The Apple TV is a brand-new beast. You shouldn’t compare it with previous iterations as you can do much more with it, starting with gaming. As expected, Apple announced a new App Store for the Apple TV, but this is just one part of the story.
As TechCrunch reported, the Apple TV comes with a new remote that features a touchpad, a microphone and built-in accelerators and gyroscope — it works with Bluetooth 4.0 and the charge lasts three months. Think of it as a more versatile Wiimote-like controller, and it’s perfect for gaming.
For example, Jon Carter from Harmonix showcased Beat Sports. These games are designed exclusively for the Apple TV and it’s exactly what you would expect. You can wave the remote to play baseball and other Wii-like games. The only question is whether people still want to play this kind of casual games.
With a new native SDK and a dual-core A8 chip, the same that powers the iPhone 6, third-party developers are going to have fun with the Apple TV. A controller with a microphone, physical buttons, a touchpad and motion sensitive controls opens a lot of doors.
You don’t need to buy multiple remotes, because you can use an iPhone or iPod touch as a game controller. And of course, it probably supports third-party controllers. It might be the reason why Minecraft for iOS was updated just yesterday to support Bluetooth controllers.
While you can expect a lot of popular free-to-play games on your TV, many indie developers could start taking advantage of this new market. Moreover, as the Apple TV runs a variant of iOS called tvOS, it would be very easy to port games to the TV screen.
Many have tried to bring mobile games to the living room. For instance, Ouya released a somewhat popular Android console. But targeting only the gaming market is shortsighted. Think of the Apple TV as a great Trojan horse. Many people will buy it to stream Netflix shows, HBO content and iTunes movies. But once it’s hooked up to your TV, you’ll end up spending more time playing games than you first anticipated.
Eddy Cue named many games available for the Apple TV launch — Rayman Adventures, Disney Infinity, Guitar Hero, Shadowmatic and more. Hipster Whale got some demo time. Crossy Road now works on the Apple TV. As the Apple TV remote doesn’t feature arrows, you need to use the touchpad to move your character.
Hipster Whale also announced a new multiplayer mode for its popular title. You can push and block your friends and more. It will be available when the new Apple TV is out in late October.