Gaming reaffirmed as central tentpole of Apple TV revamp - report

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  • Reply 61 of 136
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    The camera analogy is bad. It was easy for people to leave a point and shoot camera at home, and use the iPhone instead especially when one can very quickly, and easily upload photos to FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.., and almost instantly share those photos with friends, and family. One can't do that with a point and shoot.

    Gaming consoles don't get moved around. One buys it, hooks it up to a TV, and it stays there for years. This is also the first time that Apple is moving into a category in which the incumbent devices do most of what the Apple device can do, and will still be better at gaming.  

    nope, the analogy holds -- iPhones did poorer than what SLRs or point and shoots did...take good pictures. original iPhones weren't so great at that. and I've never uploaded one to Twitter, and only recently to Facebook (for years I had to tether to iTunes to get the). but it was good enough. and more convenient since it was in my pocket.

    casual gamers don't have consoles already plugged into their televisions. but they likely do own an iOS device. and when buying a set top streamer may as well get one that adds games -- even games they may already own.

    but hey man, you're free to bet against Apple all you want. just as everyone has since the beginning.

    "less space than a nomad. not wireless. lame"
  • Reply 62 of 136
    danvm wrote: »

    Casual gamers already have their iOS devices to play their games.  I don't think they will move to play in an ATV just because they can.  And right now, IMO, playing games in an iOS device is more accessible than sitting in front of a TV to play the same game.  I'm still not seeing the benefit of casual gamers playing iOS games in the ATV. 

    iOS games are more social than hardcore games. I've had friends want to watch some of these puzzle games. If I'm on the sofa already there's no reason not to put it on the big screen.
  • Reply 63 of 136
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    I always thought playing on a big screen TV would be great, but the truth is playing on anything bigger than a 24" TV/monitor makes for less effective gaming. I was playing Halo on a 42" TV, and was playing poorly. I found myself inundated with the game environment, so I switched to a smaller screen, and I immediately went from a subpar player, to often times the best, or second best on my team.

    I think 32" is the largest recommended size for most gaming, any bigger and you have FOV issues like you noticed. But certainly smaller isn't harmful.

    Now, for split screen you want larger.
  • Reply 64 of 136
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,446member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NolaMacGuy View Post





    iOS games are more social than hardcore games. I've had friends want to watch some of these puzzle games. If I'm on the sofa already there's no reason not to put it on the big screen.



    What you are saying can be done with AirPlay, I haven't seen evidence of that being a reason of people buying the current ATV. 

  • Reply 65 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DanVM View Post

     



    What you are saying can be done with AirPlay, I haven't seen evidence of that being a reason of people buying the current ATV. 




    Airplay with games produces quite a big lag, with some games that makes it unplayable. There's also the issue of controls (if you're not using an external controller) in that you're controlling the game on the iOS device which is the screen and relaying that information to the tv (with lag) - very non-ideal gaming experience (using touch interface but not touching the screen you're viewing). Being able to play a game running natively on the ATV will be a big improvement. If you can't understand this, can you understand that perhaps you're not the target market, and just because you aren't the target market doesn't mean that a target market is non-existent? I think gaming on the ATV will be big. Whether it's complementary or it replaces existing gaming out there, I don't know and don't care, I still think it will be big - sheer numbers of people that will buy the ATV for video and other apps only make this a market not to be ignored. I like iOS games and I already use my ATV exclusively for watching television, adding games to it, games I already enjoy playing, so I can enjoy those games on the television's large screen, big appeal to me, and I believe lots of others as we're (hopefully) about to see.

  • Reply 66 of 136
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,375moderator
    I do have to wonder what, exactly, the AppleTV will use for input? Since it's running a version of iOS, maybe it will support the MFi BlueTooth controllers.

    Supporting the MFi controllers is an option but they couldn't bundle these with the box, which would mean gaming gets a lot less traction. If they only plan on having basic input then a remote like the current one with just a touch surface would work for single-tap games.

