Every hardware manufacturer wants to be where Apple is right now. The iPod was a hit, the iPhone was a hit, the iPad was a hit, and as a result, Apple is sitting on top of $160 billion in cash reserves.

In more recent news, the iPhone 6 was Apple’s biggest hit ever, and supply won’t meet demand until about January 2015.

Context, Context, Context

I was up late on September 12th to order iPhone 6s for my wife and I. Over the years I’ve learned a thing or two about Apple demand, and ever since the iPhone 4, it’s been insane. I knew from experience, that if I didn’t preorder the phone, I wouldn’t get one for a long while, without great hassle. With how demand has been ramping up over the years, I knew that if I didn’t preorder the iPhone 6 Plus right away, I wouldn’t see one till December.

Apple’s online store was down and scheduled to open at 12:00 am MST, and I was at the ready with Apple.com open on my desktop and the Apple Store app open on my iPad. I also had Twitter open in a new window because I needed to know what the competition was up to, and if anyone else was getting through when I wasn’t. I’d done this before, back in 2012 with the iPhone 5, and reading the comments on the tech blogs I frequent clued me into the iOS app as sometimes being a better solution than Apple.com.

Here’s how it went down. My wife went to bed around 10 pm, and I stayed awake to read some blogs and order new iPhones. I’d be upgrading myself from an iPhone 5, and my wife from a 4S.

12:05 am: Apple.com down and iOS app down.

12:25 am: Apple.com and iOS app still down. Maybe I should use LTE on my iPad rather than Wi-Fi to get access to a better DNS server.

12:30 am: The LTE idea worked and I’m on the Apple Store app on the iPad, but things are sluggish and buggy. It seems the entire western world is trying to order iPhone 6s right now. Apple.com still down.

12:37 am: My wife’s gold iPhone 6 is ordered, ships immediately, delivery on launch day 9/19. Space Grey, iPhone 6 Plus showing unavailable. Don’t tell me my wife’s going to get her phone on launch day, all the while curled up in bed, while I’m pressing the refresh button every 10 seconds to no avail to try to get my Plus…

12:42 am: Back. Refresh. Back. Refresh. Back. Refresh. Yes! In a brief window of opportunity, the space grey iPhone 6 Plus 128 GB AT&T shows available in the iOS app. I snatch it up, but it says ships in 7-10 days. Delivery on 10/2.

Delivery on 10/2, but it’s only 12:42 am? So they sold out of launch day devices in 42 minutes?! Apple.com is still down.

1:00-3:00 am: Having ordered our phones, at this point I’m just having fun reading the comments on Twitter and the blogs. People are mad. People don’t understand how Apple could have sold out of phones so fast. My phone coming on 10/2 makes me one of the lucky ones. It’s only 3 am, and people are seeing 3-4 weeks shipping time on their iPhones. They won’t get their phones till November. Poor suckers…and they’re not even the real suckers. The people waiting in line are the real suckers. I found out through the rumor mill that each Apple store might have less than a dozen 6 Pluses.

I vowed back in 2011 never to be part of the Apple launch day line waiting nonsense again. I hate launch day lines.

By the end of the day on 9/12, I see people saying the orders are so backed up, they might not see a phone until Christmas. As of my writing this very sentence (11/03/14), both iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are completely sold out at every Apple Store in Phoenix. My prediction was correct, and as ludicrous as it sounds to be up at 12 am ordering a phone, now you know why. #FirstWorldProblems

Why did I preface with that story?

I told that story to point out why every manufacturer wants to be Apple right now.

Because right now Apple is basically printing money.

Every iPhone 6 they make is spoken for, all the millions and millions of them. If I were Tim Cook, I’d fly myself to China and just stare at the Foxconn assembly line with an evil grin on my face. From September 12th till sometime in January next year, Apple is in control of it’s own destiny – not the economy, not retailers, not Ebola, not even war in the Middle East. Apple’s future is entirely dependent on how fast they can make iPhones.

