Gaming reaffirmed as central tentpole of Apple TV revamp - report

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  • Reply 21 of 136
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member

    If they are releasing an Apple console I hope that over time it results in more games for the Mac.

  • Reply 22 of 136

    Oh wow, gaming! That is innovation!! Siriously, if that's all, I'm unimpressed. I have no objections for Apple going into the gaming market. It's probably interesting for investors, who see a big market there and lots of money. But that's not how I connect to Apple. I want them to innovate and be on the forefront of technology (and arts). The money will follow ... but without lead, no follower in the long run. And no turning to Apple for the others, to see where the way is leading to over the next decade. The **** don't just enter decade old markets.

    But let's see what Apple has up its sleeves. I hope this massive venue will be used for something much more inspiring.

     

    (Edit: Interesting ... Appleinsder replaces the F-word by stars.)

  • Reply 23 of 136
    irelandireland Posts: 17,794member
    TLDR; Apple isn't going to enter this market with a weak play of iPhone quality graphics, a high price and 4 gig storage.

    No one believes it'll be 4 gig. The existing model is 8 gig.
  • Reply 24 of 136
    nkhmnkhm Posts: 928member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacApfel View Post

     

    Oh wow, gaming! That is innovation!! Siriously, if that's all, I'm unimpressed. I have no objections for Apple going into the gaming market. It's probably interesting for investors, who see a big market there and lots of money. But that's not how I connect to Apple. I want them to innovate and be on the forefront of technology (and arts). The money will follow ... but without lead, no follower in the long run. And no turning to Apple for the others, to see where the way is leading to over the next decade. The **** don't just enter decade old markets.

    But let's see what Apple has up its sleeves. I hope this massive venue will be used for something much more inspiring.

     

    (Edit: Interesting ... Appleinsder replaces the F-word by stars.)




    Don't just enter old markets? Like digital music players, phones, tablet computers and watches you mean? You'd like them to create an entirely new product line with no basis in history - maybe a brain implant control cloud simulator with artificial intelligence and the ability to change colour/shape to resemble a sheep, a face or a teapot!? /s  Innovation isn't always about something brand new, it's about something that works in a new and improved way. That's what apple do. They take existing technology and make it better, then continually improve (while innovating constantly in terms of components, materials and user experience) in an ongoing evolution.  If you want something different to that, you're looking at the wrong company.

  • Reply 25 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nkhm View Post

     



    Don't just enter old markets? Like digital music players, phones, tablet computers and watches you mean? You'd like them to create an entirely new product line with no basis in history - maybe a brain implant control cloud simulator with artificial intelligence and the ability to change colour/shape to resemble a sheep, a face or a teapot!? /s  Innovation isn't always about something brand new, it's about something that works in a new and improved way. That's what apple do. They take existing technology and make it better, then continually improve (while innovating constantly in terms of components, materials and user experience) in an ongoing evolution.  If you want something different to that, you're looking at the wrong company.


     

    I doubt you compare the iPhone to the mobile phones before. This was an entire new product. The same is true for tablets. Even digital music players got a real overhaul. SmartWatches are certainly not a decade old market – and we'll see how Apple is doing here.

    Nonetheless, I grant you that phones, music players and tablet computers existed before Apple entered these markets. But Apple re-invented and revolutionised these segments by an entirely new approach, mainly through unparalleled new interfaces. If this is, what they will do with gaming – OK. So let's see whether they can revolutionise the gaming experience in the same way they revolutionised the phone, tablet and music player experience. But if it's just another console that provides more or less the same experience – then they simply are another player in an old market. And that would be not inspiring.

  • Reply 26 of 136
    nkhmnkhm Posts: 928member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacApfel View Post

     

     

    I doubt you compare the iPhone to the mobile phones before. This was an entire new product. The same is true for tablets. Even digital music players got a real overhaul. SmartWatches are certainly not a decade old market – and we'll see how Apple is doing here.

    Nonetheless, I grant you that phones, music players and tablet computers existed before Apple entered these markets. But Apple re-invented and revolutionised these segments by an entirely new approach, mainly through unparalleled new interfaces. If this is, what they will do with gaming – OK. So let's see whether they can revolutionise the gaming experience in the same way they revolutionised the phone, tablet and music player experience. But if it's just another console that provides more or less the same experience – then they simply are another player in an old market. And that would be not inspiring.




    Lol, of course I compare the iPhone to the mobile phones before (and no, it was not an "entire(ly) new product", phones had graphic interfaces and web browsing - albeit limited) well before iPhone; I also compared my iPod to me previous 'mp3 player', and I compare my iPad to the table computers we used ten years previously in engineering. I also compare the latest macBook to my old wallstreet. Same company - twenty years of continued research and innovation.  In the exact same way, I will compare the new Apple TV experience to what came before.

