Xbox Founder Says Apple Could Easily Destroy Microsoft’s Xbox If It Wants

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Even though Tim Cook and Apple say that the Apple TV is really just a hobby right now, people are scared of it. Intel’s launching a competing product later this year. Samsung’s rushing to get more content on their SmartTVs, and Microsoft and Sony are probably going to announce new consoles this year that will appeal to casual users.

Apple TV really doesn’t do a lot right now other than streaming movies and music to your TV, but it has the potential to become a killer product. Xbox’s founder, Nat Brown recognizes the power of Apple TV and says that if Apple wanted to, it could easily destroy the Xbox, Playstation, and Wii U.

In a recent blog post, Brown cited numerous problems with the Xbox which open the door for Apple to come in and destroy it. Namely, Brown thinks the UI sucks, and Microsoft hasn’t catered to indie developers. You can’t write a game for Xbox using your PC and $100 worth of tools, but you can for iOS.

Apple’s embraced indie developers and given them a place to earn some cash even though they don’t have the development power of huge game studios. In Brown’s eyes, that’s a dangerous weapon Apple could use against the console gaming industry.

Apple, if it chooses to do so, will simply kill Playstation, Wii-U and xBox by introducing an open 30%-cut app/game ecosystem for Apple-TV. I already make a lot of money on iOS – I will be the first to write apps for Apple-TV when I can, and I know I’ll make money. I would for xBox if I could and I knew I would make money.

There are a couple of ways Apple could morph the Apple TV into a gaming platform. They could just stream gameplay from iPads and iPhones to your TV over AirPlay like they do now and add some advanced features. Another scenario is if Apple added some extra hardware to the Apple TV to make it more powerful. Of course that’d cost a bit more money for consumers, but it might be worth it, says Brown.

Maybe a ‘console-capable’ Apple-TV isn’t $99, maybe it’s $199, and add another $79 for a controller. The current numbers already say a lot, even with Apple-TV not already an open console: 5.3M sold units in 2012, 90% year-over-year growth — vs. xBox 360 — about 9M units in 2012, 60% YoY decline.

Even though Xbox was originally designed to be a trojan horse for the living room, where Microsoft could eventually offer customers more hardware, better software, and rich content, the company has been more inclined to coast on their past successes rather than continue innovating and expanding the platform through exclusive content deals and indie game development. And if the Father of the Xbox is right, it’s probably going to cost them in the long run.

Brown’s blog post goes into more depth of why Xbox is failing, and it’s an interesting read. You can get the full run down right here.

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  • Aidan Taylor

    I highly doubt they can destroy it, look at the xbox user base.

  • bdkennedy

    Would I listen you you or the guy that invented the XBox?

    I highly doubt they can destroy it, look at the xbox user base.

  • technochick

    I highly doubt they can destroy it, look at the xbox user base.

    Much of that user base is non to pleased with the hardware or MS flip attitude towards quality control that led to a year or so of almost 90% of units failing in 3 months and being replaced with the same units and failures.

    If Apple added better hardware to the Apple TV and the iOS devices (especially wifi support including ad hoc nets) , fine tuned the SDKs for Airplay and controller modes and so on they might be able to lure more game developers to port games from systems like playstation, xbox etc. and the user base could jump for it. I know a lot of folks that would happily pay as much as $9.99 a pop for the classic Nintendo games like Super Mario Bros 1-3 and Donkey Kong. And even more for the more sophisticated games.

  • joewaylo

    Apple would have to Kinect their way to destroying the XBOX before I’d believe it. So far I still need the XBOX Kinect for fitness reasons.

  • daov2a

    I agree that if Apple came out with a machine that beat the Xbox’s specs tomorrow, this could happen. If Microsoft does not update their console quick, they are in danger. They need to put a rush on this. As it stands, they are vulnerable.

About the author

Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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