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It's No Game At Apple 175

Posted by Zonk
from the would-be-nice-if-it-were dept.
Mac Observer is running a piece by John Martellaro looking at why Apple isn't into gaming. It's just one man's opinion, but he makes some interesting arguments. From the article: "The reality is that Apple has struggled for a long time to avoid the perception that Macs are toys, and so their principle emphasis is on science, small business, education, and the creative arts. All very grownup stuff. If a market doesn't appear on Apple's main page tab, you can be sure it's a secondary market."
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It's No Game At Apple

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  • Well... (Score:2, Funny)

    by revlayle (964221)
    I guess they make enough bling selling to the user-base demographgic as is....
    • Because Steve Jobs liked Graphics
      Apple created QuickDraw and QuickTime.

      Because Steve Jobs liked Communications
      Apple created AppleTalk, MacTCP and OpenTransport.

      Because Steve Jobs liked Plug & Play
      Apple created the ADB bus and FireWire.

      Because Steve Jobs liked Music
      Apple created the Apple Quadra, iTunes, iPod and GarageBand.

      Strange thing is, Steve Jobs doesn't like shoot-'em up Video Games
      So why promote such a wasteful way of life to people?
      Leave THAT to the Dells and Microsoft/XB.
      • "Strange thing is, Steve Jobs doesn't like shoot-'em up Video Games
        So why promote such a wasteful way of life to people?"

        I don't get that? How is playing video games more wasteful than listening to music? ...It isn't.

        It's just a harder market to get into.
        • Many would argue that listening to music makes them more productive, not less. Listening to music doesn't preclude productivity whereas playing video games does. Unless you're playing games because you're a professional gamer, or you're playing an educational game that makes you better at your profession.
      • That's all true until Steve Jobs changes his mind.

        Recall that Steve Jobs thought putting video on an iPod was a bad idea. Yet, the very next iPod released had that capability. Maybe he really changed his mind or maybe he was trying to throw folks like ThinkSecret off his trail. Apple has a history of shunning and then embracing new markets.
    • by elliotj (519297)
      This guy has an interesting blog entry speculating that Apple will go after the console gaming market [objectiveresponder.com]. This sounds pretty plausible: if they do build a PVR (and Front Row is SO BEGGING for it), then they'd be in the living room. How hard would it be to add some bluetooth controllers and take a bite out of the XBox360 pie?
      • It's an interesting idea, but I don't think it would be much more than a gimmicky addition to an Apple branded PVR (assuming they even make one in the first place). I don't think Apple has the wherewithal to design and market a successful game console in an ecosystem that already contains several blood-thirsty, 800-pound gorillas, but they could easily add an "arcade" section to the iTMS for little time-killers like Tetris or Bejeweled. Simple games like that don't need sophisticated, force-feedback control

  • The reality... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ant P. (974313) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:32PM (#15480709) Homepage
    Their attempt [wikipedia.org] at entering the games market was a flop. Not even a _spectacular_ flop, since nobody really noticed its existence.
    • Re:The reality... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RexRhino (769423)
      How much do you want to bet if they came out with the a new console, the "iGame", with a white designer pod look, and designed to interface with your iPod, that it would be a groundbreaking success!? All the Apple fanatics living the i-lifestyle would buy it for sure!

      Back when Apple created the Pippin, Apple didn't have the widespread cult following it does now. Apple wasn't a "lifestyle choice".
      • Re:The reality... (Score:3, Informative)

        by Haeleth (414428)
        How much do you want to bet if they came out with the a new console, the "iGame", with a white designer pod look, and designed to interface with your iPod, that it would be a groundbreaking success!?

        Not much.

        The thing about music and video is that they're very easy to convert into any given format. Apple can easily introduce products like the iPod that simply take data that other people have created and play it back. That's trivial. But games aren't. Games have to be designed to run on a certain platfor
      • They have a console that does all that.
        It's call a Mac mini. It has DVI output.
        All you need is a fancy USB 2 or FireWire controller and you would be set.
        In fact, once I opened the box, it was one of the first things I thought.
      • Why a console? Why not make iGames a Steam-like application. Getting games running on Mactels isn't as hard as old PowerPCs, and with a proper download model if you already own the game (Just plug in your CD key) then they're onto a winner.

        If I could get the games I usually play to work on a Mac, then I'll switch. Until then, I value my gibs too much.
    • Re:The reality... (Score:4, Informative)

      by IntlHarvester (11985) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:06PM (#15481023) Journal
      I happened to walk into Fry's Electronics during the two week period when the Pippen was actually being pushed.

      Pippen was not sold as a game console. It was demonstrated as an Internet box similar to WebTV. I think there was also some CD-ROM type shovelware titles for it and maybe some edutainment software. WebTV + CD-i.

      Yes, it probably was developed originally as some sort of game box, but somewhere along the way Apple woke up.
      • Re:The reality... (Score:5, Informative)

        by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:23PM (#15481170)
        Remember that Apple didn't actually manufacture the Pippin. The only company that signed on as a licensee and ever manufactured and sold the Pippin was Bandai, [wikipedia.org] a Japanese toy company.
      • Re:The reality... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hey! (33014) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @04:08PM (#15482621) Homepage Journal
        Pippen was not sold as a game console. It was demonstrated as an Internet box similar to WebTV. I think there was also some CD-ROM type shovelware titles for it and maybe some edutainment software. WebTV + CD-i.

        Which is the kind of mistake you pay your marketing guys to help you avoid.

