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Apple Finally Getting Its Game On? 176

Posted by Zonk
from the nice-change-of-pace dept.
Gamespot reports on the possibility that, in some way, Apple is making moves to develop games. From the article: "This week, GameSpot learned that there may be more to the Apple-game rumors than mere Mac-mad daydreams. A tech-sector recruiter contacted the GS NewsDesk with an interesting story of a prospective hire that got away. Recently, when said recruiter made an offer to a software engineer, the engineer turned the offer down--saying he was being 'heavily recruited by Apple.' According to the engineer, an Apple hiring manager named Mike Lampell is heading up a group inside Apple's storied iTunes division. The group is specifically hiring for 'C/C++ coders with a gaming background.'"
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Apple Finally Getting Its Game On?

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  • About Time (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DingerX (847589) on Sunday May 28, 2006 @08:29AM (#15419992) Journal
    Easy here: apple develops a bunch of simple, casual games that run on ipod/with interface, and sells them for a couple bucks a pop at ITMS. Nothing fancy, and nothing that taxes resources (as so many phone games do).

    With the money to be made, the market share to be exploited, and the minimal investment required, I'm surprised they haven't already done this.
  • by JensR (12975) on Sunday May 28, 2006 @08:34AM (#15419999) Homepage
    What if they just want some 3D visualisations for iTunes? Something that requires experience with character animation, skinned models or complex shaders?
  • They called me... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 28, 2006 @08:40AM (#15420015)
    I've been called by an Apple recruiter as well, maybe 6 - 8 months ago. The person I spoke to said that they were looking for people with my skills. I've been in the games industry since I was 18, I've shipped around 3 dozen titles for consoles and handhelds, so my resume basically shows that I'm perfect for one thing: getting games out the door. For personal reasons I wasn't even slightly interested in the job, but the call itself was vastly intruiguing. I've been waiting eagerly ever since to hear what the heck Apple is up to.
  • by ProppaT (557551) on Sunday May 28, 2006 @08:56AM (#15420056) Homepage
    I'd actually argue that Mac's are ideal gaming platforms. There's only so many different configurations available, so it's more or less like programming for a game console (you know what you're programming for and optimise it for a specific hardware set), except everything is in x86 on a Linux platform. So really, no new hardware and api's need to be learned...it's pretty much all pre-existing. And with the number of game engines readily available, I bet Windows gamers would be pretty impressed with what you could do on a Core Duo Mac.
  • Re:Nice move... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by FidelCatsro (861135) * <fidelcatsro.gmail@com> on Sunday May 28, 2006 @08:59AM (#15420065) Journal
    I could also place a wager on it being an intentional leak . No trade secrets to protect here , but letting a little slip at a time could build up some hype , perhaps push shares up and sales.
  • Disney? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 28, 2006 @09:00AM (#15420068)
    Has anyone thought that this may be more an in-house tie-in with Disney/Pixar? It would be quite the coup for them to have control of the kids-game market : If your kid wants to play the next Ice Age game, why not buy the system from that nice company who made their iPod?
  • by PIPBoy3000 (619296) on Sunday May 28, 2006 @09:19AM (#15420123)
    Try Firefox with NoScript. It makes surfing the web a clean, relatively ad-free experience, and minty fresh too.
  • Mini versus PS3? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gozar (39392) on Sunday May 28, 2006 @09:46AM (#15420198) Homepage
    What if they are gearing up for the Mac mini to take on the PS3? Apple has to be looking at the similar price points, and all it would take is to add some wireless controllers [tattiebogle.net] and the DVI-video adapter to the mini.

    Yes, the PS3 blows the mini out of the water in performance, but if the Wii takes off, then Apple might want a piece of the action. Plus, it has all the home media hub functions already, and a distribution network for music and video.

    The return of the Apple Pippen? Ars technica had a journal article from 2005 about Apple and Sony integrating the iTMS with the PS3 [arstechnica.com], could Apple just be deciding to do it themselves after they saw the price of the PS3? Remember the sales pitches of the 80's for the Commodores and Ataris? "It not only plays great games, but it is also a full blown computer!"

  • by SalaciousPucker (911419) on Sunday May 28, 2006 @09:51AM (#15420215)

    Apple should be in handheld gaming. They should be shooting for the inevitable, a true convergence of the handheld market. That uber-Phone/PDA/Ipod/Gameboy - all in one - that geeks have dreamed about since the Star Trek communicator.