    If they wanted to bundle a controller that also acts like a remote, iPhones can be the template for it as they are already suitable remote input devices. Like the iPhone 3GS body but with just a touch surface like the Magic Trackpad and 2 shoulder buttons, possibly circular ends to make it more comfortable to hold. The Magic Trackpad is $69 but I don't think they should go above $49 retail for the controller so people can buy multiple ones.

    You'd hold it like a remote for normal interaction and then sideway for gaming. The downside with a dual-purpose accessory is not being able to easily put physical buttons on it but they could have two buttons in the middle, play (triangle) and menu (horizontal lines) and use the upper touch area for navigation when held like a remote. Then when you hold it as a controller, these symbols would appear like a pause button and a vertical triangle in between two touch areas to either side. For people who aren't into gaming, it would just look like a fancy touch remote. When gaming, it loses the familiarity of a standard controller but it has the advantage of working better with iOS software as it has a 1:1 mapping between user input and the display.
    danvm wrote:
    I'm still not seeing the benefit of casual gamers playing iOS games in the ATV.

    You can't do party games easily on a small display. Even something like a simple quiz where everyone can see the questions or a board game where everyone can see the board. You can do this via AirPlay but this requires both an iOS device and an ?TV and for the game to be loaded on and controlled by the iOS device.
  • Reply 67 of 136
    nolamacguy wrote: »
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    The camera analogy is bad. It was easy for people to leave a point and shoot camera at home, and use the iPhone instead especially when one can very quickly, and easily upload photos to FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.., and almost instantly share those photos with friends, and family. One can't do that with a point and shoot.

    Gaming consoles don't get moved around. One buys it, hooks it up to a TV, and it stays there for years. This is also the first time that Apple is moving into a category in which the incumbent devices do most of what the Apple device can do, and will still be better at gaming.  

    nope, the analogy holds -- iPhones did poorer than what SLRs or point and shoots did...take good pictures. original iPhones weren't so great at that. and I've never uploaded one to Twitter, and only recently to Facebook (for years I had to tether to iTunes to get the). but it was good enough. and more convenient since it was in my pocket.

    casual gamers don't have consoles already plugged into their televisions. but they likely do own an iOS device. and when buying a set top streamer may as well get one that adds games -- even games they may already own.

    but hey man, you're free to bet against Apple all you want. just as everyone has since the beginning.

    "less space than a nomad. not wireless. lame"

    Point and shoot cameras couldn't do what the iPhone did which is the difference.

    Where did I say I'm betting against Apple. I just don't think they're going to hurt the current console market like they've done to the camera market, and they don't have to in order to be successful.
  • Reply 68 of 136
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

    AppleBox

     

    Ahh! Flashbacks!

    CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 90

     

     

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

    Is gaming really that big?

     

    I wouldn’t have thought it’s as big a deal as is being claimed. What I don’t like–and no, this isn’t hipsteresque–is the casualization of gaming. There’s a very devious reason for it, but even ignoring that (you can’t really ignore it once you know about it), the gaming industry has been completely destroyed by casualization. Games are now made for inclusion, not quality or purity of story or gameplay. It’s a problem that takes the train of this thread, straps five Rocketdyne F-1s to it, and launches it so far off the rails that I’m not going to say any more here.

     
    Can Apple really make a huge dent in it, given that high-powered hardcore gaming appears to be its own world

     

    What Apple can do is steal the casual market from everyone but Nintendo, at least. That’s fairly significant.

     

    I don’t buy that gaming will be central to the new Apple TV in any way, shape, or form. That makes no sense given Apple’s history and given their lack of change regarding it. 

     

     Do gamers even operate in a Mac/Apple world?


     

    I have a GTX 980 in my Mac Pro now, and so I can handle the heavy stuff. But that tells you everything you need to know about Apple and gaming: they don’t even MAKE a computer that can do what the hardcore gamers want anymore. 

  • Reply 69 of 136

    I would like to see what Apples take on a gaming console controller would be.

     

    I could see them offering controllers separately since a lot of people buying the Apple TV won't use it for gaming and that would keep the SKU options cheaper and simpler.