Apple’s Near Future

Once things die down with the iPhone 6, Apple can focus on some products that have been  delayed due to iPhone 6 demand: the iWatch, the iPad Pro, and the new Apple TV.

I’d like to focus on the Apple TV in light of the advances Apple’s competition has made in the last two years. Amazon has long since debuted it’s Fire TV, and Google has recently announced it’s Nexus Player. Meanwhile, Nintendo struggles to sell Wii Us – more on Nintendo in a little bit.

Google's Nexus Player

Google’s Nexus Player

 

The Apple Gaming Console

Introduction

The current major consoles are the Xbox One ($399), Playstation 4 ($399), and the Nintendo Wii U ($299).

Initially, I think Apple could get away with making a $199 console, to compete directly with the Wii U, while not venturing too far out of the digital media player price range.

A couple years down the road once they’ve got an established gaming library and some exclusive titles, they could up the price and specs to the $399 level and start to compete directly with Microsoft and Sony. Even if they keep the price at $199, that’s all it will take to make Apple’s console the most profitable gaming console ever.

Does any of this sound outlandish to you? Well, read on and I’ll rock your world.

Apple is the 2nd biggest company in the world, recently de-throned by Exxon Mobil. On top of that, with $160 Billion in reserves, Apple has at least twice as much cash as the US Government (depending on your definition of “cash”). Back in 2010 when I made some predictions about what Apple would do with their vast cash reserves, they only had about $40 Billion in reserves.

So what advantages does Apple have over Google, Microsoft,  Sony, Amazon, and Nintendo?

Three words: Economies of scale.

They can out-bid, out-produce, and out-haggle all their competitors. In laymen’s terms, that means that they can order 1 billion of that part that you’ll only order 100 million of, so they can get it for much cheaper per part than you, and since they’re making the supplier more money, they get the first spot in line. That means that you as a competitor have to wait longer AND pay more to get those chips you ordered for your new gizmo.

Price & Hardware Cycles

MicrosoftSonyNintendo
n/aPS1 (1995)N64 (1996)
Xbox (2001)PS2 (2000) +5 yearsGamecube (2001) +7 years
Xbox 360 (2005) +4 yearsPS3 (2006) +6 yearsWii (2006) +5 years
Xbox One (2013) +8 yearsPS4 (2013) +7 yearsWii U (2012) +6 years

If you average the cycles in the chart above, you’ll notice that they each average to a 6 year wait for a next-gen console. Based on that, we could expect the next generation Playstation and Xbox by 2018 or later.

If Apple’s shown us anything since 2007, it’s that people are willing to shell out $400 every 1-2 years if you make a good enough product, even in the middle of a recession.

6 year cycles used to make sense, but I can almost guarantee that you’re going to notice your console’s age much faster this time around. You can blame that on Moore’s law, and all the corners Microsoft and Sony cut to bring the price down on this current crop of consoles. Once Apple enters the game, 6 year cycles just won’t be the case ever again.

Image Source: Apple.com

Tech specs for the iPad over the years. Source: Apple.com

To give some context, the first iPad came out in April 2010. By October 2014, we’ve seen a 12x increase in CPU and a 180x increase in GPU. That’s unheard of in consoles.

Apple has a lot of experience in hardware cycles from their iPhone and iPad products, and a 2 year cycle makes sense for an Apple TV Console. Whereas a 1 year cycle make sense for an iPhone, an Apple TV S doesn’t make sense after only 12 months.

Give it 2 years, and you’ll be ready for that new graphics and speed bump on your Apple TV Console. This is easy for Apple because it can quietly bump up specs on a new Apple TV without actually having to release an Apple TV. The yearly iPad and iPhone refreshes will use the same processor and GPU architecture, so all Apple has to do is pump out a beefed up AX Processor with a few extra cores once the time to update the Apple TV comes around.

