Some guys took apart a new Apple TV & found out that it’s got 8 GB of Flash memory (plus space for more) inside. Since the device doesn’t actually allow users to store any audio or video content locally, this would seem to suggest that Apple is planning to open the device up to iPhone-style apps at some point. The implications of this should already be scaring the crap out of video game console manufacturers like Sony, Nintendo & Microsoft, but I suspect they don’t see the Apple TV’s “iPad guts” as a real competitor for their current or next-gen systems. However, I wonder if they’ve also considered the possibility that Apple could develop (read: acquire) some server technology (i.e. OnLive) that would allow users to stream games of unlimited size and complexity in full HD resolution from a central location, enabling AAA game developers to completely bypass issues of piracy, physical distribution & hardware limitations via a $99 box that never needs upgrading & could in all likelihood be given away free to end users with a online-service subscription. Most of the moving parts are already in place here (user accounts & billing through iTunes, stored value cards at nationwide retail, relationships with game publishers & developers, and now the set-top hardware) so Apple really just needs to wait for broadband internet speeds to reach an appropriate level, buy some big servers & flip the switch. Of course all of this assumes that they can get their head out of their ass about building a real online service with matchmaking & etc. but maybe they’ll learn a thing or two from this whole Ping business and surprise us yet. And if not, it would be pretty damn hilarious to see Microsoft come chugging along & knock down the whole iTunes house of cards by building the exact same thing on top of the existing Xbox platform.

tl;dr Consider buying $AAPL

2 thoughts on “Endgame

  1. Ah, anonymous comments. Gotta love ’em.

    But anyway…

    While the AppleTV doesn’t *permanently* store any files, it does need to cache them. And with a 47-minute HD TV show like Mad Men weighing in at a hefty 1.4 GB, you could very easily hit that limit with a few TV and movie rentals over the course of a day.

    That doesn’t preclude applications, of course. I just disagree that it implies it.

  2. True & especially if people rent multiple shows and movies simultaneously I could see the 8 GB being totally necessary. I suppose this is more a suggestion of what *could* happen than anything inevitable. And as for the anonymous commenter I guess that’s what you get when you crosspost things like this to reddit. =P I’ll just leave it there because it will be funny if it turns out I’m right!

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