        I've been in on business decisions of this nature, albeit on a much smaller scale, and I know how this thought process works. In order to get more revenue, you try to goose up your volume by spreading out your product line. The logic seems reasonable: you take something you already know how to do, in this case design a computer, and design a somewhat different computer. It seems on the surface safer and easier than getting into a completely different business. But in fact, it's the worst possible thing you can do.

        People who talk about Apple being a company that breaks the rule of "do one thing best" are wrong, because they define what Apple does incorrectly. By that way of thinking, Apple is a personal computer company, and providing a cheap computer (albeit through a licensee) is just more of the same. Producing an iPod is a radical departure. But in fact Apple is not a personal computer company: they're a company that produces luxury technological appliances. Offering a cheap PC means Apple has to be a high end and a low end computer company at the same time. Offering IPods is simply occupying the same niche in the music world that they do in the personal computer world. It's doing one thing well, only in two places.

        The mini is an interesting case because in some ways it resembles the Pippin. But the Pippin was really just a cheap Mac knockoff. And while the Mini is a indeed a cheap computer, I bet most people who buy them don't think of them that way. Apple was smart to make the tiny form factor, even though it would probably be cheaper to make a mini tower or desktop form factor. It means the $$/cubic inch is high. Also they explicitly marketed it to PC users who had had a positive experience with the iPod. From the point of view of that user, they probably have a Windows PC they can live with, but hate. At $500, the mini looks like a luxury, but one that you can afford if you want it badly enough. Like the iPod. I think some Mac users might have switched to the mini for the form factor, but if you're an Apple consumer drone who's been trudging the upgrade treadmill for years, the Mini isn't going to be an upgrade, more of a sidegrade. I bet a lot of the ones who broke down and bought a Mini for form factor bought another Mac as well.
    • Apple had grossly incompetent management at the time the Pippin was created.
  • Science? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Unc-70 (975866)
    Creative arts yes, science? I'm not so sure. Having worked in science in academia and industry, all the work is done on PCs and a little on SGis. The only Mac I used was an ancient thing that had some PCR simulation software from the early 90s (I think). Oh, and Igor Pro http://www.wavemetrics.com/ [wavemetrics.com] for electrophysiology but that was moving towards PCs when I left anyway.

    Anyone know of any current Mac science applications?

    • I think the new rubber on the road under OS X (that is, FreeBSD Unix-y underpinnings) is helping with the traction problem here.
    • In our Maths department, Macs are very popular with the accademics for their personal machines - especially the laptops.

      Mind you, for their clusters etc they use Linux (i.e. hard core computation). I guess almost all the Windows machines in the building are the generic computer labs managed by central IT services.
    • Re:Science? (Score:5, Informative)

      by kakapo (88299) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:00PM (#15480968)

      I am particle physicist / cosmologist, and macs are widely used in my field -- both for number crunching, and as personal machines.

      To provide some anecdotal data, I was at a conference last month and I would guess that at least 50% of the speakers were using Macs, and that ratio has been climbing steadily over the last few years. With the exception of Mathematica, all the "technical" software I compile from source, and these packages almost always assume you have access to a Unix commandline of one sort or another. Moreover, I have friends in the bioinformatics world, and many of them seem to be working with Macs.

      (FWIW, I am looking forward to buying an intel Mac Book -- I bought an HP laptop for my post-doc, which he uses with Linux, and it runs circles around my G4 powerbook.)
    • Re:Science? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Shisha (145964) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:03PM (#15480988) Homepage
      The platform of choice in different parts of academia used to be hugely determined by what platform have the software tools that the scientists need been written for. Since you do not say what field you're talking about, I can't possible comment on the accuracy of your statement.

      Here [apple.com] you might find a lot of very serious applications that are getting used on a daily basis. This [macresearch.org] is a quite recent initiative. But it's clear from the way Apple has incorporated distributed computing into the heart of OS X that it takes science seriously (if you have a Mac, have a look under the Sharing in System Preferences and look for Xgrid).
    • Re:Science? (Score:5, Informative)

      by tb3 (313150) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:09PM (#15481052) Homepage
      Anecdotally, I understand that Macs and OS X are popular in the biomed fields. Apple themselves have ported BLAST [apple.com] to OS X.

      Here's a huge list of all the scientific applications available, from the Apple Site: www.apple.com/science/software/ [apple.com]
      • Too bad about this [tmcnet.com] (website might try to "force" you through a survey -- clicking "submit" skipped it for me): "Linux is found to be much faster than Apple's OS X for statistical computing. And although Linux is 5 to 10 percent faster than Windows XP, both are markedly faster than OS X. For example, in one benchmark both Linux and Windows XP are more than twice as fast as OS X."

        Anecdotally, the Amiga is the most popular computer ever, and it has way more titles than the Mac and the PC combined.

        Here's a huge
    • When I was doing LIMS for large pharmaceutical R&D shops, they used Macs a lot for molecular modeling. They used ChemDraw for modeling, and JChem for looking up matching compounds in the database. Oh, and stuff from Daylight -- we used their libraries to add some capabilities to our stuff.

      This was all five or six years ago, not sure what's available now.
    • how about MATLab or Mathmatica or running python libs. I know I basically had to run some of my MATLab programs on macs at school to save time.
    • I work at a genetics research lab with about 1200 employees and there are about 500 macs on campus.
    • Re:Science? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by thebdj (768618) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @02:06PM (#15481572) Journal
      I was doing IT work once at a cancer research center. A great many of the doctors and labs used Macs instead of PCs. Some of this was simply preference because the majority of the SW was available on both platforms; however, a lot of the work some of these doctors did was also very graphical in nature. I believe that when you get into sciences that require a bit more visuals and maybe even some photo editting, you begin to see more Macs used.

