These are how Apple can win the next console wars.
Back in the early 90’s, games were dominated by Sega and Nintendo. Nobody (not much) saw it coming when Sony – the new contender on the early 90’s – jabbed and KO’d the two console kings.
Fast forward to today, Sony has been a big player in gaming space, together with Nintendo, Sega, Microsoft and other players, such as Valve with Steam, Epic with Epic Games store and recently Google (too) with Stadia and Apple with Arcade.
Ingredients required for Apple Arcade to win
With iPhone and hardware sales in general are declining, Apple has to have a new strategies to fill the gaps. And being a service company providing services is the direction Apple is going right now.
And as part of being a service company, in last Apple Special event back in March 2019, Apple introduced Apple Arcade – a subscription based model for games. Think like Apple Music or Netflix subscription, but instead of songs and movies, Apple provides games.
Just like Apple Music and Netflix who are still kings on their own turfs, Apple Arcade needs these key ingredients in order to win the next (no longer a console war but) platform wars.
1) Platform independent.
It has to be like Apple Music and Netflix, platform independent. Available in both iOS and Android, Mac and PC.
2) Games. Games and Games.
To have plenty of game selections on all genres, high quality ones. Here, Apple has to think the Nintendo-ways of doing games.
3) Platform Cross-play.
No matter which platform you are using, be it iOS, Android, Mac or PC, all platforms should be able to play together.
4) Don’t limit Apple Arcade based on OS version.
Apple Arcade is going to be released after Apple releasing iOS 13. However, to succeed, don’t limit Apple Arcade to be compatible with iOS 13 and onward only. Make the compatibility just like PC games.
Different games have to have different minimum specs to play. This to allow people with older hardware still able to play certain games though they may not be able to run the most recent hardware-thirsty games.
5) Option for stream the game.
Like Valve’s Steam or the planned Google Stadia, best if Apple has the option for gamers to stream the game, which means people with older hardware can still runs latest games without much issues so long they have good internet connection.
6) Controller compatible.
Certain games are more enjoyable to play when using a physical controller. Make Apple Arcade to be controller-compatible, but don’t limit to only MFi certified controller only (MFi is Made For iPhone), instead open for any types of Bluetooth controllers.
7) Affordable for every generations and nations.
Last but not least, the subscription price has to be reasonable enough (read: cheap), especially if Apple want a big market shares. Most people playing games are kids. Make the subscription pricing affordable and within kids allowance, Apple Arcade should be great then.
And just like the normal Apple App Store practice which has different pricing tier for different regions and countries, Apple has to introduce different pricing tier as well for Apple Arcade, because US$10 for American people is nothing, but for some third world countries, US$10 could be challenging.
Bring it all together
If Apple has those 7 ingredients when baking Apple Arcade, not only gamers will be happy to join Apple Arcade platform but also Apple themselves will once again make a history – just like when they introduced iPod, iPhone and Apple Watch.
Well, let’s see soon how Apple is going to do it!