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Thursday, July 26, 2007
Apple And The Gaming Frontier
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 7 comments

A recent Business Week editorial revists the time honored pastime of speculating on Apple's perceived lack of focus on gaming. The article features comments from EA's Bing Gordon about the company's potential in the gaming market and Steve Jobs' disinterest with all things game related.

Bing Gordon, the co-founder of Electronic Arts, suggests that its been hard for gaming to make it to the top of that to do list, given Jobs' personal lack of personal passion for the topic. In an interview I did with Gordon for our story on the Apple ecosystem, he posited that Jobs has always been too consumed with pioneering new industries to waste hours in front of a video console or PC game. That view still informs Jobs' view of the world--and therefore Apple's, he figures. “Steve has always had other fish to fry. It’s pretty hard to get achievement-oriented CEOs who didn’t grow up gaming to take it seriously," says Gordon. He notes that even at Microsoft it "took a bunch of lunatics a long time to get Gates and Ballmer to take it seriously. It took a revolution.”

I didn't ask Gordon if he thought Apple would ever create its own console. But he does expect to see Apple to gradually emphasize the gaming potential of its existing platforms. One milestone came last year, when Apple announced some downloadable games for the iPod. “That was the first time a top Apple executive executive had said anything about the game market in 18 years.” Now, improvements in Leopard, not to mention the familiar Intel-based hardware, are making the Mac are far better, more cost-effective platform for game developers. Says Gordon, "The first step [for Apple to attack the gaming market] was to take the Mac out of the dunce corner," he says. Now, Apple has to attract some exclusive games and buck up customer support for gamers. And he expects Apple to introduce gaming to the iPhone, as well--but only gradually. "This will be more like [turning up] a dimmer than flipping a light switch. It won't be like the launch of the Xbox 360."
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Business Week: The Gaming Frontier?

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