Physical Media

Say goodbye to discs entirely, as all games will be downloaded from the online app store to be stored on a very small hard drive. Moreover, your saved game data will be backed up to iCloud, so once you run out of space, you can delete an old game, knowing you can come back to it whenever you want, picking up right where you left off. Not having to ship humungous hard drives will do a lot to lower the price of the Apple TV Console.

8 GB of RAM and a 16 GB of flash storage would probably be the best solution, given the Apple TV’s current design that utilizes 8 GB flash storage as a video cache, but cost is what will determine the architecture.

2GB of RAM and 32GB flash storage might be a cheaper solution for Apple, given the higher speed and costs of RAM. An Apple TV Console would need at least 16 GB dedicated to gaming storage, plus the 8 GB video cache which would make for 24 GB total, but due to typical storage sizes of 2n, 32 GB would probably be less expensive to produce than an uncommon 24 GB.

Backwards Compatibility

Have you noticed that you can still play generations old iOS games on your iPhone 6? Have you also noticed that you can’t do the same with any other console. Xbox One doesn’t play Xbox 360 games, which in turn doesn’t play original Xbox games. Same with Sony’s Playstation.

There’s an exception to this rule, with Nintendo providing the best example, but thanks to the limitations of physical media, it requires you re-buying a game you already own. Gamers have gotten used to an “anniversary edition” or “platinum hits” that make you spend more money for usually the exact same game, but on iOS, the app store has made backwards compatibility the default. Usually all that’s needed is a small and free software update from the devs to keep your old game alive on any new iOS device, if any update is needed at all.

No joke, I run an app on my iPhone 6 that hasn’t been updated since the iPhone 3G. It’s an iOS 2.2 app last updated in May 2009. We’re on iOS 8.0 now. It’s called iHandgun.

To give you some context, iOS 2.2 didn’t even have copy and paste. That wasn’t introduced until iOS 3.0. It wasn’t even called iOS back then, it was called iPhone OS!

That’s the software equivalent of being able to plug your NES Duck Hunt controller into your Wii U, and have it still work. Except that it’s not even a good enough comparison because Nintendo goes back 6 generations, and iHandgun is actually 7 generations old, 8 if you consider that it still works on the original iPhone running iOS 2.2 unmodified. There is no direct comparison for this level of backwards compatibility in the console world, because it doesn’t exist.

There’s a reason it’s called “Backwards” compatibility though. You can’t expect your old console to be able to play new games forever, but even in this area, the iOS app store is still better than it’s console competition.

Developers

If you haven’t noticed, there’s already a few big name game developers that created their entire markets on iOS and Android – names like Rovio (Angry Birds), Ironhide (Kingdom Rush), Chair Entertainment Group (Infinity Blade), Gameloft (Asphalt), and Supercell (Clash of Clans).

On top of that, decades old console developers are already well into the deep end of the mobile gaming pool, like Electronic Arts (Real Racing), Sega (Sonic Dash), Activision (Call of Duty), Disney (Star Wars Commander), LEGO/Warner Bros. (Lego Batman), Square Enix (Final Fantasy), Rockstar (GTA), and Ubisoft (Assassin’s Creed).

You know who’s missing on that list? Nintendo. But they won’t be able to hold out for much longer if Apple joins the console wars.

The wheat is ready for harvest. You’d better believe that aside from console exclusives like Halo, or Uncharted, the rest of developers would jump at the chance to make games for an AppleTV Console. They wouldn’t have to do anything different, as it’s likely that many of the existing games would be able to port to AppleTV using the iPhone and iPad as a game controller, or second screen.

Controller

Image Source: Martin Hajek

Image Source: Martin Hajek

This is probably the most important step Apple will need to take if it wants to make any major inroads into console gaming. This is where they need to spend most of their R&D money. The best video game controllers I can think of to date have been the Wii controller, the Gamecube controller, and the Xbox One controller.

