When the new Apple TV is unveiled on Wednesday, gaming will likely be a tentpole feature of the new set top device, says a report by The New York Times. While that may not cause the folks at Microsoft and Sony to shake in their boots, it might put a chill up and down the spines of the Nintendo folks.
Apple is expected to make games a primary selling point of its new Apple TV product, which is scheduled to be announced on Wednesday in San Francisco, according to people briefed on Apple’s plans who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
While Apple’s iOS mobile platform has been a boon to mobile gamers, their Apple TV device has been left behind, allowing big screen gaming only via AirPlay capabilities built into only a few games. A gaming-enabled Apple TV could put a big dent into Nintendo’s piece of the gaming pie. The Japanese gaming company’s Wii and Wii U consoles currently dominate the casual gaming market.
Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins says Apple’s ability to make new technology popular with consumers could be their ace in the hole.
“No company has done more for the digital man-machine interface than Apple,” says Hawkins. “They’ve warmed up to games and are a worthy candidate to win the family room in the next decade, though the competition and inertia are epic.”
While the Xbox and PlayStation are overkill for many casual gamers, a box aimed at those pickup-and-play gamers could be a big success, especially with all the added video streaming features the new Apple TV will boast.
“These are very big, clunky devices,” said Steve Perlman, an entrepreneur who worked at Apple in the 1980s and later founded WebTV, an early set-top box start-up that was acquired by Microsoft. “They’ve got fans, big power supplies. Apple TV is really a modern computing device,”
The new Apple TV is expected to boast much-improved specs over previous models, with a more powerful processor, (possibly the A8X found in the iPad Air 2, although why not a beefed up A9, why should it be a generation behind the iOS lineup?). It is also expected to boast more online storage and a new touch-based remote control, with motion gaming controls. The device is expected to retail around $150.
The new Apple TV is expected to debut alongside new iPhones, as well as an iPad Pro, and iPad mini 4, this Wednesday. MacTrast will provide live coverage of the event’s livestream, so be here then.