      Now in the engineering world, I see a lot fewer Macs. In college, the EE labs that did not run windows were HP-UX machines running on PA-RISC processors. CIS for the longest time was running nothing but Solaris thin clients in the labs connected to some serious slow servers. They later changed to mostly windows, but a lot of the work was still done using SSH to connect to the Solaris systems.

      I can also attest that the at least a few of the stats professors as my alma mater used Sun workstations. I really think when you want number crunching power people used to lead more towards these systems because of the architectures used and maybe even the 64-bit computing. The latter isn't really an advantage anymore, since most mainstream PCs can be had with 64-bit processors. But, in the end, yes Macs do get some use...and it may be because of a Power issue as well. PPCs were a might nice processor, too bad you will soon only be able to get them in workstations and servers that make the PowerMacs look cheap.
    • Re:Science? (Score:5, Informative)

      by schwanerhill (135840) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @02:13PM (#15481629)
      I'm an astronomer, and my department and the laptop selection at conferences are both roughly a 50/50 split between Macs and Linux. (There were essentially no Macs about 5 years ago, before the advent of OS X. Some astronomers use Windows for PowerPoint, but very rarely for actual work -- most of the software we use is *nix-based.)

      I don't think Macs have much of a foothold in the life sciences (about which I know very little), but they're quite popular in the physical sciences.
    • Maybe back a decade or so, it wasn't the case, but today Macs are perfect for science. Ever since OS X, Macs have allowed for scientists to combine the two different machines that they've needed. They have a general computer to handle everyday tasks like email and writing papers. They also have a Unix workstation that runs all of the computing needs.

      Anyone know of any current Mac science applications?

      Here [apple.com] is a short list. Since OS X is Unix based, it should be easy to port any Unix based applicati

    • Re:Science? (Score:4, Informative)

      by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @02:47PM (#15481935)

      ...science? I'm not so sure. Having worked in science in academia and industry, all the work is done on PCs and a little on SGis.

      I see a lot of replies to this talking about scientific fields that have a lot of macs. I can tell you in biological sciences and biochemistry labs my girlfriend works at, most of the machines are macs and some of the big, expensive machines can only be accessed using a mac. What surprises me, though, is that no one has mentioned computer science. I work at a company that develops specialized network security devices, and over the last few years macs have gone from maybe 5% of the machines to more like 55%. For that matter, NANOG is going on right now. What percentage of the laptops there are macs, do you suppose? I don't have numbers, but I know there are a lot of them.

    • When is this that you left? If it was in the last few years, then all I can say is that you must have had an awfully narrow perspective. Macs are very big in many areas of scientific and technical work today. In particular, there is a huge difference between OS X and previous Mac systems. The Unix base of OS X has attracted large numbers of scientific and engineeering users. If your experience was pre-OSX, then it almost doesn't count; it is a different world in terms of scientific stuff.

      I'm typing this on
    • Re:Science? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by m0nstr42 (914269)
      I work in an engineering department in academia. Macs are VERY popular... lots of profs have spiffy new(ish) powerbooks with huge, beautiful widescreen flatpanels for their docking stations. For many, having MATLAB and/or Mathematica is key and they are both nicely supported in OSX. Add in great support for Latex and other document/presentation prep tools, and you're set to go.

      On a related note, there may be problems if something isn't done about the lack of ports of MATLAB/etc to run natively on the
    • try Improvision [improvision.com]. Originally Mac only though their current flagship product is PC and Mac. Apple spent their entire 2002 science marketing budget on this one product (Volocity). I don't kow how their sales break down PC/Mac wise these days, but once upon a time it was a Mac-based turnkey system with every sale. (Disclaimer: I used to work there)
  • Umm...Halo? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by penguinstorm (575341) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:38PM (#15480767) Homepage
    I guess that's why Steve made such a huge deal out of Halo at the PowerMac G4 launch. (I still curse Bill Gates for making me wait so long for that on a Mac.)

    And Myst.

    And why they featured game design prominently on a number of user examples on their home page for some time.

    Probably why they partnered with Bandai lo those many years ago to create the Pippin.

    It's a secondary market because Apple hasn't gained traction, not because Apple wants it be a secondary market.
    • by Quarters (18322) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:51PM (#15480888)
      Breakout....Super Breakout....Photoshop....
    • I'd say more importantly, if apple really wasn't interested in that "toy" appeal, why are they selling ipods to kids?

      fact is, apple will make whatever they think will sell, if mac games will help sell more macs, that's what they'll do..
      • The anti-toy thing has nothing to do with the iPod. It has to do with the initial perception that people had about GUI that it was "like a video game". "Serious users" used command line. There were even lots of people that said the Mac was "only for games". I kept hearing this over and over from idiots like John Dvorak up until Windows became popular. Since that time, I've heard the same people do nothing but dump on the Mac for not having enough games.
    • I'd say that it's more because Steve Jobs has focused the company on consumer electronics and digital life-style. In Jobs' mind, Mac users who really want to play games will simply buy consoles. I'm guessing that Jobs feels that PC gaming as a whole is on the way out, being eaten away by consoles. To him, gaming is one of those things that is best served by a dedicated device, like a console. I don't know if I agree with that viewpoint, but that's probably what he thinks.
    • Apple always has tons of excuses why they DON'T do things, right up until the day they DO THEM (then they become the greatest thing since sliced bread). I guarantee you that the *day before* Apple announced they were going with Intel, Apple would still have given you the same spill about how the PowerPC chip is SO SUPERIOR to Intel chips, and why Apple had SO WISELY decided to go with them over inferior Intel chips, etc. On the *day after* the story flipped faster than Eurasia becoming the enemy and Eastasi
  • At their peril, of course. He has a point... an iMac in its current form is not gamer friendly... even WOW friendly. A PowerMac *is* - and handles WoW quite well... but if they price it out of the reach of family's... they expose themselves for great risk!

