Apple TV to dual as casual gaming device

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple's much anticipated Apple TV wireless set-top box will not only stream various types of media from Macs and PCs to widescreen TVs, but also serve as a casual gaming hub, the company appears to have inadvertently confirmed.



In releasing iTunes 7.1 on Monday, Apple began prepping users for the release of the $299 device, which was originally due in February but delayed at the last minute to the middle of March. The software will act as the central go-between for the hub and media stored on a personal computer, allowing users to sync movies, videos, podcasts and photos to the Apple TV in very much the same way they currently do with iPods. Similarly, they'll also be able run Apple TV in disk mode for manual file swapping.



What Apple has not yet said, but is quite apparent from Monday's iTunes release, is that Apple TV will also sport some rudimentary gaming capabilities. "Are you sure you want to sync games? All existing games on the Apple TV," reads a localized string file hidden in the software. Another reads, "Some of the games in your iTunes library were not copied to the Apple TV [...] because they cannot be played on this Apple TV."



In total, iTunes 7.1 includes a little over a dozen text strings relating to game management on the new Apple device. In addition to syncing, the strings offer user prompts for various other operations such as removing games, preventing unauthorized games from making the sync, and warning users when their Apple TV can no longer accept new games due to a lack of space.



The findings in the new iTunes release, while shy of an official endorsement, arrive on the heels of similar Apple TV-related gaming clues dropped by Apple and its partners over the last several weeks. It began with Greg Canessa of PopCap games, an official iPod game developer, who last month told Wired that he was in the process of taking his firm's the "stable of franchises and games" and customizing them for different platforms, including Apple TV.



"[Casual games] are going to continue to grow into non-core demographics," Canessa told the technology magazine. "This is relevant as it pertains to devices that are not currently earmarked as gaming devices: mobile, set-top boxes, Apple TV, MP3 players and other devices in the home that will reach the non-gamer --* people who don’t think they want to play."



Apple TV gaming strings found in iTunes 7.1



In the weeks that followed Canessa's apparent slip-up, readers of AppleInsider noted that Apple had been canvassing local institutions in search of junior additions to its internal game development workforce. In one particular instance, students at the Savannah College of Art and Design reported receiving an e-mail from a recruiter working directly for Cupertino-based company who was seeking interns for a summer program would be tasked with creating "consistent, high quality 3D and 2D art for games." A similar, but programming related proposition, was issued to the computer science students at Carnegie-Mellon University.



Although Apple has not commented publicly on its Apple TV gaming plans, it's believed that users of the device will need to purchase games on a Mac or PC through the company's iTunes Store and then transfer them to the media hub.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 63
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,526member
    Hard to believe there are not a lot of posts for this article.

    Do gamers sleep late or something?
  • Reply 2 of 63
    syklee26syklee26 Posts: 78member
    gamers are playing games right now and have no time to read this post.



    I believe ATV probably will allow you to play those games purchased for iPods. you can probably use remote for it too without much problem.
  • Reply 3 of 63
    Great news, I'm guessing this means we'll see new games too - as the iPod games wouldn't work as well with the ATV remote (No Click-Wheel).
  • Reply 4 of 63
    Has anyone thought about how you are going to interface with these games? Is there going to be a Wi-Fi controller in our future? Or an IR controller? If Apple wants to get serious about casual games then I think an Apple controller that would work with Apple TV, iMacs and MacBooks would be a step in the right direction.
  • Reply 5 of 63
    agnuke1707agnuke1707 Posts: 487member
    What, I can't play my PS3 or 360 games on it? That's bullshit ... I'm going to wait for Rev. 2. When the ?tv has an optical drive, DVR, PS3 and 360 support, and can act as a waffle iron, then I might consider buying it ... but only if they drop the price to $99.
  • Reply 6 of 63
    agnuke1707agnuke1707 Posts: 487member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Top_Slacker View Post


    Great news, I'm guessing this means we'll see new games too - as the iPod games wouldn't work as well with the ATV remote (No Click-Wheel).



    I'm willing to bet the remote will be getting a click wheel very soon... It would also make navigating large libraries on FrontRow a little better and be more analogous to the feel of the iPod.
  • Reply 7 of 63
    Quote:

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Top_Slacker View Post

    Great news, I'm guessing this means we'll see new games too - as the iPod games wouldn't work as well with the ATV remote (No Click-Wheel).



    I'm willing to bet the remote will be getting a click wheel very soon... It would also make navigating large libraries on FrontRow a little better and be more analogous to the feel of the iPod.



    I hope so, I don't see why they didn't have it in the first place. Can't be that much to manufacture.
  • Reply 8 of 63
    Current games for the iPod require the scrolling function of the touch pad to make them fun. The Aple remote has 6 buttons, but the wheel is really a 4-way button. I just don't think it offers enough input or control to make everyone happy with the experience.
  • Reply 9 of 63
    brianusbrianus Posts: 138member
    "Dual" is not a verb.
  • Reply 10 of 63
    boukmanboukman Posts: 93member
    I know this story is about games, but what I really wonder is if Apple will decide to create the online movie rental business.



    It looks to me like the Apple TV is the ideal platform for this. I know people think that you need to have a lot of bandwith to be able to download movies, but I believe the business model might be a cross between Netflix and video on demand: you choose which movies you want to see in the next couple of days; Apple TV downloads them for you, in the order you chose them, up to a limit of maybe 5 movies, and stores them on its hard drive for you to view them; and when you're done watching and rewatching a movie, you delete it, allowing Apple TV to start downloading the next movie in your queue. In this fashion, the Apple TV could actually take quite a longer time to download a movie then the length of the movie itself, making it feasable even with an average DSL or cable connection, as long as you have unlimited download. It would probably be faster than Netflix, but not quite as instantaneous as video on demand.