     

    I understand the meaning of the word innovation, and to say that Apple isn't innovating is utter crud.

  • Reply 27 of 136
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,904moderator
    What is the name of that game in the picture? I'm having trouble finding a really good motorcycle game.

    I'd love to see a Real Racing with motorcycles

    https://itunes.apple.com/app/ducati-challenge/id431566331?mt=8
    Apple's foray into the console market is believed to focus on casual gamers rather than those who prefer AAA titles like Call of Duty making the company's entry somewhat more worrying for Nintendo than for Microsoft or Sony.

    It is certainly more about the gamer than the platform. Nintendo still makes AAA games and games like Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, Mass Effect are on the Wii U but Nintendo gamers don't buy certain kinds of games. You can see the sales volumes of the Wii U versions of immersive/narrative games are about 1/10th of the other consoles, sometimes less:

    http://www.vgchartz.com/game/71748/assassins-creed-iv-black-flag/
    http://www.vgchartz.com/game/70620/assassins-creed-iii/
    http://www.vgchartz.com/game/71505/call-of-duty-ghosts/
    http://www.vgchartz.com/game/70788/mass-effect-3/
    http://www.vgchartz.com/game/71531/watch-dogs/

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidthier/2014/08/19/no-more-assassins-creed-on-the-wii-u/

    "Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, speaking to Gameinformer. In fact, not only will Assassin’s Creed not be coming to Wii U, but the publisher won’t be releasing any more “mature” games after Watch Dogs. So, basically, just Let’s Dance and possibly another Rayman.
    “It’s very simple,” Guillemot told Gameinformer. “What we see is that Nintendo customers don’t buy Assassin’s Creed. Last year, we sold in very small numbers.”"

    This is reflected in the revenues for the big games publishers on the NIntendo platform. They make about $700m revenue per console (PS3/4, 360/XBO) but only $20-70m for Nintendo.

    The Wii U has only just passed 10 million units in nearly 3 years vs 37m units of the PS4/XBO in 2 years. The original Wii sold over 100 million units but this launched before the iPhone. There's a video of kids playing with an old GameBoy and you can hear at 5:30 how they say they'd just go back to their iPad or iPod Touch:


    [VIDEO]


    One kid says 'I kinda feel sad for people in the past'. Another complained that it doesn't sense your skin and you have to press buttons, which is like the scene in Back to the Future ( ). Consoles still have buttons of course but kids will associate mobile gaming with touch now.

    Nintendo has gone from 154 million DS (2004) units, 100 million Wii (2006) units to 53 million 3DS (2011) and 10 million Wii U (2012).
    Meanwhile Apple should have hit around 800 million iPhones (2007), 300 million iPads (2010) and Android devices are probably another 1.5 billion.

    It looks like Nintendo already lost their audience to iOS/Android. A game developer for iOS said his girlfriend migrated to iOS from a DS and went back to check out the games and just wasn't prepared to pay over $30 for a mobile game any more.

    There are a few things to consider with the ?TV as far as gaming goes. Whether Apple would make and bundle their own controller, whether they'll have partnerships with big publishers to launch high quality games on it, what the pricing model will be for games. It would definitely be better with 32GB of storage minimum because games can be 4GB in size. I think the following style of game shown on the Fire TV would work well:


    [VIDEO]


    This can have networked gaming and a social element. There are party games and things like Karaoke that people do over the Christmas/New Year holidays so if they had a touch controller with a mic, they can turn it into a Karaoke machine with Apple Music providing tracks as well as dance moves on-screen, possibly accessory mats for feet positions or a body sensor. This is popular in Asia ( http://technode.com/2013/10/11/mobile-karaoke-app-changba-announced-100-million-users/ ). Apple makes a profit on shifting the boxes, just as Nintendo makes most of its revenue from hardware. It can have apps for fitness plans too.

    They're going to have to be mindful of capable TVs eroding the appeal of an added box. The following site suggests about 150 million Smart TVs have been sold so far:

    http://www.broadbandtvnews.com/2015/01/07/smart-tv-alliance-serves-58-million-tv-sets/

    The market leaders in the TV market are Samsung (~25%) and LG (~15%). If Apple was to aim for 5% marketshare, just below Sony with a premium UHD OLED TV set, they'd have the ability to bundle higher-end features and would guarantee they were the main device in that usage scenario so rather than questioning whether or not to get an ?TV box, it would be questioning whether a Roku etc or console would be necessary. The price wouldn't be nearly as restrictive. 5% marketshare would be 7.5m units per year. The ?TV is managing over 8m units per year but at a very low price. 55" 4K OLED sells for $4k just now. Non-OLED is $2k. If they managed to hit $1-2k with a reasonable quality display, I think they could manage 5% marketshare and would make up to $15b revenue vs <$1b with the box.