    • by RSquaredW (969317) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:00PM (#15480960)
      The MacBook, on the other hand...

      I had a friend who IMed me last night asking if I'd been on the Battlefield 2 tracker earlier (I hadn't, was playing America's Army, but whatever), and I asked him where the heck he'd gotten a PC from. Turned out he'd bought a new macbook and was using the dual-boot/Windows for games and not much else. Battlefield 2 is a pretty graphics-heavy game, and I was interested to hear that the hardware (even on a laptop) can handle gaming well.

      At that point the question becomes: does the mac need gaming? If those who're interested in games can use the OSX for most of their work and winXP for games, does Apple even need to try to cater to that market natively? The solution my friend has appeals to me a lot (I'm currently dualing WinXP/Ubuntu, but FreeBSD-based OSX could easily take the place of the second). It really comes down to the tools-for-the-job argument, and if OSX can provide a better environment for my office (currently WinXP) and compiling (currently linux) tasks while allowing the alternative superior-for-games environment (obviously WinXP) if I want it, I think it's really a best of both worlds.
      • I'm not so sure Apple wants a setup where in a user's mind they use Apple software for the drudgery and Windows for all the fun stuff.
      • That begs the question, Will there be an increase in people using cracked copies of windows for duel boot with the belief they don't have to keep them updated.

        I prefer games that I can run native on Linux. Fortunately my favorites are available. If I used a MAC I still wouldn't buy a copy of Windows just to play games. Needless to say, the temptation would be there.

        What kinds of problems would come from MAC (and some Linux) users that choose to have an already pathetically unsecure system running in duel
        • I prefer games that I can run native on Linux. Fortunately my favorites are available. If I used a MAC...

          So not big on network games, then? Even with Linux, it would be tough to get on line without a MAC. ;)
      • I've done this for years with Windows and Linux, as have most people. My biggest annoyance (and I'm sure others' too) is that we don't want to shutdown everything we're doing in Linux to boot into Windows for a little gaming. Sometimes, I want to take a break from a game to check my mail, surf the web or check on a background downloading. If I'm booting into windows for gaming, those things that I want to do in linux become unavailable.
      • He must have been using a Macbook Pro which has an ATI x1600 just like the iMac. The Macbook and mini have Intel integrated graphics chips which would be terrible for Battlefield 2. The x1600 isn't even a very good card either, mid range cards like the Nvidia 7600GT kick the crap out of it.
    • I've been playing WoW on my BookPro for .. as long as I've had the pro. I've hit MC with a full 40man, and it ran just fine. I find it hard to believe that the iMac performs worse. Does it really?
      • The performance of the iMac is identical to (or better than) its equally-specced counterpart in the MBP line. There is evidence [hardmac.com] that the performance of the iMac is better due to underclocking on the video card.

        At their peril, of course. He has a point... an iMac in its current form is not gamer friendly... even WOW friendly. A PowerMac *is* - and handles WoW quite well... but if they price it out of the reach of family's... they expose themselves for great risk!

        Balderdash. A current-gen iMac plays WoW

    • Are you up to date on your facts? The iMacs run WoW fine. I don't have a frame rate in MC, but I heard it runs smoothly. Though I agree with you on one thing: Apple needs to create a gaming rig. If they had a 2PCIe 16x mac and one 8x slot (for an audio card) and dumped an NVIDIA 7950 or a Radeon X1900 XTX in there, they could sell it for the price of a iMac (sans display of course). And it would make a pretty kick ass gaming system. But let's not ignore the fact that no one buys a mac to play games on. It's
    • by Gropo (445879) <groopo&yahoo,com> on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:48PM (#15481405) Homepage Journal
      I regularly play WoW on a Sawtooth G4 with a dual 1.2 Ghz upgrade and AGP 2x Radeon 9000... Fail to see how a new iMac with Core Duo and X1600 PCIE is "not even WoW friendly"
  • Creative arts? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HellPhish (91069) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:49PM (#15480874) Homepage
    "The reality is that Apple has struggled for a long time to avoid the perception that Macs are toys, and so their principle emphasis is on science, small business, education, and the creative arts.

    Maybe I'm forgetting something, but isn't game design a creative art?
  • two things (Score:4, Interesting)

    by poppen_fresh (65995) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:54PM (#15480916)

    One, he talks briefly about the business decisions behind this, and then spends much of the time about how Apple "feels" about games. I don't think this plays as much of a role as he thinks. Apple is a much more business driven company than this man wants to believe.

    Two, take a look at the apple developer's main page, developer.apple.com [apple.com]. The top item for featured content is "Developing Games on Mac OS X...".

    Hrm

    • Apple is a much more business driven company than this man wants to believe.
      I think Apple is more business driven than most Apple fans want to believe, not just this one guy. Oh I forgot, the $99 leather iPod case promotes a culture of creation and life.

