apple tv

Lots of really good stuff at Google’s I/O conference.  I’m sure we’ll be delving into Android L and other announcements in more detail in the coming days, but today I’m shooting from the hip and unpacking what caught my attention.

If you haven’t watched it already, see the gargantuan 3 hour keynote here:

My most immediate reaction is “Wow.”  Google is killing it.  Android extends its lead over iOS and Microsoft is way behind in the rear view mirror.

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Yesterday’s post talked about how Apple should execute a gaming-capable Apple TV.  Today, I’m putting my product manager hat on to sketch out in more detail what the end product can look like.  I don’t do it with a fanboy’s wishlist, but with what is realistic and practical for a good engineering team to achieve.

Be forewarned, this post is going to feel dense and maybe even boring if you’re not into this kind of thing.

On to gaming on Apple TV:

  • What it is exactly — streaming device plus controller
  • How it works — only show compatible content, with an interface similar to the current Apple TV and navigation by either controller or app
  • How much it costs — $45 to make, $60 to sell

If Apple makes the product I am proposing, it could disrupt the entire game console market that Sony and Microsoft are currently racing to win.

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Ben of Stratechery posted an interesting article about how Apple TV can disrupt the game console market.  It’s insightful and I highly recommend you read it; then come back here for my take.

I have two areas of push back:

  1. The high end games market is still largely mainstream and still growing
  2. The low end market already exists and is already well served with mobile phones, tablets and previous generation consoles

Apple has a chance to disrupt Sony and Microsoft, but it won’t be through the Apple TV.  Casual gamers won’t purchase a new device for games they can already play on existing devices.

For Apple to make inroads to gaming on TV, it should be via a Chromecast type device that connects the iPhone or iPad to the TV plus a controller.  Price all that for $60 and Apple can disrupt Sony and Microsoft.

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