The console gaming arena could be getting a new contender. A new rumor is circulating that Apple could be poaching Xbox engineers to help design its own gaming console. The rumor comes from Windows Central’s Jez Corden, who shared in a recent podcast that although he doesn’t have the best source, he has been hearing it for some time.
I’ve been hearing for a while that Apple has been poaching Xbox engineers to make its own console. I’ve heard that for ages, that Apple was exploring making a video game console. And I don’t know if it’s going to be a VR play, or a metaverse thing, or something like that…
Mr. Corden goes on to share some doubt about the current state of the potential project and adds, “I don’t know if that’ll come to fruition, I don’t know if they’ve canceled it already because Apple explores a ton of stuff…” This would hold true with past strategies at Apple, which are commonly known to at least investigate multitudes of markets to delve into and/or patent technologies for.
Poaching Wars Brewing
As Apple continues to evolve its own Apple Silicon, the idea of using that technology toward creating a console definitely has plausibility. Some have already theorized that the Apple TV+ service could serve as a storefront for games similar to what Microsoft and Sony have done for their respective consoles. Interestingly enough, this rumored poaching comes after it reportedly gave out bonuses to its own staff to prevent them from leaving for tech rivals such as Meta (Facebook).
The bonuses, which came as a surprise to those who received them, have ranged from about $50,000 to as much as $180,000 in some cases. Many of the engineers received amounts of roughly $80,000, $100,000 or $120,000 in shares, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the program isn’t public.
If the rumor pans out to be true, it would be the first time in decades that the console gaming ecosystem has had such diversity. For some time, it has largely been dominated by the big three: Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. Mr. Corden also speculated that Tencent Games could also be a future competitor in this market amid a 2020 patent for its own handheld, similar to the Nintendo Switch and the Steam Deck. Tencent would probably use its partnership with Epic Games Store to sell its games.