Apple’s console dream may have started 25 years ago with this failed product.

Earlier, media reports said Apple would launch a high-end gaming computer for the e-sports market for up to $5,000 (about 35,000 yuan). Its type could be an iMac-like all-in-one, or a MacBook-like laptop, expected to be announced at the WWDC conference in June 2020. The news was sudden, but it was reasonable to think about it.

Apple’s supply chain has been enough to support the manufacture of gaming computers, and all that remains is to solve ecological problems, which should not be too difficult to implement, with the game subscription service Apple Arcade paving the way.

Whether the news is true or not, Apple’s relationship with the game has actually been around for a long time.

Jobs: Former Atari employee involved in the production of Bricks

Apple’s earliest connection to the game may have to start with Jobs. Before he founded Apple, Jobs was working for Atari, a then-emerging gaming company whose pursuit of game simplicity influenced Jobs’ product design philosophy. At the time, the world’s first arcade video game, Pong, was born at Atari, and Jobs was involved in the design of its next-generation version, the familiar “Bricks”, an engineer developed together and another Apple co-founder, Watts.

Apple's console dream may have started 25 years ago with this failed product.

Apple II: Start ing-up to the PC revolution, game developers’ first choice

The next story is apple’s creation, which launched the world’s first personal computer, the Apple I. In 1977, the next-generation model, Apple II, was launched and popularized to revolutionise personal computers, positioning it self-directed no longer confined to the geek and engineer population, but for the general public, and some middle-class families were able to pay for Apple II. Of course, it also stimulates the development of computer games.

Unlike Apple’s later closed design style, the Apple II Series was known for its openness. On the hardware side, it has eight expansion slots on its motherboard, and users can extend their capabilities with third-party devices such as memory expansion cards, hard drives, network components, sound cards and, of course, gamepads.

On the software side, it has two BASIC-based programming languages built into the ROM, Applesoft and Integer. This makes Apple II the first choice for app developers and game developers, taking the lead in competing with rivals.

Apple's console dream may have started 25 years ago with this failed product.

Photo: Wikipedia

The entire Apple II Series has a life span of more than a decade, with thousands of games released on its platform. They come from a number of well-known game developers and publishers, including EA, Interplay (with Black Island Studios), Infocom, and more, and games include strategy, role-playing, adventure software, and more.

The game, which debuted on the Apple II platform, included a number of well-known works: “German Headquarters,” “Karate,” “Prince of Persia,” and “Gold Digger.” Until now, there are many enthusiasts using simulators to relive these classic games.

Apple's console dream may have started 25 years ago with this failed product.Apple IIGS,图片来源:lukazi

Apple later shifted its focus to the new Macintosh family, which abandoned the open design of the Apple II era, and the lack of support for devices and development, ending Apple’s relationship with the game.

Apple Pippin: Failed Apple Console, In parallel with Apple Newton

But Apple’s game sentiment has not stopped, in fact, in Apple’s history, there is a game console. It was a time when Jobs was gone and Apple was in decline, and the company launched a series of tentative products to save itself, including Apple Newton, the world’s first PDA device, the Apple QuickTake digital camera we’ve introduced, and Apple Pippin, a game console.

Apple's console dream may have started 25 years ago with this failed product.

Photo credit: Flickr@Ivan Sosa

Pippin was released in 1995 and is targeted at a low-cost computer for multimedia playback (mainly games) that only supports CDs and has no hard drives. Instead of launching it, Apple itself wants to license a third-party release, and in its short-lived career, Pippin’s only publisher is Wanda. However, since the market was already dominated by the Nintendo N64 and Sony PlayStation, the Price of Pippin $599 was not competitive, and in the end only Wandynast developed its own software and games for it.

After selling 42,000 units, Pippin scurd the project in 1997 and Jobs returned. In 2011, Mr. Li revealed on Weibo that he was in charge of the Pippin project that year.

Apple's console dream may have started 25 years ago with this failed product.

App Store: Apple becomes world’s fourth-largest gaming company

What really brought Apple into the game was the release of the iPhone and the advent of the App Store. On hardware devices, touch-based operations redefine mobile phone interaction, and the addition of parts such as gyroscopes makes game interaction infinitely possible. Ecologically, the App Store provides a perfect platform for developers, where many companies and individuals are creating ideas and growing the game ecology of the iOS platform.

At that time is the bonus period of mobile games, as long as the play is simple, adapt to touch-screen operation, the game will soon become popular. Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Temple Escape, were all born in that period. Even Apple itself has launched a game called Texas Hold’em, the first board game in App Store history. The old game is back on the shelves in July 2019, the 11th anniversary of the App Store.

Apple's console dream may have started 25 years ago with this failed product.

Apple Arcade: Fostering Indie Games to expand the game crowd

To this day, the App Store is one of the most important game distribution platforms, and Apple has become the world’s fourth-largest gaming company, earning a lot of money by sharing the App Store’s games alone. But then comes another problem, with more and more resources being concentrated on big game makers, some good but not so popular indie games that are hard to get to the top of the charts. Small and medium-sized developers are difficult to make a profit, naturally affecting the whole ecological activity.

So Apple launched its game subscription service, Apple Arcade, in 2019. Users can enjoy all the games on the Arcade platform for $4.99 per month. These games are unadvertised, purchased, and completely free, and can be played on Apple’s macOS, iOS, iPad OS, and tvOS platforms.

Apple's console dream may have started 25 years ago with this failed product.

Although the so-called exclusive is only “time-limited exclusive”, there are some excellent game works on The Apple Arcade. Sources said that Apple is still in the layout of cloud game services, such as technology mature, Apple in the market coverage of the accumulation will become a huge first-mover advantage.

Along with Apple Arcade is iOS 13, which allows iOS devices to plug their gamepads and complement the iPad’s improved performance, which could also be a potential gaming platform.

Apple’s game path continues, and news of high-end gaming computers could be another media frenzy. After all, for Apple today, popularity seems to be a more market-like choice. While Apple has also launched high-end computers and displays for designers and professionals, it’s not just hardware that needs to be prepared if it wants to make the business a game market.

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