If Apple's next AppleTV had an App Store...would you buy one?

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by spiffyone, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. spiffyone

    spiffyone Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2008
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    I recall when AppleTV was first released there were rumors of games being released for it. Developers seemed interested in the idea, and there was a segment of the consumer base that seemed somewhat interested. Sadly, it never came to fruition.

    Fast forward to the release of iPhone. Developers were again interested in the possibilities of developing applications for the platform. In particular, game developers were keenly interested. Thankfully this time Apple listened and gave us the App Store. And we all know how that's worked out for them :D

    A while later, AppleTV had a "2.0" refresh. Take 2, Apple called it. It allowed the device to download things from iTunes straight to the device itself. No need to have it linked to a PC or Mac running iTunes. Movies, tv shows, music, etc. all opened up even further, and the end user experience has been exponentially better than when it first launched. Surprisingly the device, although labeled a "hobby" by Apple, has sold pretty well.

    Now...imagine what a true next gen Apple TV would do.

    Apple needn't even go a "mini Mac mini" route. They could simply build up from the iTouch/Phone 3Gs. Instead of off the shelf parts cludged together as they are with the current AppleTV, Apple could instead go with a multicore ARM and a PowerVR GPU (hey, the latter worked for Sega!). Heck, they could probably go multi core with the GPU as well. It's not a mobile, after all, so power consumption and heat isn't as much of an issue. But it would likely still be far cheaper than using Intel and NVidia products, and Apple can use their chip design team and investment in both ARM and PowerVR to better use.

    Would it compete in power with PS3 or 360? No. But it would be enough to run what the current Apple TV does, and then some, and it would be a better platform for game designers currently digging the App Store market. The home set top box would use similar hardware to the mobile platform, and thus a similar dev kit set up could be used.

    Now, IMHO, the two devices (iTouch/Phone and Apple TV) do much of the same things anyway. Music, movies, etc. The difference is that AppleTV has a much larger storage capacity and can play HD content. But, theoretically, the new 3Gs should be able to do the latter, at least up to 720p output if Apple so chose to implement it. As this is the case, eventually I think the two lines should merge. Apple already ties in AppleTV revenue with the iPod line (including iPhone).

    But for now, keep them separate. Use the Apple TV, the next gen version that I've proposed, as a testing ground for the next generations of iTouch/Phones. Eventually we will see multi core CPUs and GPUs in such mobile devices, so why not lay down the ground work now by using the much larger fab processes in the set top box device that Apple already markets? Over time the fab processes shrink, and they can use what they'd use in the proposed new Apple TV down the line for subsequent iTouch/Phone devices.

    They could also pack in a new Apple Remote with the device that has an accelerometer, and in conjunction with an App Store for my proposed "new" Apple TV (Apple TV 3.0?) open it up to game development. It wouldn't compete with the home consoles, no...not directly. But it would open up the Apple TV market to gamers, and those gamers may want to buy music, movies and TV shows. And those that are more in the market for the latter three might spend some of their money on games. Y'know...just as has happened with the App Store for iTouch/Phone. And Apple's revenues from taking 30% of sales would increase.

    Win-win, no?
     
  2. Kamazar

    Kamazar Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2008
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    I appreciate the essay you've written, but for the time being, Project Natal has stolen my heart. I wish to hear of nothing else.
     
  3. spiffyone

    spiffyone Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2008
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    We all can't be monosyllabic around these parts. :p

    Regardless, would anyone here buy into such a thing?
     
  4. Gamingfun

    Gamingfun Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2009
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    Apple TV + gaming. Would be kind of cool. Not sure if I'd end up buying one but I would at least contemplate the purchase.
     
  5. Eli

    Eli ᕕ┌◕ᗜ◕┐ᕗ
    Staff Member

    What would get me to buy an Apple TV? A real network browser instead of iTunes dependence, and the ability to play other file formats without hacking. As it stands, it's pretty ridiculous that (aside from HD playback) an XBOX soft modded with XBOX Media Center (Which cost me a grand total of about $80 to get set up, used console price and softmod materials included.) absolutely stomps the Apple TV's feature list.

    An App Store for the Apple TV would be pretty cool, but they'd be going up against Microsoft and Nintendo's complete dominance of the home console market. I am not sure an Apple TV App Store could come close to competing against XBLA...
     
  6. worldcup1100

    worldcup1100 Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2009
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    But hey, start at a small chunk of the business and work your way up to a solid competitor. You've gotta start somewhere.
     
  7. spiffyone

    spiffyone Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2008
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    That's why I say spec up from the iTouch/Phone. Instead of just running as a set top box, it can run as a cheap media center PC/"net top box". It'd run on the OS flavor that runs on iTouch/Phone, complete with Safari capability.

    It wouldn't be a PC replacement, so it wouldn't compete with Mac Mini. It'd be just a box capable of going on the net, using iTunes and Apple approved stuff...exactly the same as iTouch/Phone does now.

    As an added bonus, since it would use "spec'd up" components (multi core ARM, multi core PowerVR GPU, etc.) Apple can use it as both a testing ground and a way to lower costs for the next generations of iPhones which would use similar components.

    That's a licensing issue, tbqh. Even other such boxes suffer from this, and so does the 360 btw.

    Yes...but how is this pertinent to the discussion of feasibility as a mass market product? XBox Media Center is not something that most lay consumers can set up, sadly.

    Eh...I wouldn't see it as a competitor directly with the home consoles just as one shouldn't see iTouch/Phone as directly competing with PSP or DS. Apple would simply carve another niche for themselves. And as they usually target higher earning consumers, and the digital download paradigm is attractive to publishers, there would be enough of a drive from both consumers with means and developers with wants to assure some level of market success.
     

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