    The box is less risky, it has a larger potential market with a faster upgrade cycle but that doesn't matter if Smart TVs make boxes irrelevant.
  • Reply 28 of 136
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

     

    AppleBox


    ?Play

  • Reply 29 of 136
    habihabi Posts: 317member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BlueFire1 View Post



    How about a deal with Nintendo to put their older games like Super Mario, Donkey Kong and Mariokart on Apple TV?



    Wont happen as long as they keep getting people to buy Wii:s. Nintendo has been many times quite on the edge economically but their franchising and their exclusivity is what keeps them afloat. They have great games, always have, and I personally think this will be out of the question (wishful thinking) as long as they have their own hardware and it isn't too costly for people to invest in.

     

    Nintendo isn't like Sega, do you still remember that one trick pony (sonic the hedgehog)? After all content is the only thing that really matters in the end. Now that doesn't mean Apple is in any way doomed or anything. I really think its quite an attractive platform for gaming developers out there!

  • Reply 30 of 136
    mejsric wrote: »
    sockrolid wrote: »
    Probably.  But remember: this is the "Hey Siri" event.  The tag line on the invitation reads "Hey Siri, give us a hint." So maybe, just maybe, there's a chance that Apple may announce some kind of Siri API for developers.  Just the few top-tier developers who Apple allows to publish apps on the ?TV App Store.  I seriously doubt that any and all random developers will be allowed to publish ?TV apps.  Just the premium content providers and game developers.  I doubt people want 400 app icons on their TV screen any more than they want to actually watch 400 TV channels.

    And guess where else Apple might want to provide a Siri API for a select few app developers other than ?TV?  You guessed it: CarPlay.  I expect Apple to severely limit the number of apps available for use with CarPlay.  Most non-Tesla car infotainment screens are quite small.  And the icons need to be quite big to make them tappable from a distance.  I think even fewer developers will be allowed to publish CarPlay apps.

    Think of it this way: if Apple maintains a monopoly on the Siri API, in 10 years we'll be living in a "Her" future.  The OS will be the only thing that interacts with the user.  Apps degenerate into services that feed only data to the OS, and the OS determines whether to display images and text or to present a voice-only interface to the user.

    On the other hand, if Apple opens up the Siri API to developers, starting with just a few premium "brands," then there may still be diversity and vibrance in the apps and their interaction with the OS.  Just a thought.

    This event is not WWDC


    In a way, It is more like WWDC than a typical iPhone product announcement.

    The iOS 9 Beta is no where near ready for prime time. Instead of a normal 2-week (or shorter) beta release schedule, there has been none since August 6.

    This suggests to me that there are undocumented features in the iOS 9.0 to be released with the first iDevices shipped after Wednesday's announcement.

    Likely, there will also be a new iOS beta release for developers -- including new APIs for new devices (AppleTV, iPad Pro) to be delivered later -- say, October-December.


    I've been an Apple Developer for years, and this is the first time where the Beta OSes lack support, documentation (and a GM) -- so close to a product release that uses these OSes.

    I suspect that Apple may have spread its engineers too thin, trying to do too much concurrently to satisfy both announced and unannounced products.

    Apple has a lot of new tents * and new tentpoles this time around and it has shown a willingness to open up more access to OS APIs than in the past ... Undoubtedly Apple has struggled to carry this off compared to past efforts.

    I think that this may be a new way for Apple to operate -- more openness earlier API announcements, more things going on concurrently, multiple marketing/technical releases per year ...

    Once the tentpoles have been planted, Apple could host several targeted mini WWDC-Like events per year consisting of a Keynote, followed by targeted technical sessions. For Example, What's New in Enterprise, What's New in Gaming ...


    * Fashion, Enterprise, Content, Gaming, A/V, Health/Fitness, Cloud Services, Swift, Swift Open Source, iPad Pro, IBM Partnership, Apple Acquisitions, etc.
  • Reply 31 of 136
    AppleBox
    I would love for the new AppleTV to have an HDMI In like the XBox One, simply because Apple would do a light-years better implementation of the feature. So clunky on the Xbox. If you ask Siri about a show, it could show you all viewing options from the AppleTV as well as your cable/satellite box. Tell Siri which you want to watch, or have it set the DVR for you. That I would find very useful.
  • Reply 32 of 136
    leighrleighr Posts: 238member

    The internal storage, required to download games, raises some interesting question. Will it have a hard drive -  and if so how would that affect the form-factor? Probably more likely to be SSD, but that will impact pricing if there is a 64GB or 128GB version. That's pretty small compared to PS4 and Xbox, but iOS games are smaller, and they would likely push the Cloud as a way to delete and re-download games to save on space. Presumably TV/movies will be stream-only, and an iPod touch-esque controller would mean that iPhones and iPads could act as controllers via bluetooth. Looking forward to the reveal.