It might not be the most ergonomic for something like a first person shooter, but the most noteworthy of the bunch is the Wii controller. It ushered in a new era of gaming, by allowing for physical movement to play a big role in gaming, which had huge applications in exercise, rehab, and family/casual gaming. Being able to swing a controller strapped to your wrist allowed kids to play silly games that their parents and grandparents would actually know how to play, like Mario Tennis, or Mario Golf.

Since the iPhone 4, Apple has added a gyroscope to all its iPhones, besides the existing accelerometer. So, how many total iPhone models have a gyroscope? The iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5S, and 6 all carry that functionality. That’s 5 generations of iPhones, meaning there are a couple hundred million iPhones out there capable of being a game controller, and you didn’t even know it. With the absence of physical buttons, and more awkward shape, it won’t be as good a controller as the Wii, but its definitely a feature that some devs will take advantage of especially depending on how Apple chooses to upgrade it’s Remote app.

You can add the Apple Watch to the list of possible controllers. That’s already going to be an effective AppleTV controller, but with its gyroscope, accelerometers, and being attached to your wrist, there are many gameplay applications.

Regardless, Apple will need to come up with a kick-ass controller if it doesn’t want it’s dive into video games to be a giant belly flop.

Speed, graphics, and size

It’s going to be fast, especially when it comes to the OS, Siri, buffering, and game loading. Xbox and Playstation currently ship with hard disk drives (HDDs), which are less expensive, but much slower than flash based storage. Like Google and Amazon, Apple’s Console will ship with flash based storage, the same storage used in iPads and iPhones. Apple’s been ordering flash based storage from Asian suppliers since 2007 in their iPhones, iPads, and Macbook Airs. Guess who’s going to be able to offer you the speed and quiet of solid state devices, while not adversely affecting the price of the console. You guessed it: Apple.

As of September 2014, you could consider the iPhone 6 equal/almost-equal performance-wise to the Xbox 360 and Sony PS3. It would probably be fair to say that as of October this year the iPad Air 2 is the first iOS device more powerful than the last gen consoles from Microsoft and Sony. It’s so powerful in fact, that it might be a year or two before devs even make games that take advantage of the Air 2’s capabilities, seeing as it’s usually the current iPhone’s capabilities are really determine how powerful iOS games will get. There are way more iPhones in the wild than there are iPads, so that’s just how it works.

The below table isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison, as the iPad isn’t a dedicated gaming device. Moreover, flash based storage is going to be more per GB than SATA HDDs, and a 20 nm die is going to contain more transistors than a 90 nm die.

Xbox 360 Pro (Nov 2005)iPad Air 2 (Oct 2014)
Launch cost$399$499
CPU3.2 GHz 3-core PowerPC 64-bit (90 nm, 165 million transistors)1.5Ghz A8X 3-core 64-bit (20 nm, 3 billion transistors)
Memory512 MB (GDDR3 RAM @ 700 MHz)2 GB (?)
Storage20 GB 2.5″ SATA HDD16 GB NAND Flash
Resolution720p> 1080p
Networking10/100 Ethernet port (802.11g Wifi sold separately)Wi‑Fi 802.11a/​b/​g/​n/​ac MIMO
Weight7.7 lbs0.96 lbs
Thickness80 mm6.1 mm
Power Supply203 W Brick27.3 Wh Battery

Though the mobile space has a long ways to go before it comes close to the PS4 and Xbox One, an AppleTV console could do a lot to bridge that gap.

The All-in-one Family media device

It’ll have all the latest movie rentals, your entire iTunes Library, iTunes Radio, HBO Go, Netflix, Hulu, Youtube and any other channel you want all accessible via the cloud with no need for local storage. Say goodbye to the cable TV packages. The future is all about paying only for the shows or channels you watch, and paying for an internet connection.

An Apple TV Console has the advantage that if you’re a kid, your parents will want to buy it. It’s the gaming system even your grandparents will own. For Apple this means that your parents will be spending money on movie rentals, and spending money on video games that kids beg them for. Games that will be casual enough, and fun enough, that you’ll probably play them with your kids on a regular basis.

