Gaming as an Apple fan is a frustrating mess. Either you accept the fact that your gaming library is as tiny and overpriced as an alive Tamagotchi on eBay or you try to emulate PC games with the janky efficiency of someone stranded on a desert island trying to play Destiny on their coconut phone. But that all was set to change with the advent of streaming games which would allow any Apple user to play any game on any of their expensive screens. To which Apple, like an '80s dad, responded: That's too many games.
The general public has cooled off on streaming games. While Google Stadia was sold as a revolutionary way for those who can't afford expensive gaming rigs to still game to their heart's content, it felt more like summer-swapping the tricked out console from the kid with divorced parents only to find all the cartridges were filled with sand and the joystick didn't go left.
But even a paltry stream would've been plenty to sate parched Apple gamers, especially when that gaming could now happen on the go on their sleek iPads and iPhones. But this week Apple announced it will reject game streaming services like Microsoft's xCloud and Google Stadia from their official app store, leaving iOS devices out in the cold while MacBook users have to resort to playing the games in a browser like a bunch of Newgrounds tweens.
Unless, of course, Google and Microsoft are willing to play by the rules of Apple's paranoid prenup that are the App Store guidelines, which include "submitting games individually for review, and appearing in charts and search." A quite unreasonable demand for a streaming platform; it's not like Netflix has to personally check with Apple if it's cool to add another Adam Sandler movie. But this is a company that puts unscrewable screws on the lids and makes MacBooks self-destruct if you get them repaired by someone who doesn't have the Apple logo tattooed on their left buttcheek. If they say they're uncomfortable with having less than 100% control of how their products are used, you better believe them.
But, surely, the reasoning could be a ruse? It would make a lot more sense if this was a stratagem to clear the field for Apple's own game streaming platform? Allow me to give a technical retort:
Apple does not and will never need a streaming platform for its games -- most 2015 iPads could already fit the entirety of Apple Arcade, which is just seventeen versions of Mahjong and Sonic Racing. Furthermore, game streaming specifically caters to people who can't or don't want to pay tons of money on computer hardware just to do one or two things on it. That's not the kind of demographic the makers of the MacBook Air are interested in. The only gamers they need are people who play seven hours of Bejeweled Classic HD with the ads turned on, and the collective mom-o-sphere has already got that covered.
This could have been us, but you're playin'. Er, not playin'. Ugh, you know what I mean.
For more weird tangents (the spinning beach balls of the written word), do follow Cedric on Twitter.
Top Image: Google / Apple