Apple is the world’s biggest tech company and they compete with the likes of Sony and Microsoft in a number of product categories including smartphones, tablets, smart watches and wireless headphones. But one market that Apple hasn’t formally entered is gaming. Sony sells the playstation, Microsoft sells the Xbox, but Apple has never created a modern gaming console and this has left many people wondering why. After all, gaming consoles are essentially just computers and Apple is in the computer business. So what’s stopping them from releasing their own game system?
Well, while Apple hasn’t made a modern gaming console, they did make 1 / 20 years ago. In 1996 it was called the Apple Bandai Pippin and it was designed to be a game system that could also do some computational tasks. It sold for $600 and was a huge flop since only 42,000 were sold before the product was discontinued a year later.
Now is this failure the reason why Apple hasn’t made another gaming console? Not it’s not, but it does prove how difficult it is to succeed in the gaming market.
And if you do succeed, the reward isn’t nearly as lucrative compared to other product categories. Just consider the fact that the Nintendo Switch, which is the best selling console on the market today, generated just one point 2 billion in revenue in 2018. And while that is a lot of money, it pales in comparison to Apple products like the iPhone, which generated 218 billion last year, even Apple’s. Worst performing product. The home pod which sold about 1.5 million units is still making half the revenue of the Nintendo Switch, which is one of Nintendo’s best selling consoles in history. So right away you can see that there’s a problem with profitability, but that’s only part of the equation. You also have to consider how often customers are buying new game consoles, especially when there are long periods of time between updates. The PlayStation Three was released in 2006, and the PlayStation 4 was released.
In 2013, that’s a seven year gap between generations. Imagine if the iPhone was updated once every seven years. It would undoubtedly have a detrimental effect on Apple’s revenue stream and the theoretical situation I’ve been describing so far would be the best case scenario for Apple. It’s assumed the company would release one of the best selling gaming consoles in history, which is unlikely considering the current climate of the gaming industry. There are already 3 big players who dominate the space and have established loyal fan bases. That’s why it’s been nearly impossible for a new gaming system to achieve any level of success. And when it comes to Apple, they have very high unfavorability in the gaming community. Mac computers aren’t designed for gaming, and iOS isn’t emulator friendly. Which means if you’re a serious gamer, you probably use Android devices and PCs rather than Apple products, resulting in many gamers not taking Apple seriously. Even if they did try their hand at a full fledged console.
But just because Apple doesn't make a dedicated. Game system doesn't mean they aren't developing a gaming platform because back in 2008 Apple's App Store planted the seed of a would help make iOS the largest mobile gaming platform in the world.
And although more serious gamers scoffed at the idea that high quality games could run on mobile devices, the effective gaming on iOS would be felt by even the largest game companies like Sony and Nintendo. By 2013, games running on mobile devices like iOS and Android were generating four times as much. The revenue as games sold for Nintendo and Sony handheld devices combined and that not only attracted small independent game developers, but also large publishers like EA who ended up making more money from iOS game sales than any other platform or console. Now, initial reactions to the success of mobile gaming from companies like Nintendo was to act defensively. They didn’t want their intellectual property to be available on any other platform, which meant there wouldn’t be any Mario or Donkey Kong games for iOS. Also, Nintendo felt like they needed to compete with Apple by offering games that felt similar to what was offered on iOS. This resulted in poorly received titles, like Animal Crossing, Amiibo, Festival and paper Mario Color Splash. But as you probably know, that isn’t where Nintendo stands today. After all we have games on iOS like Super Mario Run in Mario Kart Tour that feature the company’s intellectual property. So what changed? Well, Nintendo experienced some serious operating losses. From 2013 to 2016 that motivated them to change their business strategy and we’ll get into that after we share some information about my business strategy.
If you guys haven’t noticed, we do have a website that directs visitors to my channel and social media accounts, and although it isn’t full of content, it does have a very important purpose. After switching between other services, we were really happy with what they had to offer. Squarespace had the highest number of website templates to choose from, and they’re all optimized for mobile, so it didn’t have to do any extra work for that. And when we wanted to sell a merch product, we were able to add an ecommerce store to my site without starting from scratch. Plus, the payment processor was built in, and we could print shipping labels. Right from Squarespace as well. When we say it’s an all in one platform, I really mean it, and you can get all this for cheaper than you might think, especially if you use the link squarespace.com Apple explained, since you’ll get 10% off your first purchase, you can find that link in the description. So back to Nintendo’s new business strategy instead of hoarding their IP, they decided to create mobile games featuring their iconic characters. And instead of creating games on their console that felt similar to mobile games on iOS. Nintendo capitalized on the strengths of their hardware to build dynamic, fun experiences that couldn’t be achieved on a smartphone. They introduced the Nintendo Switch, which featured removable controllers, 3D Rumble, and an IR sensor that allowed for unique gameplay. But they also created groundbreaking titles like Zelda Breath of The Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, which helped differentiate their platform from mobile and convinced customers that it was worth investing in the switch and that new business app.