Recently, Apple applied to extend its trademark into gaming. While an Apple-branded gaming console is unlikely, the trademark extension could mean casual games may soon appear on iPods and Apple TV units.
Digital Journal — Since Apple is trying to corner the PC and MP3-player market, why not video games, too? There is good reason to believe Apple will make a run at the gaming industry in light of recent trademark filings relating to that market.
A trademark application
dated Feb. 5, 2008, states that Apple wants to bring its trademark to the following technology: “Toys, games and playthings, namely, hand-held units for playing electronic games; hand-held units for playing video games; stand alone video game machines; electronic games other than those adapted for use with television receivers only; LCD game machines; electronic educational game machines; toys, namely battery-powered computer games.”
Diving into video games is unusual territory for Apple, considering the strength of already-established players like EA and Nintendo. But Apple isn’t looking to build a standalone console or publish games for other devices (not so far as we can tell, anyway); the trademark application points to a more logical conclusion: games for iPods and Apple TV.
If Apple brought games to the iPod, they might not satisfy ardent button-mashers. Those casual games would be ideal for the iPod owner who didn’t expect those bonus frills, and gaming features would round out iPod’s extracurricular offerings. It would certainly be a bonus feature for Sudoku-addicted travellers or business execs who can't get enough solitaire while flying.
Another foreseeable emerging market for Apple-branded gaming is Apple TV, the stronghold for the company’s movie-rental strategy
. Apple TV will become more than just an iTunes-to-TV device, as users expect new features and innovative add-ons. Bringing games to Apple TV would give the device a brighter impression to wary early adopters, while also wooing casual gamers to the unit. It makes sense for Apple to make games usable for Apple TV, since no one today can truly say they are playing video games on their TV set without a console.
If and when Apple creates video games, expect its competition to sit up and take notice. As soon as Apple sets foot in any new market, its footsteps never tread softly; any twitch or shudder from this electronics giant will inevitably affect other major players, and if Apple video games become a reality, it could be just the beginning of a new branch on an already epic Apple tree.