What is Pippin?
Pippin is a multimedia player platform derived from Apple's
second generation Power Macintosh hardware and system software. It is
designed as a playback tool for multimedia CD-ROMs initially created
for the Macintosh and/or IBM compatible PC and at a low
Pippin is directed
to the home market (and probably schools) as an integral part of the
consumer AV stereo and TV environment. Its primary display will be a
TV screen. It uses one of the most advanced RISC microprocessor
architectures in the industry today, PowerPC. It is derived from both
the hardware and software architectures of the Macintosh. It will
provide developers with an easy way to take their investment in
personal computer CD-ROM content and make it available to a wider
audience in a more natural environment associated with entertainment
What events led to the introduction of Pippin?
percentage of personal computers having CD-ROM drives, is rapidly
approaching 100% for the Macintosh. In 1994, for the first time, the
worldwide sales of personal computers (from all manufacturers) into
the home exceeded 10M. It was also the first year in which more
personal computers sold into the home went those already having a
More than 60% of
the households in the U.S. have combined gross income less than
$40,000 per year. While most of these homes have one or more
television sets, it is expected that even by 1997 the number of homes
in this category with a personal computer will be well below 10%. The
high barrier price of personal computers is limiting its penetration
into homes around the world. Multimedia hardware and content sales
will be limited in the years to come, just as many new title
publishers are entering the industry. It is essential to the
long-term health of the CD-ROM title industry that the growth it is
experiencing now, continue into the future.
Apple realized that
for multimedia technology to reach the home, the entry price must be
reduced substantially. A low entry price is still not enough. The
platform must be distributed by many companies which collectively can
reach a much larger audience than one company alone. Apple has chosen
to make the Pippin platform available under license to manufacturers
interested in building and selling their own version.
How will Pippin be positioned in the market?
all a family wants is the least expensive video game player and does
not want to be able to use their purchase for other uses they will
probably be better off buying the upcoming new platforms being
introduced by the video game giants Nintendo and Sega. Other new
platforms such as Atari Jaguar, Sony Playstation and 3DO are all
video game players and cannot be useful for much else. It remains to
be seen how these platforms will hold up against the two mainstay
players, Nintendo and Sega.
Apple believes that
families are looking for more than video game players today.
Certainly they want to be able to play their favorite games, but they
also want to communicate, learn, play interactive music, access
information and much more. Pippin provides them this capability. In
addition it provides them a high level of compatibility with a
mainstream personal computer technology. This will provide them the
knowledge that their investment in CD-ROM titles and experience will
not go to waste.
What is the difference between a Macintosh and Pippin?
Pippin is derived from the second generation of Power Macintosh
computers. Much of its system software code, integrated circuit cells
and integrated circuits come directly from the Macintosh world.
Pippin is being designed for optimal playback. It operates from a
run-time version of the Mac OS on less memory with more dedicated
functions. While it is possible to add mass storage devices in the
aftermarket, Pippin will ship with only a readable CD-ROM mechanism
as a mass storage device.
there is no hard disk, how is the system software distributed?
system software will be incorporated into the hardware separate from
the CD-ROM player. Different Pippin system software releases will be
available from which the developer to choose. Each will support a
different functionality set. The end customer will not know or care
which version of the operating system is bundled with their CD-ROM
title. The Pippin title will support successive generations of titles
always improving in performance and functionality.
Why is Apple doing this?
is a logical extension of our existing technology. It capitalizes on
Apple's expertise in multimedia, RISC and ease-of-use....using
resources and technology that are already in place today, not an
entirely new product or market concept. The architecture and business
model for Pippin are designed to provide this wealth of content with
a means for reaching an audience substantially larger than that which
exists today. For Apple this is a strategic thrust to expand its
business beyond the sales of personal computers and at the same time
put the multimedia industry, currently in its infancy, into high
gear. This is part of Apple's on-going strategy to expand the reach
of Macintosh technology into new markets.
There were two key elements missing that prevented Apple from
launching Pippin earlier. The first is technology. QuickTime has
progressed as an industry standard and has developed increasingly in
sophistication to the point now that it is an extremely compelling
technology. In addition, Apple had to make the transition to RISC
microprocessor technology. To reach the performance necessary for
game and multimedia playback RISC technology is a must. Apple has
successfully made the transition to RISC.
The second major
reason why Apple has waited until now is market maturity. The year
1994 will be known within the industry as the year in which
Multimedia became mainstream. CD-ROM titles are being reviewed in the
New York Times Book Review section. Hit titles such as Myst, Rebel
Assault, Star Trek Interactive Manual, Doom, etc. are hitting
distribution volumes ranging between 200,000 and 1,000,000 units. The
momentum for creating the content is now in place. Pippin is designed
to take this momentum of content on the personal computer and
distribute in much greater volumes throughout the world.
How did Apple choose the name Pippin?
