Pippin: Questions and Answers (Part 2 of 2)

This article is part two of answers to questions concerning the Apple Pippin.
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
Pippin Manufacturers

Question: Will Apple ship a Pippin under its own brand?

Answer: Apple does not plan on shipping a Pippin under its own brand. One of Apples primary goals is to see Pippin devices penetrate into as many homes worldwide as possible. For this to happen Apple will focus its energies on assisting other companies in reaching these channels as they differ from Apple Computers existing computer reseller channels.

Question: Will Apple be the only hardware/software supplier for the platform?

Answer: No! Pippin is an open platform. Apple intends to encourage other companies to create not only differentiated Pippin systems, but also third-party aftermarket add-ons. Other companies can be expected to build upon Apples reference design and add their own value through either cost reductions or feature innovation.

Question: How many companies will be shipping Pippins?

Answer: The only publicly announced company at the time this document is being distributed is Bandai Company Ltd., a major toy manufacturer and CD-ROM game title publisher in Japan. Since Apple announced the platform in Tokyo on December 13, 1994, there have been many inquiries from companies interested in taking a license around the world. As contracts are signed and companies choose to announce their intents, the developer community will be among the first to know.

Over time, nothing will limit the number of companies that will be shipping Pippin devices. Apple believes that there is sufficient demand in the US, Japan, Asia and Europe.

Technical Issues

Question: Will Pippin titles play on a Macintosh?

Answer: Yes, Pippin titles will play on Macintosh computers. If the titles are 68k based they will play on both Power Macintosh and 68k based Macintosh computers. If the titles are written in native PowerPC code they might also play on both platforms depending upon whether or not the developer chose to code in fat binaries or not.

Question: Will Macintosh Titles play on a Pippin?

Answer: Yes, if the title is restamped with the Pippin system software. For some titles other modifications may be required, see below.

Question: Will DOS/Windows Titles play on a Pippin?

Answer: Yes, but with much more modification and recompilation as compared to Macintosh titles.

Question: Can Pippin be turned into a Macintosh?

Answer: No. While customers will be able to expand it through the addition of mass storage devices, codecs, video inputs, etc. it will remain a run time environment fundamentally more limited than a Macintosh.

Question: Can a keyboard, monitor or mouse be added?

Answer: Yes, and so easily a child could do it!

Question: What exactly will be included with a Pippin?

Answer: This will be specific to each manufacturer. The features that, at a minimum, will be common to each version of Pippin is listed separately.

Question: What kind of input device will be standard?

Answer: Input devices will vary between Pippin Manufacturer. Apple has been conducting global focus group studies on this issue. Obviously developers need to know which buttons, knobs, etc. will be consistent between machines. Apple will be specifying this to both the manufacturers and developers by May at the latest.

Question: What add-on accessories will be available for Pippin at introduction? At a later date?

Answer: At introduction, there will be an external floppy, keyboard, mouse, external ink jet printer and a GeoPort telecom adapter for analog phone lines. The base Pippin units will ship with an accessory kit that will include a single input controller device. Other add-on devices including hard disks, PCMCIA slots, MPEG2 codecs, etc. will be available later in time. Apple will not make commitments as to when they would be available as many of these will be supplied by third parties.

For additional information on the Pippin, see "Pippin: Questions and Answers (Part 1 of 2)" and "Pippin: Technical Specifications."
Published Date: Feb 19, 2012