Are you at a party, and you all want to play an Apple game together? Whip out your iPhones to use as extra controllers.

This is where Nintendo comes in

A family all-in-one media device, gaming console with app store, and a well designed controller with gyroscope and accelerometer, at a $199 price point will absolutely demolish Nintendo’s demographic.

The truth is that Nintendo needs to go the way of Sega. You remember Sega right? After the Dreamcast console tanked, they became a software company. They make excellent games like the Sonic, the Total War series, and even the newer Alien Isolation. The truth is that even though Sega is a great software company, Nintendo has a big advantage.

Nintendo is the biggest gaming software company on the planet right now (Market Cap: 15.28B), with Electronic Arts coming in a close second (Market Cap: 12.65B).

This is Nintendo’s strength: they make amazing games, they have the most recognizable gaming franchises of any gaming company, ever! Mario, Donkey Kong, Pokemon, Star Fox, Zelda, Metroid, Smash Bros, you name it! When you look back on those franchises, do you notice anything? They’re all family friendly. Apple’s all about family friendly!

Why do you think your grandparents play Wii? It’s because dismembering bodies and nailing headshots from across the map isn’t fun for them. They like games they can play with their 5 year old grandkids, while getting a little bit of exercise.

Nintendo’s just not good at hardware anymore, not since the N64, but they’ve got the largest Intelletcual Property catalogue of any other console maker. So why not combine what they’re great at – games – with what Apple is great at – hardware? An Apple takeover could make many a shareholder very happy at Nintendo.

You know, there’s a reason Apple sells it’s OS and it’s Office Suite for free. It’s because it know’s it’s that good at making you shell out $400 a year for it’s hardware.

Mark my words. Nintendo will make more money with Apple, than it ever did on its own.

Nintendo goes back quite a ways, with the original NES, the SNES, and the N64. Guess how old kids that grew up on N64 and Gameboy Advance will be in the next few years? Right now I’m 27 with a baby on the way. I remember losing entire days playing Pokemon on gameboy.

Say Goodbye to Gameboy and 3DS

Imagine being able to pick up an iPhone 6 Plus, with it’s gorgeous 5.5″ Retina HD display and being able to challenge your girlfriend, your wife, or even your kids to a quick game of Mario Kart. I dream of the day when I can school my kids in Mario Kart on the iPhone!

Of course portable gaming is highly subjective, but I think most if not all of Nintendo’s mobile games would be perfect for touchscreen. MarioKart is one, but Pokemon is even better. The last time I played Pokemon, I was 15 years old, so I don’t even know what the current crop of Pokemon games look like, but c’mon Nintendo… Why stress yourself out trying to assemble screens and fabricate lithium batteries that aren’t even half as good as the latest iPhone or iPad, when you could let Apple do all that for you, while you focus on making the best games ever made?

Logitech Powershell Controller

Logitech Powershell Controller

And for those people that absolutely insist on having the D-pad and buttons, you could design a Nintendo brand iPhone controller, and charge $49 for it. Keep making the games 100% touch centered, with the controller as a fallback, and eventually people will stop buying the controller and you can discontinue it. Now you’re a full-blown software company making billions off Apple’s enormous ecosystem of users, who are by default willing to pay much more money than any average Nintendo customer.

The biggest problem with the 3DS is it’s cool factor. You couldn’t pay me to be seen with one. I’m an adult, and it’s a child’s toy. But adults still play games on mobile devices, so long as it’s polished and on a sleek, sexy device. Let’s face it, adults have more money than kids.

A little bit of role-play

Take one

“Hey what’re you doing there?”

“Oh, I’m just playing Mario Kart on my Nintendo 3DS”, said no self-respecting adult ever.

Take two

“Whoa is that Mario Kart on your iPhone 6?!”

