Apple Not Interested in Traditional Video Game Business - Chief Executive

Apple Has No Plans for Consoles or Special Purpose Gaming Devices

by Anton Shilov
05/30/2012 | 09:52 PM

Despite of the recent success of the mobile and social games, "big screen" video games business continues to prosper in general. Apple is one of the companies that neither offers game consoles nor powerful personal computers designed for gaming. Apparently, chief exec of Apple, Tim Cook, does not believe in traditional gaming and thinks Apple is well positioned for future gaming with its current and future gadgets.


"I view that we are in gaming now in a fairly big way. One of the reasons people buy an iPod touch is gaming. Some buy it for music. I realize that is not the big screen you are talking about. Gaming has kind of evolved a bit. More people play on portable devices. Where we might go in the future, we’ll see. Customers love games. I am not interested in being in the console business in what is thought of as traditional gaming. But Apple is a big player today, and things in the future will only make that bigger," said Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple, at the D10 conference.

Mr. Cook's skepticism about consoles is generally understandable. Numerous game developers believe that media tablets, such as Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab, are evolving at a much higher pace than dedicated video game systems. In fact, the latest third-generation Apple iPad has graphics sub-systems that is more powerful than that of Microsoft Xbox 360 or Sony PlayStation 3. The quality of games for tablets (and for smartphones) is catching up as well and premium titles for slates are not far behind AAA games for consoles.

Michael J. Olson and Andrew D. Connor, analysts at Piper Jaffray, expect an average decline of 53% for software sales in the first 14 months of the next-gen console cycles from the three companies. Hardware sales will also suffer. Nintendo Wii U will sell only 35% of the volume of the original Wii during its first 14 months. Unit sales of Sony PlayStation 4 "Orbis" in the first 14 months will represent 50% of the PS3's sales in the same timeframe. The successor of Xbox 360 will sell only 55% of the volume that the Xbox 360 has in its first 14 months before it.

Although PC gaming is a very stable market in terms of unit sales these days, for Apple, it will be rather tough not only to win gamers from Microsoft Windows platforms, but to first make software designers port their console titles onto Macs. As a result, it is generally unlikely that the serious gaming will be possible on Macintosh personal computers in the coming years.