The Apple Bandai Pippin was Apple’s first and only attempt to break into the video game console market, one that was a hilarious failure that the company probably wants everyone to forget about, but that was two decades ago, so maybe it’s about time Apple give it another shot. According to the New York Times, the next-generation Apple TV that the company is expected to announce soon will use gaming as a “primary selling point,” which would be a pretty big change for a device that’s become successful by being a media streaming device.
Apple stumbled into the games business almost by accident not long after it released the iPhone in 2007, igniting a new multibillion-dollar mobile games industry in the process. Could a new Apple device — one linked to the television — shake up the market for game consoles? The idea no longer seems ridiculous to many people in the games business. Apple is expected to make games a primary selling point of its new Apple TV product, which is scheduled to be announced on Wednesday in San Francisco, according to people briefed on Apple’s plans who spoke on the condition of anonymity. This is a big change from Apple’s previous versions of Apple TV, a device shaped like a hockey puck that for the first eight years of its existence has mainly been used to stream videos and music. It’s tough to know how compelling the games on Apple TV will be until the company reveals the system this week. Yet many of the components necessary for a satisfying game experience will come with the device, the people say — including more power for better graphics, a new remote that could double as a controller and, perhaps most important, an app store to buy and download games.