Apple's annual developer conference in San Francisco.
Gaming Follow-up: Has Apple Already Been Shopping Around? Late 2007 Launch?
This week in Sydney the Vice President of Technology for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Paul Holman and I discussed the possibility of Apple entering the games market." [...] Another Sony Computer Entertainment executive said "We have known for some time of Apple's interest in the games market however it will be tough for them up against Sony and Microsoft and of late Nintendo. We believe that they will come into the games market late in 2007 but not with a pure gaming console. We are told that they are looking at a pretty powerful media centre with a big gaming capability.".
According to Smarthouse, Apple has faced initial setbacks with IBM and Sony on getting their hands on the latest game-console CPU technology, which they may want to use in order to allow developers to seamlessly transition their games over to Apple's new platform. Instead of a dedicated gaming console, Apple may instead integrate gaming as an extension of a more general media center.
Jesse Tortora claimed earlier this week that Apple's move into the living room with the "iTV" would be met with fierce competition from console-game makers, which may force Apple to add gaming capability to its solutions. From his research note:
Ultimately, we think Apple's decision to enter the video game market could depend on its need to defend its position against the competition in the battle over the digital home. Microsoft introduced new video download features with its latest Xbox 360 update. We believe that both Microsoft and Sony will eventually add full-length downloadable movies to their catalogs (especially since Sony owns a movie studio). There are no technical limitations to this capability, and Microsoft is already aggressively wooing the movie studios.
Initially, Tortora's comments appeared to be based on educated speculation, but the report from Smarthouse appears to corroborate the claims. However, readers should note that the Smarthouse article does have some glaring inaccuracies, notably a claim that Microsoft's XBox 360 CPU is made by Intel (it is in fact made by IBM).
Smarthouse also does not have an incredibly extensive rumor record. In 2003, Smarthouse claimed Apple was ready to move to Intel-based processors, a move that did end up happening but not until this year. Smarthouse is currently predicting an Apple-branded tablet to be released in 2007.