Thursday, October 28, 2010

Apple wanted to buy Bungie, considering other acquisitions?

Apple executives were considering buying ´Halo´ developer Bungie Studios back in 2000, Develop magazine reports. The article cites former Xbox executive Ed Fries and Tuncer Deniz, then project lead at Bungie.

His [Deniz'] account of the circumstances was that Phil Schiller – Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing – then had a meeting with Steve Jobs to discuss if the Macintosh manufacturer should proceed with acquiring Bungie.

“Schiller asked Steve, who said no,” Deniz tells Develop. “[But] after a week, Steve said yes. Schiller calls Bungie, but Bungie had already consummated the deal with Microsoft”.

Apparently, Jobs was furious at the news that Microsoft had beaten them to it.

But now, speculation is rife again that Apple may be looking for another acquisition. The New York Times believes that it could even be a games company. Apparently, 50 billion US-Dollars are earmarked for acquisitions and such a large sum leads analysts to speculate that Apple might want to buy ARM Holdings, Netflix, Facebook or, indeed, Electronic Arts.

I have always said that Apple will most likely not enter the traditional gaming space again. To be more specific, Apple will never manufacture another dedicated games console. Buying a large publisher could be a viable option for them, but Apple could not allow EA to continue development for other platforms or they would run the risk of cannibalizing their own platforms.

And if EA titles would only be available on iOS and MacOS platforms from now on, EA would obviously wither away, I believe. MacOS still does not have the necessary installed base to allow brands like ´Medal of Honor´ to flourish and merit multi-million Dollar investments. The iOS platforms, on the other hand, simply are not built for deep and engaging titles (the main obstacle here being the lack of buttons). So, I would be very surprised if Apple really did make an acquisition in the gaming space.

Sources: Develop magazine, New York Times

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

PlayStation Portable phone leaked

The long-rumoured PlayStation Portable mobile phone has been confirmed via a leak published by Engadget (read their update).

Engadget is adamant that the photo really shows a prototype of what is soon to go into production. The product's codename is apparently ´Zeus´ and you may be surprised to hear that it is supposedly running Android.

As we reported back in August, the device you see is headed into the market soon, likely boasting Android 3.0 (aka Gingerbread), along with a custom Sony Marketplace which will allow you to purchase and download games designed for the new platform. The device snapped up top (and in our gallery below) is sporting a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8655 (a chip similar to the one found in the G2, but 200MHz faster), 512MB of RAM, 1GB of ROM, and the screen is in the range of 3.7 to 4.1 inches. Looking almost identical to the mockup we hit you with this summer, the handset does indeed have a long touchpad in the center which is apparently multitouch, and you can see in the photos that it's still bearing those familiar PlayStation shoulder buttons. For Sony buffs, you'll be interested to know that there's no Memory Stick slot here, but there is support for microSD cards.

The particular model in these shots is still in prototyping mode. As such, the unit doesn't have a custom skin (not even SE's Timescape design seen on the Xperia devices), and is said to be rather buggy. We're digging into more facts as we speak, but it's likely that much of what we reported earlier is still accurate, and though the device could still be headed for a 2010 release, 2011 is looking much more realistic. Still, there's a lot of time between now and the holidays... so keep your fingers crossed!

I myself am rather surprised at the news, since Sony failed with their PSP Go, but the phone functionality may become for the PSP what 3D is sure to become for the DS.

EDIT CNET posits some interesting questions we should be asking ourselves regarding the PSP phone.

* Will this device be a PSP 2?

* Will PSP gaming be possible on other Android phones?

* Will it enable touch-screen gaming?

* Are there analog pads?

* When will it be released?

* What is the price?

Sources: Engadget, Engadget
Thanks to: Joystiq