     

    Since there would also likely be plenty of people who will want to use the gaming function, offering the controller separately at $40-$50 a pop would be a nice little revenue stream. Kind of like how lots of people buy an extra band for their watch, or opt for the trackpad+mouse option for their iMac.

     

    Then again they may let you use any bluetooth controller, but the few of those I have tried are kind of sub-par in quality and performance. I might be very wrong thinking this but I don't see them letting you use a Playstation or Xbox controller.

  • Reply 70 of 136
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lowededwookie View Post



    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

    http://www.silvergames.com/tt-racer

  • Reply 71 of 136
    Originally Posted by TechLover View Post

    I would like to see what Apples take on a gaming console controller would be.

     

    I once worked out a rough idea of the difficulty in creating a two-handed, ten finger, touchscreen mode of interactivity with games, and I remember concluding (at the time) that the type of software needed would be too unforgiving.

     

    Take motion in a 2D plane: That could easily be represented by the motion of your left thumb from a given start point (any point on the screen where the thumb initially rested). The greater the distance from that point, the faster the motion (to a game-limited max for running or whatever). Pull it back and the character slows down. Thing is, you shouldn’t have to know exactly where it was if you’re not going to be looking at the screen, too. So you’d need software that gives you ‘leeway’, in sort of the same way that touching the very edges of the screen in iOS does nothing (I don’t like that, by the way). But that leeway would make things less precise, and games would be limited by that. With a physical controller, the tension of a joystick is obvious, and you always know when you’re back where you were. Maybe if Apple uses one of those tactile response patents of theirs to trick your brain into thinking you’re touching different textures on your touchscreen. That’s a T-heavy sentence, that is.

     

    Oh, and in having this interactivity in the first place, the touchscreen would need to be able to distinguish fingers based on the shape of the sensors with which they come into contact. THAT shouldn’t be too hard, as each finger has a basically unique footprint under normal angled use. Still, it’s a lot of work for probably only a niche of games.

  • Reply 72 of 136
    Marvin wrote: »
    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.

    ...

    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).

    Those delays come purely from the storage media. The PS4 uses a hdd rather then SDD. It would not be cost intuitive to sale SDDs in the sizes they need while staying under 500$. If apple wanted to release an HD console they would have to release it with an HDD to prevent it from being priced to oblivion compared to the competition.

    dasanman69 wrote: »

    I don't know about the PS4, but on the PS3 the DVD drive was awfully slow. Any games on DVD format would take forever to load. Turns out what worked fine for movies didn't do they same for games.


    Ahh ...

    What if Apple has access to large, fast, efficient, durable, inexpensive storage? Where, you might ask, would Apple get this miracle storage? Why, they'd get it from Apple, that's where!
    Anobit provides flash storage solutions for enterprise and mobile markets, based on its proprietaryMSP (which stands for ‘Memory Signal Processing’) technology. Its solutions are designed to improve the speed, endurance and performance of flash storage systems while driving down the cost.

    Anobit’s technology is comprised of signal processing algorithms that compensate for physical limitations of NAND flash, the company claims.

    ...

    Apple bought Anobit for two reasons: its flash memory controllers are a key component of all Apple’s leading products (from iPads and iPhones to MacBook Airs), and in one fell swoop it just added a large team of chip engineers to payroll. Do not underestimate how important those chip engineers are. Apple had at least 1,000 chip engineers. Roughly 160 of Anobit’s 200 employees are also engineers, thus they instantly represent more than 10 percent of the total number of chip engineers at Apple.

    http://techcrunch.com/2012/01/11/why-apple-bought-anobit/
  • Reply 73 of 136
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     
    Originally Posted by TechLover View Post

    I would like to see what Apples take on a gaming console controller would be.

     

    I once worked out a rough idea of the difficulty in creating a two-handed, ten finger, touchscreen mode of interactivity with games, and I remember concluding (at the time) that the type of software needed would be too unforgiving.

