My take on Mac|Life's GameDock concept
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My take on Mac|Life's GameDock concept

But first here's what the fevered minds at Mac|Life came up with, based on the success of the iPhone/iPod touch as a gaming platform: "Take this nifty little gaming platform and assign it double duty as both a handheld and a console system. The GameDock accommodates the iPhone and iPod touch and hooks directly to your TV and the Internet. Whether you download a game wirelessly via the handheld or wiredly via the GameDock, you pay just once for two versions of the same title.
"This is where things get interesting. When you download a game straight to your handheld, you can immediately begin playing the touch-controlled version of the game. And it’s glorious! And the next time you seat your handheld in the GameDock, the console immediately sucks down the full, expanded version of the game from the App Store, and stores it in its voluminous hard drive.

"So now you can play the console version of the very same game -- with more features, more content, expanded controls, and, thanks to the GameDock’s integrated graphics processor, better visuals.

"And should you first download a game when your handheld is seated in the GameDock, the 'mini' version of the game shoots straight into your iPhone or touch, ready to play the next time you disengage from the console and hit the road.

"Of course, the GameDock scheme wouldn’t be quite so interesting if not for its seamless integration of content. For some game titles, the handheld version of the game exists as sort of an autonomous 'mini game' -- its gameplay model runs independent of the console version’s. But for other titles, the handheld and console versions of the same game work together. Gameplay models obviously differ between the mobile and full versions, but each version hooks into the other in creative, novel, symbiotic ways. And through the power of syncing, your progress in level- and achievement-based games is saved and always propelled forward, regardless of which version you’re playing."

Pretty clever, huh? But what if, instead, Apple used the GameDock as a way to sell more Macs by offering Mac-only gaming options that tie in with the iPhone and iPod touch? In my scenario (which, I admit, might not be technically possible), Apple wouldn't enter the console game wars, but would turn the Mac into Wii-like computer gaming system.

Instead of connecting to a TV, the GameDock would connect to a Mac (and perhaps be built into high-end iMacs), allowing Apple computers to run the "bigger" versions of the "mini" games on the iPhone and iPod touch that Mac|Life suggested. The GameDock would also allow multi-touch, accelerometer-equipped game controls (made by Apple, natch) to be used with the Mac games.

This might greatly enhance the "halo effect" of the iPhone, iPod touch sales on Apple computers. And it would certainly enhance the number of games available for the Mac.

The iPhone/iPod touch + GameDock + Mac = more big bucks for Apple and increased Mac market share.

At least that's my scenario. What do you think?

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