    Apple sells the most expensive device in our pockets right now. It has mass storage, a color screen, significant processing power and it's own OS. Of all the pocket based systems, the Ipod requires the least additional work to accomodate the features of all the others. What you have then is the OS of the pocket.

    Still, the path to obscurity or to becoming the overpriced but efficient 'niche' product, like Apple computers have always been to the PC, could be Apple going it alone in all aspects. Taking a leap into handheld gaming would mean directly competing with Sony and Nintendo in a cut throat & solidified market. They would have two options really, as I see it. Build the gaming OS/API's themselves (a tough route) or license it from Sony (the PSP) or Nintendo. How open Sony or Nintendo would be to digital distribution of its games or handing off much of the reins to Apple is questionable, but there is definitely some synergy for a collaboration like this.

    Apple should move quick on this. The talk about Microsoft's new IPod/XBOX-handheld product is already in the 'when' not 'if' stage. Microft could care less about builiding the different handheld products individually or as a whole -- they want to own the OS it all runs on. They want to be there at the point of convergence. If Apple doesn't secure their position here it could be a situation of deja vu all over again.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 28, 2006 @12:02PM (#15420648)
    1) If I'm paying for something, I don't want to see ads. Like those once-in-a-while full page ads, I find those extremely annoying, even though I'm at least semi-intelligent and have adblock and such installed so it's just an extra mostly blank page to load. But then there's even banner ads ALL OVER the regular pages, even if you have a membership. You have to read the printer friendly version to keep your eyes from bleeding.

    2) Torrent sites only have ads to pay for the cost of hosting the torrents and running a tracker and such, any extra income is (usually) put towards the next month's expenses. I've not seen one tracker making actual money from ads. They're usually run by people that themselves hate ads, but need some way to keep their hobby alive.
  • by kestasjk (933987) on Sunday May 28, 2006 @12:48PM (#15420833) Homepage
    "I'd actually argue that Mac's are ideal gaming platforms. There's only so many different configurations available, so it's more or less like programming for a game console (you know what you're programming for and optimise it for a specific hardware set), except everything is in x86 on a Linux platform. So really, no new hardware and api's need to be learned...it's pretty much all pre-existing."

    Ideal, except Macs with a graphics card worth a shit start at 1999USD (and even then it's a MacBook Pro with a small screen, no mouse included, and 512MB of RAM). And since when have small hardware variations mattered in games? DirectX/OpenGL take care of that.

    "And with the number of game engines readily available,[...]"
    What game engines? Are there better ones specifically for the Mac and not the PC? Care to point them out?

    "[...]I bet Windows gamers would be pretty impressed with what you could do on a Core Duo Mac."

    Apart from a few exceptions (Quake 4, WoW, UT2004, Halo), which are on Windows anyway of course, most Mac OS X games [apple.com] look like they've been scavanged from the $10 or less bin at EB.

    PC gamers often like to swap hardware around, upgrade processors and GFX cards; this is a major PITA on Macs. The same hardware available for OS X can be used on Windows, the gaming API available on OS X, OpenGL, is also available on Windows. Why would Macs be ideal again?
  • Re:Mini versus PS3? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Deliveranc3 (629997) <deliverance.level4@org> on Sunday May 28, 2006 @02:05PM (#15421086) Journal
    I think you mean DirectX though ActiveX is also important.

    MS is pulling some totally insane stuff with DirectX X so people will be looking for alternatives... I'd like Apple to offer some I like gaming, I hate windows.

    The transition to Apple drivers, graphics extensions and hardware, might allow some new players into the graphics market, which is getting really expensive these days.

    (Lookie I made a comma splice!)
  • Good move (Score:3, Interesting)

    by vga_init (589198) on Sunday May 28, 2006 @02:33PM (#15421186) Journal

    When I first read the headline, I didn't realize that it was referring to games. Rather, I thought it meant that Apple was getting ready to gear up for hitting the personal computer market. As time passes, they move themselves further and further in that direction; the popularity of the iPod/iTunes, the cheap Mac mini, moving to a different architecture, development and release of OS X. Never has Apple been more attractive to the consumer than they are today.

    And what do consumers love? Games. If Apple can roll out some high quality hits, people will love the game first, then notice the publisher. They'll learn to associate Apple with good things, and next thing you know, they'll be buying one.

    Sure, this is looking at it optimistically; whatever games they are going to produce are really going to have to take off in a big way for this to have more than a marginal impact, but to me it seems like a small step in the right direction.

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