    Besides, I think people actually rent many more movies than they buy, so the rental model makes much more sense here than for music.



    What do you think? Is this a reasonnable business model? Do you think it could work?
  • Reply 11 of 63
    johnnykrzjohnnykrz Posts: 152member
    Quote:

    What, I can't play my PS3 or 360 games on it? That's bullshit ... I'm going to wait for Rev. 2. When the ?tv has an optical drive, DVR, PS3 and 360 support, and can act as a waffle iron, then I might consider buying it ... but only if they drop the price to $99.



    LMFAO... Although I am one of those people who can't see why I would want an aTV... yet
  • Reply 12 of 63
    How's this:



    Larger iPods get iPhone's Multi Touch.



    Shuffle, and possibly Nano, stay with the click wheel.



    The Apple Remote/Game Controller gets the click wheel.



    Multi-touch for devices with nice, big screens. Click wheel for small, affordable devices where tactile operation is important.
  • Reply 13 of 63
    jcgjcg Posts: 777member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Boukman View Post


    I know this story is about games, but what I really wonder is if Apple will decide to create the online movie rental business.



    It looks to me like the Apple TV is the ideal platform for this. I know people think that you need to have a lot of bandwith to be able to download movies, but I believe the business model might be a cross between Netflix and video on demand: you choose which movies you want to see in the next couple of days; Apple TV downloads them for you, in the order you chose them, up to a limit of maybe 5 movies, and stores them on its hard drive for you to view them; and when you're done watching and rewatching a movie, you delete it, allowing Apple TV to start downloading the next movie in your queue. In this fashion, the Apple TV could actually take quite a longer time to download a movie then the length of the movie itself, making it feasable even with an average DSL or cable connection, as long as you have unlimited download. It would probably be faster than Netflix, but not quite as instantaneous as video on demand.



    Besides, I think people actually rent many more movies than they buy, so the rental model makes much more sense here than for music.



    What do you think? Is this a reasonnable business model? Do you think it could work?



    They could also allow you to download however many you want with either a time limit like a 7 day rental or even have Apple TV/iTunes send a "purchase viewing" command via the web when you actually hit play. There is no real reason for a limit to the downloads given the lack of a physical media that needs to be returned and sent to the next customer. Want to rent the entire library for Hero's, Star Wars, whatever...just set them up to download with no charge untill you actually watch it. They could also go with a subscription service. However there is no evidence that I know of that Apple is going to do this. As far as I know they do not have anything in their Fair Play DRM or in QuickTime to allow any of these "Rental" methods. They could probably add it in if they wanted to, and as far as I know it is there already.
  • Reply 14 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brianus View Post


    "Dual" is not a verb.



    Perhaps they meant 'Duel'?

  • Reply 15 of 63
    " I believe the business model might be a cross between Netflix and video on demand."



    That's a smart idea. I find that Netflix hits the wallet just right - my only source of frustration with it is the unreliable and intrinsically slow mail delivery. I agree that renting movies sounds better than buying, especially if the cost is reasonable and the delivery reasonably quick. I've ordered the same movies several times from Netflix when I wanted to watch them again - it probably took less time than finding a DVD in my apartment
  • Reply 16 of 63
    crees!crees! Posts: 501member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nevenmrgan View Post


    The Apple Remote/Game Controller gets the click wheel.



    Multi-touch for devices with nice, big screens. Click wheel for small, affordable devices where tactile operation is important.



    Almost. I believe the remote will have the touch-screen interface like the iPhone. Remember when Steve said, "What is wrong with these phones? They all have static buttons". There was a patent that was rumored a while ago about a remote that could have a different button layouts for the source (TV, AppleTV, DVD player, etc...) you were trying to control.



    Maybe this will also serve as the "casual" game controller as well?



    If you think one step further it all makes sense. (Not that you didn't attempt)
  • Reply 17 of 63
    Maybe I'm just not seeing ahead of the curve, but it seems to me that touch (or multi touch) inputs won't work well for devices and controllers you don't LOOK AT while you use them. I don't mind it on the iPhone since most of the time, I have to look at my clumsy phone to use its allegedly tactile-friendly buttons anyway. But who looks at their game pad when they play games? Without looking down, I think it would be odd to hold a square controller and push different spots on it.
  • Reply 18 of 63
    Using the iTV as a games platform seem like a pretty good plan

    - it's got a reasonable GPU (nVidia7300?), HDD, HD Output, 256MB of RAM

    - the CPU ain't too great but not a disaster either

    - so you should be able get some pretty reasonable things running on it, but not of the 'Gears of War' standard

    - but that's not the market they're aiming at.

    i.e. it's somewhere between the Wii and the PS3/Xbox360 in terms of performance.

    - which is pretty respectable.





    Perhaps the delay has also meant they've upgraded the GPU and/or CPU? e.g G82 - that would be cool





    Also, Apple are in an almost unique position in the Games market, of actually selling each machine at a profit!





    Plus it means they'll get a whole bunch of games ported to the Mac platform - which can only be good for Apple.
  • Reply 19 of 63
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,526member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brianus View Post


    "Dual" is not a verb.



    Invalid gerunding. Fifteen yards and loss of down.
  • Reply 20 of 63
    The Apple web site specifically states that ipod games will not work on the aTV or it does on the UK website.



    http://www.apple.com/uk/appletv/
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