Its been a sad few days as Steve Jobs passed away on Wednesday due to a long standing fight with pancreatic cancer. It got me thinking what has Apple and Steve Jobs done for the gaming world. People would not consider Steve Jobs to be Shigeru Miyamoto or Gabe Newell, when actually hes done more for the gaming industry than we actually give him credit for.
Steve Jobs was one of the creators behind the hugely successful 1976 game Breakout and put vast resources into Bungie who at the time where creating Halo for OSX, before the idea was bought by Microsoft as a game to sell their Xbox console.
One of the biggest things Apple brought to the gaming world was the mouse and the graphical user interface. The mouse and GUI had already been invented by Xerox for printing machines but what Apple did was create it into something users could use at home, for work and do great things such as play game. It inspired companies to make inroads into using this technology and utilise it such as Microsoft creating Windows which led to a gaming boom in the mid 90s.
You have to remember in 1984 when Apple released the Macintosh, computers where mainly text driven and had no mouse or graphical user interface. So at the time it was a huge advancement in the computing world.
Gaming may never have existed on PCs or in the same way we see it today if it was not for Apples great move. What would gaming be like with no mouse ey?
The PIPPIN was Apples shot at the gaming market back in 1996. They designed a cheap PC/Gaming console and had some rather interesting functionality such as playing games online, go online, had a cd drive for games, listen to music and watch movies. It was the first entertainment systems before the likes of the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360. It was a complete failure and wasent very good to be honest, but I wonder if Sony and Microsoft actually used some of the ideas?
Way before you could download video content or music content to your Playstation 3 or Xbox 360 Apple had iTunes. iTunes literally revolutionised the way you get media. Many times I have read in statements from the creators of Xbox Live and Playstation Netword that they used ideas based around the model of iTunes for downloading digital content.
iPhones, modern iPods and iPads have brought cheaper and sometimes better gaming to the mass markets. They introduced the App store and have not looked back since. Mobile phone gaming is now very dominant that even Nintendo are struggling in a market they once ruled.
Apple and Steve Jobs legacy in the gaming world is huge and I expect Apple will make more inovations and inroads into the gaming world in the future.