Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Apple Got Game...!?!

Apple should merge with Nintendo.

I'm serious...they should really do it. According to a recent article on Ars Technica, Apple has always wanted to get into the gaming market. They never were never the favorite of PC gamers in the 90s and 2000s (most of whom preferred Windows machines to play Minecraft), and seemed to always miss the boat when looking at gaming acquisitions.

Although the above article does a great job describing Apple's gaming missteps, I am not sure if, in the past, Apple ever had the core gaming users and ability to cheaply mass produce the way Microsoft did in the early days of the XBox. I think if Apple had released a system in the early 'ots, it probably would have flopped like the Apple Bandai Pippen, released in 1995 (pictured above).

My proposed merger would result in Apple getting Nintendo's massive backlog of gaming software, which never hurts in mobile competition (as I see it, there's little reason that Nintendo shouldn't offer iOS versions of their obsolete yet still wildly popular gaming titles...if only either company would read the thousands of hand-written letters I've sent them...), but the real coup for Nintendo is the opportunity to force the Apple TV into an already widely used product. I'm sure they can spare some of the $50 billion in cash they have up in their safe room in Cupertino, Calif to buy the Japanese based gaming company.  Having a robust general entertainment device might be the lynch pin for Apple's continual push towards full cloud-computing. 

From the Nintendo perspective, one of the constant complaints about the Wii is that the home screen software and web surfing software stinks. As it happens, simple home software design and web integration is Apple's strongest quality. Look no further than the simplicity and wonder of the Apple iPhone (which makes the Android software seem like rocket science in comparison) to see their true mastery.

Looking into the potential future of NintApple, I see a world where my Mi (the Wii personality that you build for yourself) is stored on my iPhone for use on any Wii I play.  I also see an even brighter opportunity to allow the iPhone (with some kind of hardware attachment/special case with the right buttons etc...) to be used as a full WiMote. 

Even if a merger is out of the question, I think both companies should strongly consider a strategic partnership; as in Apple gives Nintendo some new software (which includes the iTunes store and other Apple TV mainstays) and Nintendo licenses their catalog to Apple. 

In other Apple related news, the company won the patent for glasses-free 3D TV technology that uses a camera (akin to Microsoft Kinnect) to determine the position of user's eyes. With rumors of their acquisition of Sony afloat, Apple could be planning a technology coup, plunging themselves into the TV hardware market (by axquiring a staple company and introducing a revolutionary product).

This may just be me, but as a lifelong Apple user, I see them applying the 3D technology to personal computers (and maybe even mobile devices) before anything else. All of their monitors and screens have front facing cameras (save for the iPod touch and iPad...for now). By the way, Nintendo, as it turns out, is a new leader in the 3D tech business...just wait till you see the new DS in action!

Rumor spreading and inane Apple ramblings aside, I think it's clear that the largest technology company in the world isn't just going to sit on their cash. They also are not going to go back to business as usual and just keep updating their current products. They know they surged to their current market dominance by creating incredibly innovative, easy-to-use products with mass appeal.