      Or maybe it's just gouging people because you know they'll buy it.
  • Damned stupid. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kneeslasher (878676) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:01PM (#15480973) Homepage
    That has to be one of the silliest articles I have ever read.

    The author waxes lyrical on how games personify "power" and "death" and "destruction" (and later mentions how Apple likes "control" by the way). He also states how an instrument of this "power" (the US military) is "wedded" to Windows.

    It seems to me as if the author is vastly over-rating the Apple's "ethical" stance on its products. Does anyone for a moment believe that if the US military gave Apple an exclusive contract to, say, supply the servers for, to take a silly example, America's Army, that Apple wouldn't snap it up? "Sorry Mr Army Guy, we have to turn down your $50 million deal because, uh, we don't like 'power' and 'death'."?

    Apple *should* concentrate on the games market: it is a given that a large percentage of Mac users like to play games. If they need to keep a Windows beige box handy (or, these days, reboot), isn't that axiomatically a detriment towards the concept of Apple providing an end-to-end solution to a user's needs?

    Occam's razor suggests that the reason Apple doesn't concentrate on games has been that traditionally, with a different CPU architecture and a fraction of the market, it simply wasn't worth the effort to woo game developers to do a difficult task for which the results would be mediocre at best. Add to that the lagging speeds and specs of Apple's consumer level offerings (I refer to the G4 based systems), Apple's actually *couldn't* play fashionable games that well. And emulation was a nightmare as regards speed.

    Mr Jobs announced that OS X had been running on Intel for five years previous to the unveiling of Mac OS X for x86. So if Apple *knew* it had an Intel version under the hood, why would it spend any effort at all persuading game developers to write, or port to PowerPC? Only to shaft them later by announcing OSX86?

    I suggest we wait and see. Now that the biggest hardware block has been removed, there should be no reason why fashionable games do not become available on the Mac.
    • It seems to me as if the author is vastly over-rating the Apple's "ethical" stance on its products. Does anyone for a moment believe that if the US military gave Apple an exclusive contract to, say, supply the servers for, to take a silly example, America's Army, that Apple wouldn't snap it up?

      Apple does focus a lot on marketing, more so than most companies. They try hard to control the public perception of their product as a sales tool. This is not the same thing as ethics. Apple does and for a long tim

    • by artemis67 (93453) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @02:29PM (#15481769)
      You're absolutely right about that.

      There's no evidence that Apple, today, is worried about the Mac being perceived as a toy.

      Back in 1984, yes, Steve Jobs was worried about his revolutionary graphical-based system being perceived as a toy, and was famously anti-games at the time (Jobs, himself, does not play computer games). You had to file an application with Apple in order to purchase the Mac software development tools, and include a description of the application(s) you were going to write; and if you said that you were planning to write a game, your application simply did not get approved.

      Fast forward about two decades, and you see that Apple and Jobs have no such biases anymore. I remember when Jobs called out John Carmack to demo Quake III at a Macworld keynote, and games have been featured prominently on Apple's website from time to time. Apple has even kept the graphics cards in their systems fairly current over the last seven or eight years.

      The problem is not Apple; the problem is that, in the realm of games development, Apple is completely at the mercy of third-party developers to write games for the Mac. And given that the Mac only has around 4% marketshare (give or take), 99.999% of all games get written for Windows first, and very, very few are ported over. Mac-first and Mac-only games are almost non-existent. That's the reality of the marketplace, so it doesn't really make sense for Apple to throw a ton of money at game development when NOBODY buys a Mac to plays games.

      I'm absolutely positive that Apple would LOVE to be known as a serious gaming company. Gamers spend BIG BUCKS on their hardware. Maybe now that Apple is selling x86 boxes you'll start to see more emphasis from Apple on gaming hardware, for those gamers that want to dual-boot, but it will never be a primary market for them unless Apple dumps OS X altogether (which ain't happenin).
      • I'm absolutely positive that Apple would LOVE to be known as a serious gaming company. Gamers spend BIG BUCKS on their hardware. Maybe now that Apple is selling x86 boxes you'll start to see more emphasis from Apple on gaming hardware, for those gamers that want to dual-boot, but it will never be a primary market for them unless Apple dumps OS X altogether (which ain't happenin).

        The article itself is pretty silly, but... while I agree Apple probably would love to be a serious gaming company, Apple, unli

  • by wbren (682133) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:02PM (#15480982) Homepage
    First of all, regardless of whether he worked at Apple or not, he read into some decisions the company has made way too much. Trying to rationalize unrelated business moves by fitting them to an anti-gaming philosophy is just ridiculous. I think developer support just isn't there for the Mac. Why isn't it there? Market share. Case closed. I don't think there's some vast conspiracy centering around Steve Jobs and his "concerns about some components of the military and its leadership."

    Second, I thought the following was funny:

    Computer games, as we've come to know them, are mostly (not always) about aggressive behavior, conflict, battle, wars of power, domination, and sometimes, in the worst cases, some very unwelcome social behavior. To put it bluntly, death and destruction. Apple's public culture appears to celebrate, on the other hand, creation and life. When you have several hundred senior managers at Apple who are most likely married and typically have children, you'll find a culture of affirmation, family, and life.

