Apple TV
Mock up of an Apple television

Apple is all set to unveil its upcoming game-centric Apple TV. Even though the new system is said to be actually a gaming console, expect the company to still call it 'Apple TV' – the same name they have used since its initial release back in 2007.

While the device is still waiting a final unveiling, we know by now that it will indeed sport a redesigned remote, at least if the numerous rumours are any indication. 

The device is said to arrive with a touchscreen interface, physical buttons, alongside a microphone for Siri. And if things fall according to plans, the Bluetooth-powered device will open up a host of possibilities for the popular little black box that's making as much noise as a new iPhone or an iPad.

But then again, you know all the nitty-gritty regarding the device already, courtesy a plethora of reports that have been making the rounds on the Internet. What you may not know is that this is an area Apple has indeed treaded in the past, although the results might not be something to boast about.

Apple has had a long (and grim) history with a host of TV-based gadgets, and much of it can be understood from this interesting retrospective. In fact, Apple's attempt to get into all-things-TV dates back to 1993 when the company released a 14-inch television, costing a whopping $2,100 at that time.

But that wasn't the last time Apple flirted with the prospect of taking over the user's living room. There was also the interactive set-top box that came around in the mid-1990s, apart from Front Row – a remote controlled feature rolled out for the OS X in 2005.

But nothing takes the cake when compared to the company's misadventures with Pippin. Have you already forgotten Pippin? Well, according to the company, Pippin came as "a multimedia player platform derived from Apple's second generation Power Macintosh hardware and system software."

The Pippin was designed as a playback tool for multimedia CD-ROMs initially created for the Macintosh and/or IBM compatible PC and at a low cost. So basically, this was Power Macintosh that Apple tried to repurpose as a gaming console.

The idea was to let users play CD ROMs on their TV sets, while effectively taking the business away from the likes of Saga and Sony. Saga was in the market with the Saturn, while Sony was just beginning to dream of a small gaming box called the PlayStation. While Sony rode off into the sunset, after pocketing its share of gold, Pippin just faded away.

The Pippin didn't get much time to perform, in all fairness, though. It was short-lived and was flushed down the pot when Steve Jobs made his return to the company. But that being said, it's not as if they never tried.

Bandai actually became the first (and the only) company to ever release a Pippin in two different variants. While the white, Atmark one was put up for sale in Japan, the black one was meant for the United States. And they failed. Both of them.

But in Apple's defence, that was 20 years ago. Since then, the Cupertino-based tech heavyweight has grown and evolved, and is obviously a more refined company today. So is this finally Apple's moment to take on the likes of Microsoft and Sony in the market? We have our fingers crossed.

Stay tuned for more updates!

[Source: Quartz]

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