     

    Take motion in a 2D plane: That could easily be represented by the motion of your left thumb from a given start point (any point on the screen where the thumb initially rested). The greater the distance from that point, the faster the motion (to a game-limited max for running or whatever). Pull it back and the character slows down. Thing is, you shouldn’t have to know exactly where it was if you’re not going to be looking at the screen, too. So you’d need software that gives you ‘leeway’, in sort of the same way that touching the very edges of the screen in iOS does nothing (I don’t like that, by the way). But that leeway would make things less precise, and games would be limited by that. With a physical controller, the tension of a joystick is obvious, and you always know when you’re back where you were. Maybe if Apple uses one of those tactile response patents of theirs to trick your brain into thinking you’re touching different textures on your touchscreen. That’s a T-heavy sentence, that is.

     

    Oh, and in having this interactivity in the first place, the touchscreen would need to be able to distinguish fingers based on the shape of the sensors with which they come into contact. THAT shouldn’t be too hard, as each finger has a basically unique footprint under normal angled use. Still, it’s a lot of work for probably only a niche of games.


    Good points. Controlling games on your TV with a touch screen in your hands seems sub-optimal, even with something like force touch. I have not used a WiiU but I don't see Apple going that controller route either.

     

    Just kicking the ball around, what if Apple made a controller that took some design cues from the industry leading Playstation and Xbox controllers (meaning buttons, analog sticks and triggers) and cast it in Liquid Metal or machined it from aluminium?

     

    Might be too heavy to make from metal, but that might be one good looking controller that maintains Apple's high-end classy aesthetic. 

  • Reply 74 of 136
    Originally Posted by TechLover View Post

    Just kicking the ball around, what if Apple made a controller that took some design cues from the industry leading Playstation and Xbox controllers (meaning buttons, analog sticks and triggers) and cast it in Liquid Metal or machined it from aluminium?


     

    LiquidMetal would allow it to be Wi-Fi transparent (or Bluetooth, depending on the alloy), so yeah. Sounds like it’d be something that would feel great to hold. Give it a Li-ion battery and a USB C port to charge/play. Just make it in the Nintendo+Xbox layout or it’s a no go for me. 

     

    ?Then again, a physical controller seems so un-Apple. I wonder if they won’t just stick with “specs” for one that third parties make.

  • Reply 75 of 136
    What I don’t like–and no, this isn’t hipsteresque–is the casualization of gaming. There’s a very devious reason for it, but even ignoring that (you can’t really ignore it once you know about it), the gaming industry has been completely destroyed by casualization. Games are now made for inclusion, not quality or purity of story or gameplay. It’s a problem that takes the train of this thread, straps five Rocketdyne F-1s to it, and launches it so far off the rails that I’m not going to say any more here.

    What Apple can do is steal the casual market from everyone but Nintendo, at least. That’s fairly significant.

    I don't buy the either-or scenario you're selling. Simply put, where there is demand, there will be product, period. There is a market for casual games, and there is a market for... whatever the other category is ("hard-core, mature-rated, AAA, manly games" etc.) I've never seen any impact to "quality or purity of story or gameplay" from casual games, because they are simply very different products. How do I know this? I play both kinds of games, and I have for many years. The Sims and Bejeweled didn't take anything away from Call of Duty Black Ops, Mortal Kombat X, or Grand Theft Auto V. There's a lot of money in those (traditional console) games, and AFAIK, they've remained untouched by "casualization." If anything, they've gotten bloodier, more mature (nudity), and more narratively complex than anything I saw on consoles ten years ago.
  • Reply 76 of 136
    Marvin wrote: »
    Yeah, I realised that the logo on the iPad was for Ducati so I searched Ducati and found it.

    I'm still looking for a good motorcycle game. Why has no one developed a good road bike game? The worst ones are actually the official MotoGP and SuperBike games. Way to trade on your name fools.
  • Reply 77 of 136
    cnocbui wrote: »
    Why did you send me to a Flash games site that can't even run on an iPad let alone dual screen to an AppleTV?
  • Reply 78 of 136
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,446member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by williamlondon View Post

     

    Airplay with games produces quite a big lag, with some games that makes it unplayable. There's also the issue of controls (if you're not using an external controller) in that you're controlling the game on the iOS device which is the screen and relaying that information to the tv (with lag) - very non-ideal gaming experience (using touch interface but not touching the screen you're viewing).


