Despite Apple's overwhelming success with video games on its phones and tablets, the hardware and software giant has yet to take on living room gaming with any seriousness. That changes today with the new Apple TV: a set-top box with a focus on streaming content, which also plays games.
The new Apple TV has a motion-based remote control that enables motion-based gaming directly on your television. Here's a look at the new remote in use:
During Apple's event on Wednesday, the California-based hardware and software company showcased Apple TV being used to play a racing game ("Asphalt"). Apple exec Eddy Cue also listed several games heading to the new Apple TV:
- "Crossy Road"
- "Galaxy On Fire"
- "Rayman Adventures"
- "Disney Infinity"
- "Guitar Hero: Live!"
The team behind "Rock Band," Harmonix Music Systems, is creating a new music game for Apple TV as well. It's called "Beat Sports," and it's a combination sports game and music game. It looks cute and interesting!
Most importantly, "Beat Sports" uses multiple iOS devices as controllers — connect your iPhone or iPad as a controller, wirelessly, to play multiplayer. Which is to say no, thankfully, you won't have to buy multiple Apple TV remotes.
Also, no, you won't have to buy multiple versions of the same game: one purchase works across iPhones, iPad and Apple TV. And you can buy games directly on your new Apple TV through the standard App Store.
The new Apple TV stands in stark contrast to the current Apple TV, which is only able to play games only over Apple's "AirPlay" function; games must be streamed from an iPhone or iPad to the Apple TV box over a shared WiFi network. The difference with the Apple TV announced on Wednesday is its ability to download and play games locally, directly on the device. It even comes with a gamepad...sort of.
Of course, it's not exactly a huge surprise that the new Apple TV focuses so much on gaming. Reports leading up to the September 9 Apple event indicated that a new Apple TV would be announced and, moreover, it would feature gaming as a highlight.
The device was said to include a remote with Nintendo Wii-like motion controls, which would enable motion-based games like "Real Racing 3" to be played. The remote also supposedly has a microphone built-in, for using voice assistant Siri as a means to interact with the set-top box (from control to search to other stuff we don't know about).
As for a price, Apple TV costs $150 (with 32GB of storage) and $200 (with 64GB of storage) – the cost of a much more powerful box than previous Apple TVs (which start at just $69).