Apple's next conquest: video games?

Posted by Hitarth Jani | 8:55 PM | 0 comments »

After conquering the portable music player market and storming into the mobile phone business, Apple's next target could be video games consoles.

A trademark extension filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office by Apple earlier this month sought to extend the "Apple" trademark to cover a wide array of gaming products.

It included "handheld units for playing electronic games", "handheld units for playing videogames", "stand-alone video game machines", "LCD game machines" and "electronic games other than those adapted for use with television receivers only".

Apple refused to comment on its trademark applications but many have interpreted the filing as a sign the company will enter the lucrative but crowded video games business, competing with Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony.

A job vacancy advertised on the Apple website seeks a "game producer/designer" to "develop consumer entertainment software".

The company has already dabbled in gaming via mini iPod games delivered through iTunes. Some industry watchers have cautioned the trademark could simply relate to iPod gaming, while others predict Apple is working on a complete games console.

In the mid-'90s, Apple released a game playing multimedia console called the Apple Pippin in the United States and Japan. The console struggled in a market dominated by the Nintendo 64, Sony Playstation and Sega Saturn, and only a few thousand units were reportedly produced.

In 2006, the Pippin ranked 22nd on PC World's list of the "Top 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time".