    I was answering a post that mentioned puzzle games, where lag is not much of an issue. 

    Quote:


    Being able to play a game running natively on the ATV will be a big improvement. If you can't understand this, can you understand that perhaps you're not the target market, and just because you aren't the target market doesn't mean that a target market is non-existent?


    A big improvement compared to what?  If you compare it to current iOS devices, I don't think so, since games are designed to be played in mobile devices.  If you compare it to current consoles, the big three are far ahead.  Maybe you are comparing it to the current ATV, that have no gaming capability.  And, yes, I know how big gaming market is.  What I haven't seen is what the ATV brings to the table that will make gamers move from their iOS devices or TV consoles. 

    Quote:


    I think gaming on the ATV will be big. Whether it's complementary or it replaces existing gaming out there, I don't know and don't care, I still think it will be big - sheer numbers of people that will buy the ATV for video and other apps only make this a market not to be ignored. I like iOS games and I already use my ATV exclusively for watching television, adding games to it, games I already enjoy playing, so I can enjoy those games on the television's large screen, big appeal to me, and I believe lots of others as we're (hopefully) about to see. 


    How do you know gaming in the ATV will be big?  You may like you iOS games, but remember that you are playing them in the platform it was designed for.  Do you really think that the experience will be the same in an ATV?  Playing games in large TV is much more than that. 

  • Reply 79 of 136
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,002member
    Marvin wrote: »
    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.

    ...

    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).

    Those delays come purely from the storage media. The PS4 uses a hdd rather then SDD. It would not be cost intuitive to sale SDDs in the sizes they need while staying under 500$. If apple wanted to release an HD console they would have to release it with an HDD to prevent it from being priced to oblivion compared to the competition.

    dasanman69 wrote: »

    I don't know about the PS4, but on the PS3 the DVD drive was awfully slow. Any games on DVD format would take forever to load. Turns out what worked fine for movies didn't do they same for games.


    Ahh ...

    What if Apple has access to large, fast, efficient, durable, inexpensive storage? Where, you might ask, would Apple get this miracle storage? Why, they'd get it from Apple, that's where!

    But it would ultimately be decided on how fast of an Internet connection the end user has.
  • Reply 80 of 136
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,375moderator
    Give it a Li-ion battery and a USB C port to charge/play. <span style="line-height:1.4em;">Just make it in the Nintendo+Xbox layout or it’s a no go for me. </span>

    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">?Then again, a </span>
    physical<span style="line-height:1.4em;"> controller seems so un-Apple.

    I couldn't imagine them making a standard controller with all those input buttons. Basic gaming can be done with a touch surface and shoulder buttons like so:

    1000

    It might not be the most comfortable controller for prolonged gaming but for casual gaming it should be ok. This would have a mic input on it. The shoulder buttons would be flush with the back so that if you weren't a gamer, it looks just like a touch remote.

    The left side would be movement, right side would be look and there would be two shoulder buttons that are analog and on a central rocker so that they have 3 states each with one finger (left side down, right side down, both down).

    The touch areas can be segmented into parts for different games e.g reserve the middle part for movement and look and then tap the edges for buttons. Platformers would need fewer controls than FPS games.

    The controller would also have a gyro and accelerometer and pressure sensitive surface and could be clipped to accessories for fitness training. It can have a clasp like the iPod for a wrist strap to let you play tennis games. There would be pinpoint lights on top to indicate charge and player number in multiplayer games.

    This can also work with the Mac for gaming if people don't have a standard controller.

    It would make sense to support MFi controllers too, this is just a way to bundle a single compact remote and gaming controller so that people have gaming out of the box without manufacturing a line of touch remotes and a separate line of game controllers.
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