2 min read

How Apple and Meta Are Changing the Gaming Market

The next few years are going to bring a lot of shifts and changes to the gaming market, with outside pressure from Apple and Meta.

With so many flagship games operating in the cloud, the shift to cloud gaming seems inevitable for PlayStation and Xbox. This allows for IP to accessed across a variety of devices beyond the living room. But capturing this market is not easy. After three years, Google is shutting down Stadia, its cloud gaming service.

However, I think Apple will fare better than Google did. Its Apple TV devices are becoming a stronger contender as a cloud gaming console, as M.G. Siegler argues:

We are starting to get to a point where Xbox One and PS4 games should, in theory, be playable on Apple TV without too many compromises. The CPU in A15 Bionic (in the Apple TV 4K) is much, much faster than previous-generation game consoles such as Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Apple TV 4K (2022) is a decent casual ‘game console’ with a handful of good games from Apple Arcade and wide support for PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo and other controllers but there is so much more potential here.

If you squint, you can almost see a world where Apple is gearing up to launch an “Apple TV Ultra” with say, an M3 chip, far more RAM and storage, and a great controller, targeted directly at living room gaming — and maybe more? – M.G. Siegler

Outside of the typical interface for video games, metaverse gaming is by far the most compelling use case for mixed reality metaverse experiences.

Meta knows this, which is why its Black Friday deal for the Oculus Quest included two free games. They’ve sold far more Oculus headsets as gaming devices than as productivity or comms devices. So even though Meta initially positioned the Oculus Quest as a productivity and workplace comms device, they’re still marketing to the strongest buyer persona for mixed reality: gamers.

Meta believes the headset is the next great gaming console. And I think Microsoft understands the threat that metaverse gaming poses to its Xbox console. That’s why Microsoft aligned themselves with Meta’s hardware, now offering the xCloud catalog of games on the Oculus Quest 2 and Pro headsets.

The “metaverse” has become culturally synonymous with gaming, which is working in Meta’s favor. We’ve already seen IP holders get behind this vision, with major brands like The Walking Dead, Among Us, Iron Man, and Peaky Blinders offering exclusives to the Quest gaming platform.

The gaming territory is in flux and an industry that will likely see a lot of shakeup (because of Meta and Apple) over the next few years.