Analyst: Apple game console by 2013

Speaking with Industrygamers about the state of the Video Game business, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter said it's "natural" that Apple could convince a large number of iPod and iPhone gamers to buy a game-enabled AppleTV, similar to the way it has drawn users to the Mac platform through the iPod.

Pachter, however, doesn't think it will be a full-blown gaming machine like Microsoft's Xbox 360 or Sony's PlayStation 3, but that it will instead be more Wii-like." We'd get cool stuff like World of Goo or Geometry Wars," Pachter said, "but probably not super cool stuff like Gears of War until they bought a few developers."

The tail end of this statement refers back to the position that Apple needs to produce first-party game software by acquiring an existent studio. When rumors began to circulate last May that Apple was eyeing game studio Electronic Arts for acquisition, Pachter pointed out that while it was unlikely at the time, Apple did not own any entertainment content.

But Apple's rapid growth as a handheld gaming company is not only about the availability of a multitude of content. It has long been suggested that the iPhone would make a perfect controller for AppleTV. With the iPhone OS 3.0 update, new APIs were opened that enhance the device's ability to be used as a controller, and drawing it even closer to AppleTV, the recent AppleTV Remote 1.3 update included new gestural controls in addition to the simple on-screen button and menu interface.

"The 'Trojan horse' is that the device would be an Internet access hub, and that they could then sell movies and other products," Pachter continued. "What Apple cares about is getting into the living room, and an Apple TV with games has a higher likelihood of succeeding than an AppleTV without."

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