  • Reply 33 of 136
    leighr wrote: »
    The internal storage, required to download games, raises some interesting question. Will it have a hard drive -  and if so how would that affect the form-factor? Probably more likely to be SSD, but that will impact pricing if there is a 64GB or 128GB version. That's pretty small compared to PS4 and Xbox, but iOS games are smaller, and they would likely push the Cloud as a way to delete and re-download games to save on space. Presumably TV/movies will be stream-only, and an iPod touch-esque controller would mean that iPhones and iPads could act as controllers via bluetooth. Looking forward to the reveal.

    Some possible solutions:
    • Download games/content to your Mac (or PC) and crossload to AppleTV for playing
    • Cloud option as you suggest
    • Recode the Cloud games/content in h.265 reducing download file size and bandwidth by 40-60%

    The AppleTV is purported to have efficient h.265 decoding (hardware?) -- so you could begin playing/viewing almost immediately while the download or crossroad continues in the background.


    This is an anecdotal observation:

    My grandson has a PS4 which he normally plays in his room. Saturday was his birthday and he had a friend (sleep?) over ...

    They played PS4 games all evening/night/morning on the big TV in the family room.

    I noticed that there are quite a few delays when the PS4 loaded a new game, new level, etc.

    These delays seemed quite long and frequent -- compared to what I am used to running apps on the Mac.


    Maybe that just comes with the territory for game consoles.


    Is it possible that the new AppleTV hardware and iOS combination are robust enough to eliminate these delays?
  • Reply 34 of 136
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post



    I noticed that there are quite a few delays when the PS4 loaded a new game, new level, etc.



    These delays seemed quite long and frequent -- compared to what I am used to running apps on the Mac.



    Maybe that just comes with the territory for game consoles.





    Is it possible that the new AppleTV hardware and iOS combination are robust enough to eliminate these delays?

     

    It has an optical drive and 500GB HD I think, both of which Apple would never use. Solid state all the way.

  • Reply 35 of 136
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,285member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post



    I hope it's $199 with high-end internals (like an A9X) and more storage so it'll remain powerful enough for a couple years.



    All they need to completely turn the gaming industry upside down would be a partnership with Nintendo (as unlikely as that is). Apple hardware with Nintendos franchise games would be a killer combo.



    Right now the Wii U is a very good console with a great library, and is not doing good.  What the ATV cad do to Nintendo games to make them better?

  • Reply 36 of 136
    I'm going to make a wild suggestion based on nothing other than my own thoughts

    What if the "new apple TV" isn't actually a replacement for the Apple TV, but rather something else in the Apple lineup.

    What if it's actually a replacement for the mac mini

    You have a small box that connects to a screen via HDMI and probably has Bluetooth to allow you to connect a keyboard/mouse

    It runs ipad air 2 spec internals so has more than enough horsepower for productivity apps and the new splitscreen/multitasking mode

    It has an app store that could easily include device specific versions of pages, numbers and most other apps people use on their desktops.

    A large percentage of home users don't need anything special from a desktop PC. They use cloud apps and cloud storage. They don't play modern warfare or other high spec games. They don't use use Photoshop or logic or specialist business tools.

    The surf the web, manage photo and music libraries and create the odd document or spreadsheet.

    Do they really need anything more?

    At $150 this would destroy the cheap home desktop market.
  • Reply 37 of 136
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,825member
    Apple doesn't need to compete in high end game console. Mid tier game console with variety of decent living room games is winning strategy. If I get such gem console which can stream and do other few things, I will just buy for either streaming or for game and consider other features as icing on cake.
  • Reply 38 of 136
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,491member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 9secondko View Post



    Gaming is definitely a killer app.



    The Apple TV is definitely a potential STB killer.



    I just hope they spec it out.



    With the volume a proper Apple TV will do combined with ecosystem potential, they can exceed the ps4 capabilities and completely own the market.



    Otherwise, it's just iOS games. And while a fun little diversion at times, they aren't all that.



    Once again the spec monkeys will be disappointed and declare the new Apple TV a flop. Then it will go on to sell millions. Only stupid people buy Apple products don’t you know. Gamers, such a crew.

