This year's E3 conference in Los Angeles brought the introduction of Nintendo's newest and much talked about video game console, the Wii U. With nearly 5 years passing since the release of their previous blockbuster console, a new release from Nintendo had become highly anticipated.
What makes Nintendo's new offering unique lies in its 6.2-inch controller that includes a 16:9 touch screen controller, giving users an unprecedented way of interacting with games. Built inside of the controller is an accelerometer, gyroscope and camera -features that immediately led some to believe that Nintendo was intending to enter the tablet market. But after a deeper look, most analysts agreed that while the Wii U has a lot in common with Apple's iPad, it is in no way looking to take on Cupertino's newest blockbuster.
However, what hasn't been addressed yet is how Apple may be looking to position itself to compete with the Wii U. Many followers of Apple will agree that iOS devices already integrate much of what the Wii U has into its current operating system, with one missing feature - airplay for games.
Apple didn't reveal any plans Monday during its annual World Wide Developers Conference keynote that would suggest that airplay API's would be included in iOS 5, yet there are still three months to go until its final release. Apple could still easily add the airplay function and announce it this fall with the release of the new iPhone 5.
What raises suspicion about Apple's intentions is their focus on gaming and their recent changes to Game Center. Apple hasn't been shy in announcing that their iOS platform is fast becoming the most popular mobile gaming platform in the world, outselling Nintendo's 3DS and Sony's PSP.
Scott Forstall, Apple's Senior vice-president of iOS, announced during the keynote that iOS's game center now has 50 million members, making it one of the largest online gaming communities when compared to Xbox Live's 30 million members.
Bringing such a large built-in online community to the table may even help entice some of the console developers to release games for an iOS console.
With over 100,000 game titles already in their line up, and the combination of iOS, AppleTV and controller attachments to the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch Apple could easily make a quick assault on the $50 billion industry with the addition of airplay. Apple could also add the airplay function to work with their computers in place of the AppleTV, making the gaming system truly competitive.
Time will only tell for certain what Apple's plans are, but it is definitely something that Apple fans are anticipating and something Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft should be worried about.