The thought of Apple entering the gaming industry's mainstream has been on my mind lately, fueled all the more the past few days by the (perhaps unlikely) rumors that Apple is looking into acquiring EA, and now by more info on Apple hiring some senior execs well versed in the game industry.
In this case, however, I tend to agree with Wedbush Morgan game analyst Michael Pachter, who (in the same article linked above) points out that Apple doesn't own any entertainment content and would be better suited going after a company like Warner Music. My respone to Pachter would be this: Why need Apple go after content to get into gaming?
Apple's strength for quite some time has been the complete package of hardware and software, with exceptionally brilliant usability, great user-interfaces and smart-looking designs. While this may be a long-shot, it would fit Apple's previous lines of thinking for them to be working on a piece of hardware to push into the video game space. However, this need not mean a console from Steve Jobs's crew. Perhaps the rumors of a HD, large-screen iPod Touch are tied in here. In addition to offering all the amazing features the Touch has already, it could be accelerated as a gaming platform with some focus on titles and a better gaming interface. Currently the Touch is a great piece of hardware, but for some is still just an iPhone without the real portability of an iPhone - and means still carrying around a phone in addition to an iPod, a dilemma that the oh-so-similar iPhone was meant to cure. If the Touch is marketed as a gaming device, Apple might have a suddenly huge advantage of any other portable gaming platform, given the other features the Touch can offer. Suddenly it becomes not an iPhone minus the phone, but rather a perfect gaming device that also offers the flexibility of countless iPhone apps. Not a bad sales pitch, really.