San Francisco (CA) - Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has predicted that Apple will launch a game console by 2013. According to Pachter, the company was following a "deliberate strategy" to transform Apple TV into an "entertainment and Internet hub."
"They want to see what they can do with the handhelds (iPod Touch and iPhone) first, then move into console games," Pachter told Industry Gamers. "If they can get enough iPod users to download games, it's a natural that they can ultimately convince a large number of these users to buy a game-enabled Apple TV. I'd guess a 2012 or 2013 launch. That means that Microsoft has to get enough of a head start to hold them off, which is why I see Natal and a big hard drive for the 360 next year."
However, Pachter admitted that he was unsure as to how Club Cupertino would proceed initially, but noted it was "possible" that Apple would open the architecture and adopt an "App store" model.
"We'd get cool stuff like World of Goo or Geometry Wars, but probably not super cool stuff like Gears of War until they bought a few developers. What Apple cares about is getting into the living room, and an Apple TV with games has a higher likelihood of succeeding than an Apple TV without," added Pachter.
It should be noted that Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot expressed similar sentiments during a recent conference calls with analysts and reporters.
"There's also a new entrant in the business, Apple, with the iPhone. And we don't think they will stop there," said Guillemot. He explained that the Apple TV set-top-box, along with other devices, could provide a new range of console platforms as the product becomes "more powerful."
"What we see for the future is there will also be a big announcement in interfaces," said Guillemot. "It will not only happen in consoles but also happen on those TV boxes as well."