What if Napoleon had kept going? What if the cold war was an actual war? What if Sean Penn had decided not to do acting? So many alternative histories could have been made (I think we can all agree the Sean Penn one needs to happen now) but why look into the past. The past is the past and we should move on. However, what about the future? The point of this blog is to explore the fanboy's orgasmic what if scenario: what if one of the big three had to bow out. Instead of questioning who will leave (let’s leave the fanboyism at the door), I am going to explore who (if any) is the most likely company to take their place.
Apple: Of course this would be my first suggestion. Apple has been in the gaming world for quite some time now. For some who do not know, Apple originally courted Bungie and their Halo franchise to come over and develop it for the Mac. Here( http://www.youtube.com/watc... )is a link to a video of a Macworld press conference in 1999. It shows how Apple first showed Halo to the world. Soon after this Microsoft, in all their sneaky wonders, decided to buy Bungie which stopped Halo ever becoming a Mac exclusive. Now jump to the year 2007. Apple unveils the iPhone to the world. The iPhone (well the inclusion of the app store in 2008) has put Apple (accidentally or not) straight into the mobile gaming world by having an open platform for people to develop games on. About.com claims that in June 2013 the total amount of apps on the app store totalled 900,000 ( http://ipod.about.com/od/ip... ). This mean Apple is in a perfect position to try home console gaming. It would be argued if this is a good thing or a bad thing but with their recent history being rooted in games, the success of the iPhone down to the app store, could mean they would try the home console market if there is space for them to “innovate".
Google: Apple’s biggest rival has a bit of a reputation for getting around. They get around more than Taylor Swift eats men. They are in mobiles, social network, glasses and even moved into the shoe market ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/t... ). Okay the last one was a bit of a joke/concept, but what about move into the gaming world? In a way they are already there with their own mobile store. Being a bit whorish they could bring a lot to the gaming world and make the transition easier for themselves. The big thing is interconnectivity with other branded devices. Google could have a big importance with that. Google is everywhere. I wouldn’t be surprised if people start getting “Google Lives” in the future. The big reason why they would do it is to stop Apple doing it.
Valve: This, in a way, is a no brainer. Valve has already said they are going to release a console of sorts. It is now the question of will the Steam box succeed. I think they will not succeed with the steam box and this would put Valve off even if one of the big three leaves. Valve has the brand recognition but their move seems to be more orientated around the PC than why people buy home consoles.
Samsung: “What?” I hear you cry. Well Samsung has gotten really big in recent years. From mobiles to laptops, Samsung have started to make a name for themselves when it comes to electrical goods. Samsung recently took over Apple and became the world’s most profitable mobile maker ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/t... ). But would a move, into the home console world, work for Samsung? Sort of. They are getting a name for building high quality devices which means if they move into gaming people will know they can build good devices. But this would be a completely new market for them and could scare them off.
Any other company: Short answer is no. The problem is other companies are not getting mass market names for themselves. They may be excelling in certain fields (like LG when it comes to cheap TVs and good fridges) but these haven’t gone further than that. Too move into gaming, in today’s climate, would need brand recognition before they even start. We have seen it with the Ouya and other devices who are typing to make a name for themselves *even when the big three are there). Your first console needs to sell big and be highly regarded to stay in the market.
No one: This will actually be a bad thing as there would be less competition for the big two but it is the most likely thing to happen. Starting up in the gaming world is tough. With consoles having exclusives and established online services there would need to be big investments before these new companies even get their console out of the door. You need studios, servers, reputation….. It is a big ask for any new company.
So there you go. By the scores I think the most likely move is that no-one will fill the gap followed by the idea that Apple and Google will have a go. I would like to know what you think. Which company would you see moving in? Sound off if the comments below.