Pippin is a type of apple. It is smaller than a McIntosh apple. Apple
chose this name because it would be easily associated with Apple,
Computer Inc. Moreover, Apple believes that over time Pippin will
take many forms including home telecommunication devices, game
players and much more. Hence, Apple did not want to choose a name
that would be specific for a certain market space as it will
certainly appeal to many types of consumers and be shipped in a
variety of forms from many manufacturers.
What type of CD-ROM titles will work on Pippin?
Apple is integrating hardware technologies which improve the
"on-screen" appearance of text on a TV screen. While the text will
never be as clear as that on a computer monitor it is substantially
better than anything in the video game industry today. This was done
because Apple intends to encourage a wide diversity of titles to be
available on Pippin, including reference titles which contain a great
deal of textual information. We expect action games, adventure games,
simulation, role-playing games, puzzles, reference, education,
learning, interactive music and more.
Pippin is not
expected to be strong in document creation or modification. Computer
applications are not well suited to systems without a lot of memory.
Simple word processors, simple spread sheets, tax preparation
programs, financial management tools, and children's authoring
tools should work well on a Pippin as long as there is a rewritable
mass storage device that can store data files.
What is in this for the customer?
the first time, the customer will be able to "buy-in" to the era of
multimedia and cyberspace at a low entry ticket price. The customer
will be able to expand the entry system through aftermarket add-ons,
accessing some personal computing capabilities if they choose. They
will be able to buy the unit from a variety of companies in different
configurations in a multitude of distribution channels. Their Pippins
will integrate within their audio-visual consumer electronics world.
In addition, it will be able to communicate and transfer files with
their personal computers should they have them in their home.
Finally, the Pippins with the addition of a GeoPort adapter or
external modem will permit the customers to communicate over
Will Pippin reduce the system configuration problems faced in the
personal computer market?
Answer: Pippin is
designed to behave like an audio CD Player. The customer inserts the
CD-ROM into the player and it automatically boots off the CD. There
are no files to configure and no drivers to conflict over system
Can customers upgrade their Pippins?
Answer: Pippin is
the most expandable device in its category. The consumer can add
system memory easily using plastic DRAM memory cards. In addition,
through the PCI-like expansion, manufacturers will be able to add
other devices, including mass storage devices, graphics accelerators,
compression decoders and more. Thus, by purchasing easy to
add/configure add-ons, the customers will be able to retain their
investment into the future.
Will customers upgrade Pippin to a Macintosh?
Pippin cannot be made into a Macintosh. Without the availability
of a high speed read/write mass storage device customers will find it
difficult (at best) to utilize current "standard" personal computer
applications. It would not be unfair to say, however, that Apple
would like Pippin customers to also be Macintosh customers. The
advantage for the customer is that their investment in titles can be
played on both machines.
Wouldn't customers rather view their titles on a computer screen?
actually depends upon the customer and the title. The vast majority
of the worldwide market doesn't own a computer monitor and is
unlikely to own one any time soon. This permits a larger number of
people to interact with the screen simultaneously. This also enables
customers to integrate their Pippin with their home entertainment
prefer, they will be able to attach a 640x480 VGA monitor to
Will Apple ship a Pippin under its own brand?
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
Will Apple be the only hardware/software supplier for the
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.
How many companies will be shipping Pippins?
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
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.
I've seen both white and black Pippin units. Are they the same??
yes they are the same. Marketing wise, no. The white units are called ATMARK,
and was sold only in Japan. The black unit is called @WORLD, and was sold in
the U.S. There are actually black ATMARK units in Japan, but these are
considered very rare.
Will Pippin titles play on a Macintosh?
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.
Will Macintosh Titles play on a Pippin?
if the title is re-stamped with the Pippin system software. For some
titles other modifications may be required, see below.
Will DOS/Windows Titles play on a Pippin?
but with much more modification and recompilation as compared to
Can Pippin be turned into a Macintosh?
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
Can a keyboard, monitor or mouse be added?
and so easily a child could do it!
What exactly will be included with a Pippin?
will be specific to each manufacturer. The features that, at a
minimum, will be common to each version of Pippin is listed
What kind of input device will be standard?
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.
What add-on accessories will be available for Pippin at
introduction? At a later date?
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
Question: The Pippin
Finder documentation is wrong. What should I do?
Answer: There is some information missing in the "Creating Pippin CD-ROMs
In sections 4.3.1, 4.3.2, and 4.3.3, after you "rename the PippinFinder file to
Finder" you must:
- Open the new renamed Finder in ResEdit.
- Under "File" in the menu bar, select "Get Info For Finder".
- In the Info for Finder window change Type from "APPL" to "FNDR" and
Creator from "pfdr" to "MACS".
- Finally, close and save the new Finder.
Question: How can I download the PippinPPCLib?
Answer: Several files were left out of the SDK, including some useful sample
files that can show you how to write Pippin standard file source code.
these extra files by clicking here.