“Yes it is, I love this game!”

“Man, the screen is so gorgeous. Look at those graphics! The last time I played this game was back when I had an N64. This is so cool!”

“Seriously, my friends and I used to play this and Goldeneye 007 for hours.”

“I’ve got an iPhone! Can I play you?”

“Ya you can download it in the app store for $9.99”

“Oh, I’m so in. Prepare to be schooled!”

Are you taking notes Apple? Nintendo? Ok I get it Nintendo, you’re upset that you can’t charge $29.99 for Mario Kart 3DS anymore, but you’ll have up to 12 times as many customers, and very little overhead now that you’re a software studio. Don’t believe me?

Sales to date
Nintendo 3DS44.14 million units
iPhone500 million units
iPad225 million units

Do you see that Nintendo? That’s how you can charge only $9.99 for your games, and still make much more money than you do right now.

If Mario Kart comes out on iOS, people have a game that they can play 3 iPhone generations from now, but they won’t want to because every time Apple update’s it’s hardware, you’ll be ready with a tech demo showcase to show all the new features and graphical enhancements in your yearly release of Mario Kart. Oh, and have you heard of in-app purchases? Don’t go crazy though. Use moderation.

What was that? The iPhone’s too expensive for kids?

Not to worry, you’ve just given Apple a reason to keep it’s iPod touch around. Without this merger, Apple might discontinue the model entirely. With Nintendo on board though, little kids can get an iPod touch on Christmas instead of a 3DS and play all the fun Nintendo games with all their friends, and with their parents who have iPhones.

Are you getting where I’m going with this?

All the 90s Nintendo kids, who are now monied-adults will be prime age to sell their growing families on a rebranded Nintendo family experience. Imagine being able to play Pokemon, and Mario Kart, and Zelda on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV Console.

The Guillotine to Android

Apple, do you remember that Beats by Dre deal for $3 billion? Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 Billion. I think a cash strapped Nintendo is easily worth $30 billion, but it looks like you could buy them out for $15 billion right now, that is a steal! There’s no way WhatsApp is more valuable than Nintendo! No. Way. Nintendo knows this, and that’s why they’re not going to sell for $15 billion. I propose a cool $30 billion takeover. Nintendo won’t say no to that, and you’ll still have $130 billion in cash left over.

How much money would you pay to never have to worry about Android again? To never have to worry about Samsung? Have you seen Nintendo’s Intellectual Property library? How much would you pay for all that?

If you can turn Nintendo’s IP library into iOS exclusives, you’re not only the top console maker, you’re forever the top smartphone maker and mobile OS. I think it’s time to give Google a $30 billion dollar slap in the face.

Apple doesn’t need to beat Microsoft or Sony

Apple’s first entry into console gaming will not be a beast compared to today’s current gen console standards. It will probably need to be on par with the Wii U to be devastating. When Apple makes a game console, it’ll be a direct threat to Nintendo.

Nintendo has two choices, sell at a profit now or be crushed into a pulp and be sold later at a discount.

With Nintendo on deck, Apple will need nothing more than incremental graphical upgrades to the Apple Console every 2 years to be top dog. By 2020 Apple could  be on it’s 3rd generation console and on par with PS4 and Xbox One graphics.

Amazon Fire TVGoogle Nexus PlayerWii U (Basic)Apple TV/Console
Launch cost$99$99$299$199
CPU1.7 Ghz Quad Core Qualcomm1.8 GHz Quad Core Intel Atom1.24 GHz Tri-Core PowerPC1.8-2.0 GHz Quad Core A8X
Memory2 GB (DDR2 @ 533MHz)1 GB (?)2 GB (DDR3)8 GB (?)
Storage8 GB Flash8 GB Flash8 GB Flash16 GB Flash
Resolution1080p up to 60fps1080p up to 60fps1080p up to 60fps1080p up to 60fps
Wi-Fi802.11 a/b/g/n MIMO802.11ac MIMO802.11 ​b/​g/​n802.11 a/​b/​g/​n/​ac MIMO
Weight0.62 lbs0.52 lbs3.3 lbs?
Thickness0.7 in0.79 in1.8 in?
Power Supply15.63 W18 W75 W?

