Now we’re squarely in phase three of Apple’s release cycle for a new product. Let’s review those stages:
1) Apple completely attacks a market.
2) Apple specifically targets the problems with a market.
3) Key players start falling into place shortly before an Apple event.
4) Apple drops a somewhat-anticipated bombshell…
Now, let’s apply it to an Apple product.
1) Apple attacks video, citing the lack of consumer interest.
2) Apple attacks the need for iPod to play video, citing small screens and other nonsensical excuses.
3) Apple starts lineing up video distribution partners, studios, and chipset manufacturers.
4) Fifth Generation, video-playing iPods start to ship out the door.
And, finally… the bombshell.
1) Apple ignores the gaming market and refuses to acknowledge the market demand for a gaming console.
2) At Macworld, Steve Jobs bashes the “low” adoption of gaming consoles.
3) EA Games embraces Mac, Valve fake-bashes Apple, and Bungie leaves Microsoft
4) Apple has a nice announcement for Macworld… Apple TV is being phased out for something much more TV-worthy.
Now, I have a lot of concerns about this. Apple has not exhibited gaming qualities elsewhere, nor the comprehensive solution to enter the gaming market. iPhone was well past worst-kept-secret status when things really started to come together. And, while Jason Jones and Gabe Newell are great leaders in software teams, there’s still a big void in the hardware gap.
Intel can fill most of that though… what, you thought Intel was just building graphics R&D, and buying AGEIA for nothing? But, Apple will likely buy a big publishing partner to close the deal (and no, I doubt EA is that company… despite their ability to Cider up a few games for Mac, that’s actually quite minor a feat in the gaming business).
Now, I would say more, but I don’t want to screw things up. Also, I’d kinda like to advise Apple on these things (since, well, I know gaming consoles as well, if not better than phones). So, off you go to ponder, I’m not saying anything more on the matter for awhile.