    All games have conflict, even the simplest childrens games. As much as we hate to hear this, the executives at Microsoft are not hedonistic killing machines bent on destruction (OK, except Ballmer if there's a chair around). Heck some of them might even have wives and children, just like those Apple managers who support a "culture of affirmation", whatever that means. I seriously doubt aggressive game content is the reason Apple sucks at games. Suggesting that Apple users want to live on a higher plane of existence where there's not "unwelcome social behavior" or aggression is why non-Mac users get ticked off at you guys.

    Finally, Apple likes control. They need and love to manage and control the image of their company. If Apple computers were to become the darling of the gaming industry, then the natural evolution of the worst driving out the best would infect their culture.

    If your corporate message can be severely tainted by a video game, you've got bigger problems. When I'm fragging people in UT on my Windows PC, I don't often forget that Microsoft is pushing Office/Vista/World Domination. In fact, I like Windows more because I can play my killing game, my educational/puzzle games, do my word processing, surf the web, etc. I think that's promoting more of a "culture of creation and life" than Apple does by trying to shove their philosophy down people's throats while making it appear trendy.

    So Apple doesn't mind supporting game developers, but they just don't want to let outrageous success in gaming cause them to lose control of the Apple message.
    And one more "we're better than you" for the road.
    • Market share. Case closed.

      You know, everything is the fault of market share. The computer crashes. Market share. The toilet stops up. Market share. A bird poops on your car. 911, uh, market share.

      The reality is that most people that want to play games can easily afford a mac and a pc and a console. Mac home users, unlike PC users, tend not to be people who were looking for the cheapest deal, but wanted a Mac for a specific purpose. The purpose is often not games. This is different from a kid w

  • Fatuous connection (Score:5, Interesting)

    by anaesthetica (596507) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:03PM (#15480989) Homepage Journal

    This article is just dumb. The author strains to make some sort of connection between gaming and the military-industrial complex, as if not gaming is somehow a "principled" stance against the Pentagon. There's no evidence that Apple specifically avoids gaming. Trotting out the pictures of children in iMovie demos does not count as some sort of evidence that Apple is shaking its fist at a perceived war machine. *Every company* on earth uses pictures of cute children in its advertising. Case-in-point: Lockheed and Boeing and Raytheon use pictures of children in their advertising.

    The reality of the situation is that Apple knows its user demographics, it understands the gaming industry, and wasn't going to waste its time promoting something that wasn't going to happen. Apple doesn't sell to hardcore gamers. Apples ran on non-standard hardware using Apple's unique application environments and only had 2-3% market share--no gaming company was going to waste its time with Apple, and Apple wasn't going to waste its time on games. End of story.

    This guy is reaching hard for something that's not there, most likely reflecting his own personal biases rather than any insight into Apple's behavior. If Apple wanted to be in gaming, and the market would support Apple being in gaming, they could easily take a position like Nintendo (avoiding gore and focusing on writing as many kid appropriate games as they could).

    Gaming != support for military. Moderate article -1 Troll.

    • by wbren (682133)
      Lockheed and Boeing and Raytheon use pictures of children in their advertising.
      But those are all family companies that only make products to help mankind, and... Doh! Looks like I've fallen victim to clever marketing again!
    • "no gaming company was going to waste its time with Apple, and Apple wasn't going to waste its time on games. End of story."

      Overly generalized given that there ARE gaming companies making money on mac gaming, some of which are mentioned in the article (and I'll add SOE to that list). While it is true that most gaming companies apparently can't justify the cost for the return, some certainly can and do.
  • by Nicolay77 (258497) <nicolay...g@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:20PM (#15481144) Homepage
    In fact, Apple had this gaming image that was negative for their bussiness. (See the last paragraph of this [folklore.org])
    It was in the times of the Amiga. So they fought hard to avoid being seen in the gaming space.

    However, since the times of Doom and Quake (ten years ago), there was a big hardware demand for gaming pcs, and being seen as a gaming platform would have helped sales.

    Even now, one of the main buying concerns is "would this computer run my favorite games?".

    The lack of games for the mac is more about the game developers not wanting to invest in a small market (they are even going out of the PC market because console sales are so much bigger), than anything Apple had done recently about games.

    So, that article is outdated by about 15 years.
  • Moral high-road? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nsmike (920396) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:22PM (#15481161)
    Sorry, but this article is pure drivel. Since when does being less popular and prevalent in the market equal moral standards? Apple is no different than any other corporation. Give them money and they're happy. The real reason Apple doesn't dive into the gaming market is because Apples don't offer any drastic advantages over PCs in that arena, and until they do, Apple doesn't have enough market share to get the big business of gaming interested in developing a game solely for Macs.

    Game Publisher: "Hmm... I can get hundreds of millions by releasing this on PC, or I may hit two or three million by going for the Mac market."

    No brainer there.
    • Sorry, but this article is pure drivel.

      Agreed.

      The real reason Apple doesn't dive into the gaming market is because Apples don't offer any drastic advantages over PCs in that arena, and until they do, Apple doesn't have enough market share to get the big business of gaming interested in developing a game solely for Macs.

      Apple, until recently, would need to make a huge investment to get gaming on the mac equal to gaming on the PC. This would be either building dev tools that made games for mac and PC

  • Minority group (Score:5, Insightful)

    by boyfaceddog (788041) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:28PM (#15481208) Journal
    I know this is hard for all of us to remember, but people who buy PCs to play games on do so because the PC is a multi-function device (email, surfing, recipes, taxes, accounts, etc). Many /.ers buy or build PCs just for gaming and $2000 for a game-machine is not a big deal. This is not true of the majority of PC game players.

