Over the last several weeks, everywhere I turn, I’m hearing about all the cash Apple has on hand. Some say that the company should hold on to its nearly $100 billion in cash, while others say it’s time to spend some of it. Apple, for its part, has said that it will spend the cash when it feels the time is right, but didn’t give any assurances that it’ll happen.
When Apple finally decides to spend its money, it’ll have a host of things it can do. Apple will more than likely pay out some sort of dividend to shareholders that have taken advantage of its skyrocketing stock price. The company might also make strategic acquisitions, just as it did recently with its Chomp purchase.
But more than anything, I’d like to see Apple take a chunk of its cash and develop its own game console.
I’m an old-school gamer. For longer than I’d like to remember, I’ve been playing video games in the home, and I’ve owned just about every console that has been released. My addiction to console gaming has gone so far that I own not one, but two, 3DOs.
Although digital, casual games are all the rage nowadays, I still spend most of my time playing titles on my Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. That said, I’m ready for something new. And I think the best chance of getting what I actually want will come from Apple.
Apple is already a game company. The iPhone maker’s App Store is jam-packed with video games, and its mobile devices are now used more frequently to play titles than Sony’s PlayStation Vita and Nintendo’s 3DS. In the mobile market, there’s no stopping Apple.
I think Apple should build upon that with a console of its own. With the billions in cash it has on hand, the company could put everything but the kitchen sink into the device. It could come with the very best components and deliver top-notch graphics. With some help from its App Store, Apple could make good on the industry’s desire to make content distribution totally digital. And along the way, it can add access to other apps, making it a replacement for all the set-top boxes in your living room.
At this point, I have what I’m looking for from companies that want to deliver fun gaming experiences. But what I’m lacking is an all-in-one, dream device that does everything I need, plus all the things I didn’t think were possible.
I’ve long given up hope that Nintendo could deliver such a console, and Microsoft seems content to stay the course. Even Sony, which has pushed the envelope in the past, is in too much financial turmoil to make such a device a reality.
But Apple is different. The company has the cash and the expertise to deliver that special device. And from a business perspective, taking out two major competitors is something the iPhone maker has been hoping to do for years. Simply put, there’s no downside.
Maybe it’s selfish of me to request this and I know the chances are slim, but I’m hoping Apple will one day put all of its cash to good use and deliver to us the very best game console ever released.
It’s about time we get all — not most — of what we want, don’t you think?