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Apple is making a console

Analysis Hired the XBox360 team, add iTunes.....
Tue May 05 2009, 18:08

IT NEVER CEASES TO AMAZE how dense reporters can be. Apple hires the technical brain trust behind the XBox 360 and the conclusion is the firm are making an iphone?

Let's backpedal. Apple grabbed Bob Drebin, Raja Koduri, PA Semi, Mark Papermaster, a few games guys, and undoubtedly many others we didn't hear of. That gives them the ATI ex-CTO, also ex-ArtX, makers of the Nintendo GPUs forever, and another ATI 'big thinker'. Lets just say they have the GPU side down there.

PA Semi has several low-power, high-performance modular PowerPC chips on the market now. They are basically SoCs, just slap in a GPU (see last paragraph) and you have - wait for it - a console.

To have a successful console, you need software people. If you are going to do it in a sane way, you might want a robust digital delivery and payment system. Something that looks a lot like itunes. They could build it, but they already own it. See a product coming coming into focus yet?

Given the timelines needed for making a console, especially given that the hard parts are already done, could be under years. That would beat every one of the big boys to the next generation. As Nintendo has shown, you don't need killer specs to make a fun and generation leading console.

The fanbois will work themselves into a lather over this one, a pedestrian game console from the Messiah? Will it still be white and reassuringly expensive? They, of course, won't believe it until the Dear Leader himself, back from hormone surgery, waves one about on stage - atill, who cares about them?

Analysts will cry "phone", but none of these new hires has phone experience - and Apple has most decidedly not been hiring phone/RF folk. It makes no sense for them to jump into phone chip waters, from the myriad frequencies, patent minefields, and obtuse world-wide regulations, it isn't worth it. You can buy those parts on the commodity market, so why make them? Apple also hired PPC people, not ARM, that in and of itself should be telling.

In the end, the course is clear. There have been a lot of whispers floating around the valley regarding Apple and consoles. Take a hugely underrated Mac Mini or Apple TV, throw in a low power PPC SoC with a solid GPU, fire up itunes, and you have a console. Not only that, but one that snakes the living room out from under MS. If you recall, that is the very reason they developed the 360, to block Sony from owning that nexus.

If you can't put the dots together on this one, you really need to have your internet licence revoked, you are too blind to surf. It is not a question of if but when at this point. µ



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