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Xbox Founding Engineer Says Apple TV Could Destroy Console Gaming with Third-Party Apps

xbox_apple_tvEarlier this month, we highlighted some comments from Valve founder Gabe Newell noting his view that Apple had the potential to take over the traditional gaming market by leveraging its existing ecosystem to deliver a "dumbed down living room platform" more quickly and efficiently than others can transition from the console to streaming via PC as Newell believes is the future.

Nat Brown, one of the first engineers to join the Xbox project back in 1999, has now published a blog post offering similar thoughts in noting the Microsoft is missing out on a major opportunity by not opening up that platform to small developers, an issue that Apple could easily exploit to gain tremendous momentum in the home gaming market.
Why can’t I write a game for xBox tomorrow using $100 worth of tools and my existing Windows laptop and test it on my home xBox or at my friends’ houses? Why can’t I then distribute it digitally in a decent online store, give up a 30% cut and strike it rich if it’s a great game, like I can for Android, for iPhone, or for iPad?
Brown notes that the terms of the Xbox developer program are so onerous that it is essentially impossible for an independent developer to succeed on the platform.

Brown also believes that the user experience on the Xbox platform leaves much to be desired, with Apple's emphasis on simplicity giving it an advantage with users.
Apple, if it chooses to do so, will simply kill Playstation, Wii-U and xBox by introducing an open 30%-cut app/game ecosystem for Apple-TV. I already make a lot of money on iOS – I will be the first to write apps for Apple-TV when I can, and I know I’ll make money. I would for xBox if I could and I knew I would make money. Maybe a “console-capable” Apple-TV isn’t $99, maybe it’s $199, and add another $79 for a controller. The current numbers already say a lot, even with Apple-TV not already an open console: 5.3M sold units in 2012, 90% year-over-year growth — vs. xBox 360 — about 9M units in 2012, 60% YoY decline.
Just today, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek claimed that Apple will be holding a TV-related special event next month, speculating that the company could announce developer tools for the Apple TV platform to set the stage for a full television set product later this year.

Related roundup: Apple TV

Top Rated Comments

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15 months ago
AppleTV should've left the "hobby" stage... 2 years ago.
Rating: 39 Positives
15 months ago
Destroy casual gaming maybe, i can totally see eating nintendos market but doubt it will take any share from the xbox and playstation market.
Rating: 29 Positives
15 months ago
Why is he comparing sales figures of units sold in 2012 of a 2 year old media box to an almost 8 year old gaming console. The reason why Microsofts xbox sales are declining slowly is because everyone already owns an xbox, not to mention the next gen is literally right around the corner.
Rating: 19 Positives
15 months ago
Not with the current graphics. Arm graphics are still much slower. You have to realize that the xbox and other gaming consoles have 10-20 times the power envelope to use. They aren't using 1-2 watt chips they are using 30-60+ watt chips that are much faster.

Heres a powervr sgx 545 (apple tv has a 543) vs an intel hd4000 which itself is much slower than the xbox class graphics.
Rating: 13 Positives
15 months ago

If Apple opened up an App Store for Apple TV, and made a wireless controller for all iOS devices than yes, XBOX, Playstation, and Nintendo would die within a few short years. Why? 99c games with real "button" controls will satisfy 90% of Gamers, 99% of Wallets, and 100% of Parents ;). Plus, Apple TV only costs $99 and it would be updated every year so even if PS4 and XBOX 720 will be significantly more powerful on day 1, it won't be for 5-8 years (usual life cycle of gaming systems).


An Apple "TV" that is capable of competing with Microsoft's XBox would NOT be worth $100. Keep dreaming.
Rating: 10 Positives
15 months ago
Hmmmm. Three articles on one rumor.

"It's a phone, an internet device, and an iPod. iPhone." - 2007

Its a streaming set-top box, a gaming console, and a live Television. Apple TV." - 2013
Rating: 10 Positives
15 months ago
There are certain games that just cant be enjoyed on iOS, and Android like they can on the xbox, and Playstation.
Rating: 10 Positives
15 months ago
Ya, right. Angry Birds will replace games like Battlefield. Haha
Rating: 9 Positives
15 months ago

IMO the problem with consoles is multi-fold.

First you have the interface. The xbox 360 and ps3 interfaces are horrible. Apple has a very simple interface on the latest apple tv iOS, you just add apps to the main screen.

The second problem is boot up time. It takes nearly 5 minutes to boot my xbox 360 or ps3 and get into a game. I don't have the time or patience to deal with this sort of thing anything. I don't devote days to gaming anymore. I have a few minutes to play and then the kids or the wife wants to watch something on the tv and i'm screwed until they goto bed. Well i was screwed before i got my iPad ;)

The 3rd problem is price. I don't want to pay $59.99 for games and have a physical dvd or bluray disc laying around. The pets and children do not understand how delicate they are. I'd much rather buy a game for $.99 - $4.99 then buy one for $59.99 and not like it. I can afford to buy 12-30 games and not like them all, and that's highly unlikely to happen.


1. The Xbox/PS3 GUI is pretty good, nothing wrong with it.
2. Start up times are due to the size and complexity of the games - you can't compare Skyrim to say Angry Birds.
3. No feasible for large games - unless you expect to download 10 - 20GB per game.
Rating: 9 Positives
15 months ago

I've been a console gamer all of my life. I've owned every console and handheld since the Atari 2600. Remember the virtual boy? Game gear? Turbo Express? Turbo Grafix 16? Neo Geo AES? Sega Saturn? So i'm well aware of what consoles are, in fact it kind of ties into my day job (signature). I'm well aware of where the console market is heading and what will happen next. I'm also aware that someone as hardcore as myself now prefers to play games on his iPad vs the xbox 360, ps3 and nintendo wii which are collecting dust. My daughters have a nintendo wii in their bedroom (it never gets played), they also own several nintendo ds handhelds and a psp(those don't get played either). Do you know what i bought my oldest daughter for christmas? An iPad mini, my youngest daughter still plays her iPod touch and borrows her mom's iPad as she is still too young to have one of her own. If someone like me can change their spots then it means the market is pivoting.


There's your problem. You're the wrong market.

Teenage boy, sitting in his room, playing COD online with his headset and his friends. You honestly think he's going to ever do that on a tablet?
Rating: 8 Positives

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