The rapid speed of growth of the esports and gaming markets is such that no technology company appears able to ignore. There are rumours that Apple is planning a Mac PC targeted to esports, but without confirmation some are skeptical.
On December 23, the Economic Daily covered reports out of Taiwan suggesting that Apple is planning a gaming Mac with a price of around $5,000. If true, it would be Apple’s first gaming PC.
The reports suggest that Apple’s main assembly plant Quanta, chip makers TSMC, enclosure makers Hongzhun and Kecheng, and power supply manufacturers Delta and Lite-On, as well as its wire factory Liangwei will all benefit from the new machine targeted at a $1 billion and growing esports market.
The rumours may have emerged from Apple’s supply chain in Asia, and they suggest the gaming Mac could be a large screen all-in-one (AIO) machine or a large screen gaming laptop. But “details are not clear at this time.” It’s speculated that the esports focused Mac could be announced at Apple’s Global Developer Conference (WWDC) in June 2020.
But we’re not really sure it’s true
TechRadar is not so sure about the rumours, Matt Hanson writes:
“While the idea of Apple entering the PC gaming market is certainly interesting, we think it’s unlikely that we’ll see a gaming iMac or gaming MacBook anytime soon.”
Hanson suggests the Mac gaming ecosystem may simply not be ready for esports, few of the best PC titles run on macOS. Developers don’t tend to take the next step and produce versions for Mac. And, that with Nvidia dominating graphics cards and not having the greatest relationship with Apple it’s a relationship that Mac gamers could miss out on. Hanson also writes that the price, “doesn’t ring true,” the machine would have to be something “very powerful.”
Hanson says that though Apple might want a slice of the esports market, a high-end Mac might not be the way, he says:
“Esports players want high refresh rates and frame rates, not graphical bells and whistles, and players of the likes of Fortnite and Dota 2 won’t be tempted by a $5,000 Mac.”
It’s potentially more likely that Apple could be making a lower value gaming device or one targeted at its new Apple Arcade customers.
Jason Snell, writing for Tom’s Guide speculates separately that Apple’s “surprise move,” for 2020 might be on the Mac side after years of speculation it would change processors.
Apple is certainly progressing its services arm though, with Apple Arcade and Apple TV. Whether Apple will flip back to an innovative new machine for 2020 is as yet unknown.
Amazon made a more definite, though small, play into esports recently, sponsoring a European university esports league.
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