    I would guess from my exposure to Macs over the years, that most Macs high-end (game friendly) macs are purchased as single-use items for money-making purposes, and low-end macs are purchased for family members of high-end mac users OR because someone somewhere demended a mac for a specific use (University IT depts, school boards, etc).

    For the rest of us caught in between high-end mac users and high-end PC gamers, there are the consoles. Consoles provide the high-end game machine without having to justify buying TurboTax to run on it.

    We have seen the minority and they is us.
  • by PhoenixOne (674466) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:29PM (#15481221)
    The "Mac isn't a toy" idea may have been true in the 1980s, but then Apple tried Pippin and Game Sprockets.

    IMHO, Apple wouldn't mind having a game market but, unlike Microsoft, they are not willing to suffer to get it. The first 2-3 versions of DirectX sucked! The first version of Game Sprockets made more sense than DX3. But Apple gave up when large numbers of game developers didn't immediately switch to Sprockets.

    I think now Apple would rather fight for markets that it sees open (i.e. the ones Microsoft doesn't own yet).

  • Jerk stole my post (Score:5, Insightful)

    by objekt (232270) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:33PM (#15481264) Homepage
    From the day before on /.
    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=187341&cid=154 64790 [slashdot.org]

    "Macs are OK for games... ...but when you REALLY want to do some serious work, you need an IBM PC!"

    That's what Apple was afraid of hearing back in the '80s an what lead them to ignoring the games market.


    He took that and fluffed it out into a complete article! :P
  • Different fun? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Octos (68453) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:49PM (#15481424) Homepage
    if you look at the software that comes with a Mac, you get the picture that Mac users might have a different use for their computers than just blowing things up. Instead of playing games they make moives, take photos, compose music, or podcast for fun.

    The no-games cry also applies only to the latest 3D monster games. Nobody complains that they can't play Bejeweled on a Mac; because they can do it just fine. There are tons of great, fun games for the Mac. They just aren't the ones that get all the buzz from the hardcore crowd.
    • Re:Different fun? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by halfcuban (972832)

      if you look at the software that comes with a Mac, you get the picture that Mac users might have a different use for their computers than just blowing things up. Instead of playing games they make moives, take photos, compose music, or podcast for fun.

      Well what do you know, I run Linux, and I don't use it to just write Perl scripts! I use it for the exact same reasons you said. Except I'm not locked into ridiculous underperforming hardware. You mean the games that sell hundreds of thousands of copies? Th

  • Is this guy serious? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by halfcuban (972832) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:51PM (#15481438)
    Gaming isn't part of Apple's "grown up" image? You mean the same grown up image that has one actor making fun of another actor whose labelled as a PC? The same image that has dancing silouettes to the latest "hip" music? Are we honestly talking about the same company here?

    2. The "Get a Mac" ads say something subtle about power. Recall what I said previously about the two actors representing the computer, not the user. There is some additional, subtle symbolism in those ads that says something about Apple's public (not internal) image of power. The PC, who wears a suit, is the computer that's used as an instrument of power. Having been in federal sales, I can tell you that the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy have embraced Microsoft almost completely. [1] The PC can be taken as an instrument of willfulness and power that shouldn't be but often is abused in that role.


    Of course it says something about the users. PC users are boring and staid, and Apple users talk to cute Japanese girls. I also like the subtle hint that Apple's public message is not about power, but its internal dynamic, driven by mini-tyrant Steve Jobs, is all about command and control.

    Remember, it's not in Apple's culture to hold people back. They create insanely great tools for people to build whatever their imagination can conjure up. In addition, Apple could try to build the greatest game machine on earth. Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI) built those kinds of expensive graphics toys for years. Today, they are in bankruptcy.


    This guy is absurd. SGI? SGI got into the spot it did because of shoddy and delayed execution of their transition from their MIPS processor line to Itanium, as well as the general loss of proprietary market of IRIX to Linux. SGI did not build gaming rigs. Alienware does. And last time I checked, Alienware seemed to be doing well enough to get bought out by Dell. So much for "bankruptcy".

    So Apple doesn't mind supporting game developers, but they just don't want to let outrageous success in gaming cause them to lose control of the Apple message.


    This line is a hoot. Time and time again Apple fan(atics) claim that the reason Apple isn't in x,y,z market is because they're simply too good for it. You really have to question ones investment in a company (and a number of people here have mentioned they own stock in the company) that willfully turns down markets because they're too good for them.

    And for the piece de resistance.

    Rather than complain, this should be taken as an outward sign of Apple's most serious branding intentions:


    Don't complain about Apple selling you underpowered, underwhelming computers, but rather realize how the overpriced MacGuffin you just bought is all about the "branding intentions".
  • Way wrong. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @02:31PM (#15481796)
    Apple doesn't want people to perceive their products as toys??????

    WTF?

    Apple's turnaround began when Steve Jobs came back and release colourful bubble computers called iMac's. These cheesy plastic CRT monitors with embedded Mac's kept Apple from bankruptcy and enabled Apple to develop another entertianment device, the iPod.

    Apple followed up with release those clam shell iBook's.

    Apple has always had both a Pro line and consumer line of computers. Their G4 PowerMacs were aimed to be clearly professional products ( complete with a professional look and feel along with a professional price tag), but those makes aimed at the average home user were typically colorful and aimed at entertainment.

    I don't believe for an instant that Apple perceives themselves as professional level consumer goods and want a reputation for being serious computers. This is the kind of arrogance that Apple fanatics seem to impose on the company.

