Apple Is Serious About Gaming: Steals Xbox Senior Director of Strategy

Anybody who said Apple wasn't serious about gaming can swallow their pundit nuggets right now: They just hired Richard Teversham, Xbox Europe's (now former) senior director of business, insights and strategy.

It's especially interesting when you take into consideration Apple's other recent major hire, ATI's former graphics CTO, the guy who designed the GameCube's graphics card.

For the love of all that is holy and Jobsian, however, it doesn't mean they're going to make a MacBoxStationCube 1080—the iPhone (and maybe that tablet/pad thing) is Apple's gaming platform. 15 of the top 20 paid apps of all time are games. There are over 9,000 games in the App Store. And there are 37 million iPod touches and iPhone out there—still below the PSP's 50 million and the DS's 100 million, but consider these are consoles that have been out at least twice as long as the iPhone platform.

It's not just the numbers, either. The argument that the production value of games doesn't match those on on the PSP or DS, is slowly becoming more irrelevant—not simply because extremely short-form gaming, which the iPhone handily beats the PSP and DS at, is becoming more interesting, but because the iPhone is picking up fare like Metal Gear Solid Touch, even if hardcore gamers can't replace their dedicated portable consoles yet. (Bad sign though: I'm a huge gamer, but haven't touched my DS Lite in months. I do play an iPhone game at least a couple minutes every day I'm on the move.)

Apple's got a very real gaming platform, they've got their own chips in place, and now they have a legit gaming strategist. If Nintendo and Sony weren't concerned at all previously, I imagine at least a bead or two of sweat is dripping down their forehead now, even if direct, bloody conflict between their consoles and the iPhone is still a generation or two away. [MCV via 9to5Mac]