In the short term, Apple needs to either buy or beat Nintendo and drink up all its sweet sweet gaming nectar. It needs to keep Amazon and Google on it’s toes in the media space, and I think Siri + the app store just might do the trick for a while.

Remember that list of iOS developers I mentioned earlier? Well they’d be lining up to make games for an Apple TV/Console. You can be sure that Apple would be working with a few developers to line up some launch titles, and that quite a few indie developers will rise up in the ranks, with brand new game franchises in this new market.

Hardcore gamers, the Oculus Rift, Sony, and Microsoft

Though I see Virtual Reality as the ultimate future of gaming and entertainment, simple economics and consumer constraints will keep that from being more than a niche market until a legit neural controller interface is invented. Yes, Oculus rift won’t be a smashing success until you can control it directly with your brain, all without implants.

Sensory input is an entirely different story as I’m not sure how you’d get touch, temperature, pressure, and taste input to the brain (without wearing a clunky body suit) unless you were using implants or nano-machines. I’d be willing to bet money that implants and nano-machines will scare consumers for quite a while, and that gaming will not be among even the first dozen applications of nano-tech to gain consumer trust.

It’s possible one day someone might be able to figure out how to wirelessly beam sensory information directly to nerves in your body and brain, but that could quickly be abused by hackers and could lead to a dystopian future where you could mind-control (through sensory deception) other human beings, unless countermeasures were developed. Again, consumer trust wouldn’t be down with that, or governments for that matter. Imagine a hacker being able to mind control the President, or mind control a secret service agent into believing that the President is actually a terrorist with a gun. Chaos I tell you!

For at least a decade or more, Oculus Rift will be for photo-realistic hardcore gaming (think flight sims, racing sims, first person shooters) and computer generated porn. Why?

Because of 4K TVs and broadband connections. With the disappearance of physical media (DVDs, Blu-ray) and the speedup of internet connections, 4K content is positioned to be the most user friendly and economical type of content to mass produce. This means you can expect 4K Netflix, and 4K Hulu, and 4K Movies on iTunes, and a 4K capable Apple TV Console at least by the second generation.

Economics more than anything determines the future of technologies, and right now Oculus is like the 3D TV that debuted a few years back. Unlike 3D TVs, Oculus will have a niche market that is big enough for it so survive until neural controllers hit the scene.

Where does that leave Microsoft and Sony? VR collaboration with Oculus of course, or maybe their own forays into VR. Sony already has project Morpheus. I think if Apple enters the gaming space, that Sony and Microsoft will have no choice but to target hardcore gaming, and target it hard. That means more expensive consoles, with better hardware, and photo-realism being the graphical gold standard.

In the meantime, little kids, their parents, and grandparents will be collectively throwing money at Apple, 4K TVs, and broadband internet service.

So where does this leave us?

Remember how I started with Apple being sold out of all the new iPhones until January 2015. All those iPhones are potential Nintendo customers. If Nintendo allows itself to be bought by Apple, Tim Cook and Satoru Iwata can stroll into Foxconn’s factory late in 2016 when Apple has begun to sell it’s sapphire screened iPhone 7 Plus with styluses (that will now compete directly against Samsung’s Note series). In the dim light they’ll look at each other and and smile that evil grin together. Apple won’t just be printing money anymore, they’ll be printing out new Nintendo customers with every iPhone they make.

Apple? Nintendo? I hope you’re taking notes.

*     *     *

Image Sources: Apple.com and Nintendo.com*

*It is believed that the use of low-resolution images of copyrighted work for commentary** qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law. See Wikipedia:Non-free content for more information.

**Some images were modified for the sake of commentary