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Can Apple TV Compete as a Gaming Console?


Sony and Microsoft probably don't have to worry too much -- yet.

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A reader asks the following:

Do you think Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) TV has potential as a video-game console? That market is ready for something new and different, and Apple could innovate the same way it did with the iPhone and iPad.

In response to that question: Apple TV absolutely, positively has potential as a video-game console, and I expect the next version to have some kind of gaming component.

Judging by the performance of the iPhone 5S and iPad Air, Apple is making big leaps in its semiconductor design prowess.

And's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Fire TV, which is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon processor, shows the potential of slapping some real horsepower into one of these tiny $99 boxes.

But the real question is, what kind of console can Apple TV be?

Clearly, Apple TV has potential as a "casual" gaming console.

The hardware power is clearly there, and it's a logical extension in functionality.

Adding gaming to Apple TV is also yet one more way to sell content from Apple's iTunes/App Store walled garden.

But it will not be a hard-core console like the Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox One and Sony (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation 4.

Apple just can't offer the same experience. Microsoft and Sony still have big advantages in hardware capabilities and breadth of core gaming titles, as well as loyal fan followings used to a certain type of experience.

If Apple puts out an Apple TV with a quantum leap in graphics processing and storage capacity, a serious controller, and deals with publishers to get full versions of big-name titles, then we can talk.

But Microsoft and Sony don't have much to worry about just yet.

Twitter: @MichaelComeau

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