Apple Gaming Console | Apple Bandai Pippin

Apple Gaming Console - Apple Bandai Pippin

What does a game console mean?

The gaming console is a specialized computer system. Specifically made for playing video games by connecting to a TV or other display for video and sound. Video game consoles are usually powered by different operating systems and CPUs than desktop computers.

The console is under the control of the respective manufacturers and the software is tailored to the capabilities of the machine. Software publishers may develop games for a single platform, but they may not share games with other game consoles or desktop computers.

Apple also has tried to launch gaming consoles before.

Apple is the largest tech company in the world. There are several product categories like smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, wireless headphones ,etc. But Apple does not create any modern gaming console.

The first Apple gaming console – Apple Bandai Pippin

Apple tried once to make a gaming console. They created a gaming console in the mid-90s. The first Apple gaming console is the 'Apple Bandai Pippin' and is a fifth-generation product.

  • Released in 1996.
  • Discontinued in 1997.
  • The introductory price was US$599.
  • The operating system is Mac OS.
  • The number of units sold is 42,000.
Apple Bandai Pippin - First Apple gaming console.
Source: macworld.co.uk

Unfortunately, it turned out to be a huge defeat. Pippin was one of the first devices in the world with internet connectivity. It comes with a very unique boomerang-shaped controller and it was even a wireless version of it available.

'Apple Jack' is the controller of the pippin. The controller has a trackball in the middle. This controller never works for FPS.

'Apple Jack' of the Pippin - First Apple gaming console.
Source: businessinsider.com

Piping runs on Mac 7, the operating system that underpinned Apple's Mac computers, and was generally based on Macs at the time. Everything you need, including the operating system, was included in the game CDs. This was a really good thing. This means that developers do not have to worry about optimizing their games for a specific version of the operating system that Pippin runs on.

game CD - First Apple gaming console
Source: businessinsider.com

One of the ways Pipin stands out from its competitors is that its game discs are not regionally specific. You can buy a game in Japan and play in your piping in the US and that was a big deal at the time.

The Pippin was also compatible with both the PAL and NTSC television standards, which meant you could connect it to pretty much any TV in the world. It even had a VGA port if you wanted to plug it into a computer monitor.

Why does pippin fail?

When gaming console was released by Apple in 1996 and discontinued the following year, Apple sold only 42000 units. By comparison, when the N64 game console was launched in 1996, Nintendo sold between 350,000 and 500,000 units in its first three days. So it was a huge defeat for Apple.

When comparison, Pippin was very expensive. When Pippin launched, it was priced at US$599. Which in today's money is the equivalent of US%1200. In contrast, the original PlayStation cost was US$300 and the N64 cost was US$200. Its high cost was one of the reasons it failed.

Why Apple can't and won't enter the gaming market?

Apple is not targeting gamers. Apple's audience is the average user (more than the average budget), which means that their devices focus on the reliability of everyday use and tasks such as web browsing, streaming, and document creation. At their top-level (MacPro, MacBook Pro) Apple focuses on designers and music producers. Especially when the market is already saturated, Apple has no reason to divert resources to move to a new market.

For a game console to be successful, it must have the games available on the platform of the console.

Windows, Xbox, PlayStation, and anything that Nintendo calls its console to have a long reputation. A new machine coming on the market faces almost impossible difficulties.

If anyone was positioned to successfully enter the gambling market it was a valve and even they could not do it.

Why should Apple make a gaming console?

Apple has several product categories as mentioned previously. Also, they are selling games on the Apple app store. They earn a lot of money from it. So, they can easily turn it into a gaming console.

Some of the games in the Apple stores are using the Apple TV to airplay part of the game to the TV and then use iPhones or iPad as a controller. If Apple makes a gaming console, they will need to make an actual controller for it. Because most people want to play with the controller and they want to use a touch screen. If Apple makes a controller, it is probably gonna be a nice controller.

There are various rumors that Apple is trying to introduce a new gaming console to the market.

Visit the previous tutorial about iPhone X vs XR Comparison.

Author of Get Basic Idea - Knowledge Base / Undergraduate - Faculty of Information Technology | University of Moratuwa.

Gayani Nishadika

Author of Get Basic Idea - Knowledge Base / Undergraduate - Faculty of Information Technology | University of Moratuwa.

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