  • Reply 39 of 136
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,904moderator
    I noticed that there are quite a few delays when the PS4 loaded a new game, new level, etc.

    These delays seemed quite long and frequent -- compared to what I am used to running apps on the Mac.

    Maybe that just comes with the territory for game consoles.

    Is it possible that the new AppleTV hardware and iOS combination are robust enough to eliminate these delays?

    Modern games are typically over 20GB in size that is made up of audio, textures, models. A game has to load some of this data into RAM before the game starts so say it has to load 2GB to start a level. The read speed of the hard drive limits how fast it can load. The next-gen consoles still use SATA 2 (3Gbps = 375MB/s) because hard drives don't read much faster than 150MB/s sequentially. This would make a 2GB load time 13 seconds if it was a single large file. Multiple smaller files would take longer. Even loading an SSD into there would at best half the time because of the SATA 2 connector limit.

    When you look at something like the Mac Pro, which has an SSD with over 1GB/s reads over PCIe, when Pixar demoed MARI, they loaded 10GB of data into memory very quickly.

    The latest iOS device storage speed varies a bit but it seems to be over 300MB/s under normal usage and as high as 1GB/s under benchmarking. Add in the fact that mobile games use lower sized files to manage the 4GB size limit and it would easily load levels 10x faster (1/5th the data, at least 2x the read speed).

    However, the improved speed comes at the expense of visual quality. It's ok on a mobile display size but at 1080p on a large TV, the lower quality becomes more visible.
    danvm wrote:
    Right now the Wii U is a very good console with a great library, and is not doing good. What the ATV cad do to Nintendo games to make them better?

    Nintendo is failing to convince people to keep paying the high prices. They are still trying to sell games and consoles at next-gen prices. 8GB basic Wii U is $300, 32GB is $330:

    http://www.amazon.com/Nintendo-Wii-Console-8GB-Basic-U/dp/B0050SVHZO

    This is likely down to the display controller.

    http://www.amazon.com/Super-Smash-Bros-Nintendo-Wii-U/dp/B00DD0B0BM ($52)
    http://www.amazon.com/Mario-Kart-8-Nintendo-Wii-U/dp/B00DC7G2W8 ($57)
    http://www.amazon.com/Donkey-Kong-Country-Tropical-Freeze-Nintendo/dp/B00DC7O77A ($42)

    You can get a 500GB PS4 with a game for $400:

    http://www.amazon.com/500GB-PlayStation-Console-Destiny-Limited-4/dp/B012UGC9F0

    iOS and Android devices have eroded the mobile consoles because of the low game price. Young kids are just as easily entertained with them as any DS or PS Vita but to parents, getting a game for $0.99 or free by far beats buying one for $20-60.

    Nintendo doesn't have an ecosystem that is 1 billion strong where software titles can be moved from one device to another. The following game will be competitive with any of Nintendo's platformers:


    [VIDEO]


    The ?TV has already sold over 25 million units. If those owners and new ones can be convinced to get into the gaming model, selling a $5 game, possibly with IAPs to 10 million buyers means $50m revenue for a platformer game that probably didn't cost $50m to make. That's a solid publishing platform. The revenues for big publishers might not come close to their billion-dollar franchises on consoles but they can offer better return on investment as well as being a less risky investment.

    It doesn't look like the Fire TV has convinced people to do a lot of gaming on their TV box judging by the amount of ratings left for the standalone controller vs the box itself. They even started their own games studio. If Apple wants large uptake for gaming, they'd be better bundling a controller. A touch remote can be used for basic games like the jungle run style games, card games etc. I wouldn't like to see them rely on MFi controllers because they are poor quality for the price.

    When it comes to Nintendo games on iOS, they gain on platform size but lose on price and hardware sales. Given that Nintendo plan to make another console, they don't see themselves as a software-only company just yet and it makes sense as most of their revenue is from hardware and this offers some vendor lock-in. They will lose against Apple and Android here though eventually and won't have much option but to explore other options.
  • Reply 40 of 136
    Ok, I have to admit that I am completely opaque on the topic of gaming. It is not my world. So I'll readily admit that the questions I have area born out of ignorance. (But I do read about it.)

    Is gaming really that big? Can Apple really make a huge dent in it, given that high-powered hardcore gaming appears to be its own world, with its own ecosystem, including hardware? Do gamers even operate in a Mac/Apple world?

    Don't get me wrong. I have no doubt that whatever Apple throws at it with the new AppleTV will be a nice addition to device's existing capabilities. But will it really move the needle? In either the gaming world or for Apple? Somehow, I am expecting not.
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