Apple could expand their ecosystem with a video game console

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| June 26, 2012

Apple’s focus on gaming in the mobile space has grown almost exponentially since 2008. So much so, in fact, that there are some who believe Sony and Nintendo, which have traditionally dominated the mobile gaming space thanks to their dedicated mobile consoles, should step out of the race altogether. While that’s obviously not going to happen anytime soon, I think Apple could take some room and start focusing on a different area: the living room.

First, let me start with Microsoft. Over the last couple of weeks, Microsoft has been busy making announcements and showcasing the direction in which they are taking the company (and their products) in the future. Microsoft is revolutionizing the way the company thinks in a lot of different ways, but their focus on cross-platform functionality and design sense is what shines through the most. The former of the two is where the biggest chance of Microsoft’s growth resides, as it not only brings more people into the fold with available options, but extends the ecosystem even further.

Microsoft’s ecosystem, built around Windows, is going to jump up quite a bit later this year as we see the release of Surface, Windows 8 in general, Windows Phone 8, and even applications like Xbox SmartGlass. All of these things, interconnected the way that they are, will allow for Windows fans to enjoy an experience on so many different pieces of hardware, that it will be hard to ignore the Redmond-based company in that regard any longer.

If they pull it off correctly.

So, Microsoft is aiming to rebuild their ecosystem from the ground up, and so far they are doing a good job. Apple, on the other hand, is still content on providing the updates they believe their hardware and software need, and sticking to that course. iOS 6 wasn’t a huge leap of faith from the company, but that’s fine. The changes that they did include will indeed bring in new customers, and the new iPhone Apple will unveil later this year will undoubtedly help keep current customers around for a while longer.

Apple already has a space in the living room thanks to the iPad, and the evolving Mac OS X. Yes, the newest version of Apple’s Mac-based operating system is indeed heavily influenced by iOS, but that isn’t a bad thing. Apple is expanding their own ecosystem, and that’s just one way they are doing it. By providing that unique experience (unique to iOS, anyway), across multiple devices, it will be easier for people to use, to interact with, and incorporate into their daily lives no matter which device they are using.

And that’s why Apple adding a new device to the situation wouldn’t be such a bad idea. In fact, they could get rid of one device, and replace it with another. I’m referring to AppleTV. They could remove that from the equation altogether, and replace it with a home video game console.

Yes, Apple should make a home video game console. No, not a direct competitor to Microsoft’s Xbox 360 or even Sony’s PlayStation 3. It wouldn’t have to be a product that changed the video game industry overnight. They could create a console that connected to the cloud, and games were available right there, whenever a gamer wanted. But, at the same time, the family could have access to iTunes, the App Store, and everything else that current generation AppleTV owners have.

Combine the products, but add that element of gaming at home, and Apple could very well capitalize on the same idea that Microsoft is working so hard on right now. No, AppleTV isn’t good enough just because it can let you play games from your phone to the TV. An Apple-branded home video game console would allow for such larger possibilities, and it wouldn’t be held down by strictly being mobile only.

A home console from Apple probably isn’t going to happen, at least not in the near future, but I don’t think it would be that bad of an idea for Apple. Creating more facets to strengthen your already powerful ecosystem would just bring more people into the fold, and make the overall experience better in the end. And we know that people are invested into an ecosystem, just as much as anything else.

What do you think? Should Apple create a video game console so they can further bolster their ecosystem? Or would you stay as far away from something like that as you could? Let me know in the comments below.