Somebody out there thinks that an Apple gaming platform would be really nice. That somebody is obviously not a gamer.
The quick and dirty answer to the question of whether or not Apple could float a decent gaming platform out there is yes. yes in lowercase letters. If a reasonably priced Apple game plaftorm came out, it could do as well as the Nintendo DS in 2 years, but that's about it. It would have to be the iPhone or iTouch when they cost less than a Wii, which is when? Then they have to be as good as the Wii. But what drives the console market are blockbuster games with millions of units sold and DLC that keeps online players happy for months. There are NO games that compelling for the handheld market. Even Twitter can't make that kind of money.
But what Wingert was thinking was that Apple TV could be a gaming platform and a convergence appliance. It can under one condition which is that Apple uses leapfroging technology for HD on demand and makes their deals with studios to get them into everywhere DirecTV, Comcast and Verizon FIOS already are. Perhaps many people don't recognize that I can get Netflix on demand right now through my XBox360. You've got to go a long way to beat out Netflix market share, and I already went through all the deliberations of thinking through Apple TV. The bottom line is that the people at Microsoft were already ahead of me and offered me cool stuff I never imagined I'd want. So I paid 150 bucks to get the big hard drive for my XBox and haven't looked back yet.
To compete with the $400+ platform that is the full blown XBox360 + XBox Live is a tall order for anybody. Apple is probably the one company that could do it, but they would have to make a big strategic investment and really desire to take over the world. I just don't see Jobs doing it - not when there's the publishing industry opportunity out there. Apple's entry into the eReader market (ha, I just named it - the iReader) is 75% certain according to a Wall Street analyst I heard a few weeks ago. The entry of Barnes & Noble's Nook raises the stakes. So I was particularly intrigued when I got a notice on my last Apple Store download that the terms of service were changing. The first incredibly large paragraph of fine print was all about Amazon's 1-Click. That's enough cozy to make me think that Apple is doing the very right thing if it is partnering with Amazon and the iReader will be the high-end machine. For Apple and Amazon to join forces... well cloudwise it could be the beginning of a new era, and suddenly Google doesn't sound so cool any longer. I believe that Amazon is as technically smart as Google when it comes to infinite scalability, and Amazon has been around longer and I'd bet is better managed.
Speaking of well managed. I have to say that I have a fresh coat of respect for Adobe. In my ridiculously vast personal library of software, I dug up an old copy of Acrobat for which I spent 300 bucks several years ago. It's still packed with features I haven't even bothered to learn, and it actually does things that I let my imagination imagine - like embedding interactive goodies into pre-existing PDFs. It's truly brilliant. So now I'm going to give Adobe Flex a good look, because I'm really starting to get fed up with my browsers.
Speaking of which, I turned on my process explorer and started tracking which of my applications are giving me the most page faults and gobbling up memory. It turns out to be SQL Server, which apparently launches itself with no prompting from me and no good reason. But right behind that is Chrome, which sprouts all kinds of pseudo-independent processes yet locks up all of them when one starts farting up the system. I don't know WTF is up with Firefox, but the latest version 3.0.13 has been a huge disappointment, which is why I'm using Chrome. Oh wait. I left that on there to have the Google Notebook Add-In.. Hmm. Maybe I should upgrade.
But back to Apple gaming. There's one great game for the iPhone (and it wasn't Myst). It's called geoDefense. Awesome. I knew it the first time I saw it across the aisle on my plane home from San Jose. We'll talk if and when the tablet comes out.