Ever since Apple unveiled its $99 Apple TV refresh running on the iOS platform, many have speculated that the company may be exploring apps and games to make the TV “smarter” like the company’s iPhone smartphone. Thus far, Apple has not opened up Apple TV to the gaming experience and has kept the living room set top box strictly for media, but Apple CEO Steve Jobs has stated before that the company is looking into different strategies and is waiting for the right timing.
It seems that Electronic Arts (EA) studio agrees and thinks Apple does have a good chance of succeeding it it entered the living room space, whether it’s via Apple TV and casual iOS gaming or through another means. EA Vice President Patrick Soderlund says “If it was anyone but Apple, I’d say that’s going to be very hard” and adds that “I still think it’s going to be extremely hard for them but they’ve surprised many people before.”
To Apple’s credit, the company did not expect apps to be so successful on the iPhone when the company had opened up the platform for third-party apps and introduced the App Store. At the recent fall Apple music event where the company introduced the fourth generation iPod Touch, Jobs said that the iPod Touch is the most popular portable gaming system on the market, besting the PlayStation Portable from Sony and the Nintendo DS combined.
Apple had recently also introduced Game Center for iOS, which enables for social game play, similar to Xbox Live on Microsoft’s game console.
The success of iOS games has caught many by surprised as Apple had not been known or seen to embrace gaming on the company’s computer products running on OS X.
The relatively cheap $99 price of Apple TV, combined with inexpensive games on iOS can potentially give Apple an advantage over rivals such as Sony and Microsoft. Moreover, the Apple TV’s low asking price can serve as the new halo products if Apple integrates iPads, iPod Touches, and iPhones into the gaming ecosystem as controllers for game play in the living.