A Google Gaming Console? It’s Madness!

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Bubbling up in today’s news stream is a report that Google wants to get into the game console business and that Apple may too.

In a column earlier this week I concluded that unless a big spender willing to throw money away comes along, nothing will change. It’s a duopoly. That is, unless you think the business can be sustained by the Angry Birds franchise.

Let’s dissect some of these developments. To begin, the Google threat is a rumor. If it becomes more than a rumor it will become a pipe dream.

Both Google and Apple should be doing the logical thing: turn the tablet into a game machine. The idea is to sell tablets. What is the point of adding a game console unless it is nothing more than an HDTV interface?

The Nintendo Wii U comes with a small, dedicated tablet on which you can actually play a game without a TV or screen. I’m sure this attracted the attention of the folks at Google and Apple.

But instead of copying Nintendo while competing with Xbox and PlayStation, both Apple and Google should be sponsoring some development work designed to create a killer tablet-based game. This is where the future lies, not in clunky game consoles that many people only use for Netflix.

Also, does anyone think that Google and Apple are serious? Are these companies sincere or are they just scrambling for something to make it look as if they are growth companies?

I hope that none of this is true. The console side of the tech industry is a zombie. It’s not as if I don’t expect to see Halo 12 and Call of Duty 14 years from now, but how drab can the future be if you are looking at a screen carrying a virtual gun and roaming around some battlefield waiting for some action? If the economy ever corrects, nobody is going to have time for any of this. And if they do, then it’ll be on a tablet.

If Google or Apple indeed brings out a gaming console, I’ll be stunned. But if they create some sort of tablet add-on that has the controls similar to the Nintendo Wii U, which then hooks up to a tablet, then I’d say fine, at least this sort of retro idea sells more tablets. If instead neither company plans on doing anything and this is all part of a scheme to harass Microsoft, then great. But an actual game console based on iOS and Android? It’s madness.

By John C. Dvorak, PCMag


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