    Currently, Apple has been heavily focused on sleek style, putting computers into the smallest or thinnest possible cases and their color scheme has been metal, white or black. But, simply put, Apple's current focus it to try and market the FUN side of Apple, as those "I am a PC, I am a Mac" commercials are clearly showing. Apple wants you to use your Mac for entertainment value, such as music, movies, video, etc, etc, etc.

    The reason why Apple doesn't get into gaming is the kind of dichotomy that has kept this company from reaching TRUE success. Its my fundamental believe that aside from Wanting to be a successful computer company, I think Apple is afraid to be too successful.

    Apple has shown time and time again that they have the ability to release a product that everybody wants. But, how is it that Apple only hat 5% of the desktop market? With a superior OS and formerly superior hardware (sorry, Apple's Intel based computers are just fancy PC's, they are not better, just better looking), Apple never was able to capture more then 5% of the market from Wintel. I think for all the marketing hype and grandstanding and Steve Job's whipping Apple fanatics into a frenzy of lust every MacWorld event, Apple doesn't want to be #1 in the computer market. It will mean they will have to move from being a relatively small, personal and committed computer company to some large, aimless and impersonal monstrosity like Microsoft or Dell.

    In the end, all Apple has to do to succeed is to simply listen to their consumers. A product developer at Apple need only to launch MacRumors.com or ThinkSecret and find out what people WANT out of Apple. But this is where Apple allows too much of Steve Job's arrogance to affect the company. Steve Jobs doesn't like PDA's, so Apple doesn't have a PDA, yet consumers are screaming for an Apple PDA/Cellphone. Steve Jobs doesn't like Home Theater PC's, yet consumers are screaming for a set-top all-in-wonder box to be the center of their multimedia universe. Steve Jobs apparently thinks gaming is a fad because Apple hasn't focused on gaming, period.

    Its Steve Jobs' arrogance the prevents the company from becoming the success that consumers want Apple to become. I mean, it would take nothing for Apple to dominate in gaming. Because Mac's only come with a few video cards and hand picked hardware, game makers for Mac's could focus on bringing game console like performance to the Mac platform. When you consider that the Xbox is an Intel CPU with an nVidia video card, what the heck is the iMac? A PC with a considerably more powerful Intel CPU and nVidia video card then the Xbox. The iMac would kick the Xbox's ass if Apple focused some of its time in making the Mac an excellent gaming platform.

    Combine kick ass gaming on a semi-dedicated gaming platform along with all the rest of the bell's and whistles that a Mac can offer, and you would start to see the tide turn in Apple's direction.

    The fact that Apple doesn't focus on gaming despite wanting to be an entertainment-centric platform just boasts
  • Just the facts... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by multimediavt (965608) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @06:35PM (#15483666)
    First, it's not "just one man's opinion". The article is based on the realities of Apple's corporate vision and strategy. It's not about what John believes is true, it's about what John has observed to be true working for Apple.

    Second, what he is stating isn't an argument. He's not challenging anything nor stating a divergent or opposing view to why Apple is not that interested in gaming, or the gaming market.

    Third, if you think it's an opinion or argumentative in any way, then you are totally clueless about Apple as a corporation and should not comment at all.

    Finally, if rumors are true, Apple may be making an experimental "foray", if you will, into the gaming market with an upcoming set of products, and Mac OS X improvements. I can assure you that it's an experiment at best and if sales (and developers) don't increase with the foray, it will die a very quick and painless death.

    Apple is about creating tools, not toys. Yes, this is contrary to popular opinion-an opinion that Apple has had little success in reshaping-but it is, nevertheless, true. Apple's computers, for some mind boggling reason, have never been accepted as "real computers" because they weren't user customizable, nor able to have games played on them. Well, that's because they designed them to be tools, not toys! The unfortunate reality is that a majority of society's first entree into the computer world is buying a PC to play games on. I find this sad that someone would plunk down hundreds if not thousands of dollars for a tool only to use it as a distraction from reality; a complete and total time sink. When you stop and take a good hard look at it, it's really pathetic. I can't think of a similar purchase or endeavor to relate it to, it's that stupefying to me.

    Sure, when I was eight, the initial thing that attracted me to a computer was the games, but as soon as I learned about programming (which was also at age eight) and the ability to create applications for utility purposes, science, etc., that initial attraction immediately turned into admiration of the tool.

    Computers have the ability to change the world at the will of man. They can be used to create or discover things that man would take centuries to create or discover on his own, if ever. Sure, I will occasionally play a computer game, but I don't spend a lot of time doing so. I'd much rather be using it to create than to pretend. THAT'S an opinion. Feel free to argue with it all you want.
  • by autophile (640621) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @07:20PM (#15483939)
    We have cool games, like... Final Cut? And... Photoshop?

    --Rob

  • Mac Observer is running a piece by John Martellaro looking at why Apple isn't into gaming [CC]. It's just one man's opinion, but he makes some interesting arguments.

    Maybe game designers don't see any reason for them to even investigate putting their efforts into releasing games for macs with people always talking about how hostile Apple is to game developers over [slashdot.org] and over [slashdot.org] again?
  • "If a market doesn't appear on Apple's main page tab, you can be sure it's a secondary market."

    Oh, obviously.
    http://www.apple.com/games/ [apple.com]
  • If you got the Apple software page there is no info on games. [apple.com]
    Makes the ad were the Mac Slacker says PCs are no Fun seem like a Blatant Lie !!

If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were standing on my shoulders. -- Hal Abelson

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