.
- Bundles: buy Angry Birds bundle and gets it for iPhone, iPad and iSofa.
- iCloud to support everything
Not for everybody, but keep casual gamers in mind. Between those two situations, what a casual gamer would choose?
- buy a $399 game-only box, go out to the game store, spend $80 a game with no idea which one to choose between 50 in store, and play this only one for the next 4 months.
- buy a $99 game + movie + tv-shows + music box, stay warm at home, choose between $1.99 trendiest games friends are playing too, use it a few hours and go for a new one.
Huge plus for occasionnal beer/pizza nights is the fact you wouldn’t need to buy 4 remotes to play with your friends: each friend uses his/her own smartphone. Most smartphones now can play & hear sounds, have accelerometer sensors, vibrator & have a very sensitive touchscreen.
How casual is that!
Apple TV is here and you can already send video stream to it from iOS devices via AirPlay. AppStore welcomes more than 100 new games every single day. iTunes Charts is live. AppleTV is running the same hardware than an iPad. All Apple would need to make this prediction come true is to provide a dedicated SDK / API to create cross-devices iOS games & a remote app for smartphones.
Of course the same platform could be done using Android but for now, there is no Android-based TV box & the Play Store does not rent movies or tv-shows…