'Apple TV 4K' shipping with six-core A10X Fusion chip, 3GB of RAM [u]

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  • Reply 61 of 73
    melgross said:
    It doesn’t apply to mobile gaming. That shows that you’re not a gamer. If you were, you would go to the sites that involve themselves with that. If you did, you’d see the low esteem gamers hold for mobile gaming. They call mobile gamers casual gamers. That, by the way, is an insult.

    I think you need to take that with a grain of salt though, as both Steam for PC and Playstation/Xbox sell so-called "casual" indie games as downloads too...the same types of games that are available on mobile. Really, as mobile becomes more and more powerful (and cloud gaming becomes technically more viable), you're going to see those delineations continue to crumble. 
  • Reply 62 of 73
    Marvin said:
    melgross said:
    The problem, as I keep saying, and I will say it again, is that without franchise support from major console developers, this will never get off the ground as a serious game machine. 

    They tried, and mostly failed on iOS. I mean, major console developers. Many mainstream games have iOS counterparts, mostly unplayable, with crappy controls or miserable graphics. That's all they can deliver. They ignore Metal, they don't code from scratch, they all act with the obsolete cross-platform mentality: write once, run everywhere. No, one can't win on mobile like that. They must code from scratch and use Metal.
    The graphics intensive games aren't the ones making the revenue on mobile, it's a different business model.

    When you look at the number of units, Apple TV is comparable to the big consoles in install base (~40m units) but it doesn't sell premium software. Console gamers will spend $60 on a console game so just 10m buyers gets $600m revenue and this can happen in the first week of sales. The business model on mobile is free-to-play.

    https://venturebeat.com/2016/03/23/half-of-all-mobile-games-revenue-comes-from-only-0-19-of-players-report/

    When you look at the financials of the biggest gaming companies: Ubisoft, EA, Activision, Tencent, the mobile revenues come from very few titles that make a lot of money. These are the same titles you see constantly in the top grossing lists and you can see how quickly the revenue falls off:

    https://thinkgaming.com/app-sales-data/

    Ubisoft only makes 7% of sales from mobile, 93% from PC/console. They make about 1.5b euros per year.
    Activision makes 70% of their revenue from Call of Duty, Candy Crush, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch.
    EA makes 20% of their revenue from mobile and the top earners just now are Madden NFL, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes and The Sims.

    The way that companies succeed in mobile is addiction. They need high monthly active users who keep paying. They essentially need to get the small percentage of people who pay on mobile to match the revenues of their other platforms e.g get 100m monthly active users, get 2% (2m) paying and get them to pay e.g $5/month for $120m/year revenue.

    Getting a single game over 100m monthly active users is hard even with a mobile base of ~3b mobile users. Now consider the numbers on Apple TV with an install base likely below 50m units. If you got 1/5th of the worldwide install base playing your game, that's still just 10m monthly actives and 2% of them paying is 200k players = $1m/month, to cover both development costs and marketing. The user engagement changes too because it's not someone with their mobile device with them all the time playing at any opportunity, it's when they are sitting at home in front of the TV so it's competing with TV viewing.

    Console gaming can compete better with TV viewing because of the depth of the experience with AAA games but developers would have to be crazy to produce AAA games on a massive budget ~$50-100m to then market it to a free-to-play audience with a small install base.

    The style of game that would probably work best is the MMO/online-multiplayer games like League of Legends, Overwatch, Titanfall, Destiny, Dota 2, Starcraft, Hearthstone. These can work using the controller inputs, they don't need to be the highest quality graphics (these games have versions on last-gen consoles), they can make revenue from subscriptions and IAPs and they will have long-lasting user engagement.

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/317099/number-lol-registered-users-worldwide/
    https://venturebeat.com/2017/08/03/overwatch-and-hearthstone-help-blizzard-hit-a-record-46-million-active-monthly-players/

    If Apple could get something like Overwatch ported over, they'd get a few million players that way. Star Wars Battlefront is another but titles like that would have to lose or significantly lower the upfront fee and push the in-game purchases. This isn't easy to do because their partners will ask why they are dropping prices on a competing platform and not theirs.

    Another style of game that works well on TV would be the experience games where it's like interactive/emotional storytelling. These would be games like Unravel, Inside, Limbo, Ori, Little Nightmares, Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Life is Strange, What Remains of Edith Finch, the Telltale games franchises. Telltale put one on Apple TV already: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/minecraft-story-mode-a-telltale-games-series/id1069464603?mt=8. Some of these games can tie-in with TV/movie franchises. They are pretty much one-off experiences e.g <5 hours gameplay but they are lower budget so just getting a few million sales at a low upfront cost is good enough. They just need convincing that it would be worthwhile, maybe Apple covers the cost of porting to Apple TV and recoups it from the sales.

    The other aspect to think about is the development time for the games. The A10x chip should be faster than the Nintendo Switch. The Switch's sales have been driven by Zelda. This game took 4 years to make with 300 developers:

    http://nintendotoday.com/breath-of-the-wild-development/

    The Apple TV could run a game just like this but development would have had to start 4 years ago and target the current Apple TV. If a similar development started now, they'd be targeting the next Apple TV. This is why the multiplayer games work better because players interact with each other. Maps and content can be added over time and revenue is more predictable.

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2017-03-13-an-epic-shift

    I don't think the Apple TV is suited to either AAA single player console games or mobile iOS games, it's somewhere in between where it's a connected device that works best with controllers and needs quick turnaround, low budget games with high user engagement.
    Mobile iOS games are not games that are played when walking, so I don't get why AppleTV wouldn't qualify as "mobile" just because it is connected to power and TV. There are many successful games that you can begin on the iPhone and continue on iPad or Mac. What is excluding the AppleTV from such a continuity? This is just a developer choice, not some intrinsic limitation of AppleTV. Limiting the scope of AppleTV gaming to Solitaire doesn't do justice.
  • Reply 63 of 73
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,983member
    Soli said:
    melgross said:
    sog35 said:
    IMO, Apple needs to buy a couple game studios.

    Then give developers major incentives to port iOS games to the ATV4. 

    Then get super aggressive on acquiring rights on classic games from the 80's and 90's.  Get games like Pacman, Street Fighter 2, ect.

    Those 3 moves could make the ATV an amazing retro/casual gaming machine. 
    I just said that too. Apple needs to kick this to a higher level. People aren’t going to come just because it’s Apple. My daughter and her friends, all of who’ve are major gamers in their mid twenties, have consoles. Even though they play games on their iPhones, which most of them have, all the “real” gaming is done on the PlayStation or XBox.
    You and Sog always saying the world's most valuable company "needs" to do. I appreciate comments like Boltsfan where he expresses what he "wishes" Apple would do. I can't think of a single thing that I believe Apple needs to do to be successful, but if you ask me for my wishlist we're going to need a bigger Internet.
    You are completely wrong. I rarely ever say that. In fact, I didn’t mean to say it now, but it slipped out because I was in a hurry. But this is one of the few times in which Apple can’t have it both ways. Either they downplay gaming on this, or they make it much more desirable by having major games that people actually want to play. Yes, before you suck your breath in, of course it’s my opinion. You can think whatever you want to.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 64 of 73
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,983member

    melgross said:
    It doesn’t apply to mobile gaming. That shows that you’re not a gamer. If you were, you would go to the sites that involve themselves with that. If you did, you’d see the low esteem gamers hold for mobile gaming. They call mobile gamers casual gamers. That, by the way, is an insult.

    I think you need to take that with a grain of salt though, as both Steam for PC and Playstation/Xbox sell so-called "casual" indie games as downloads too...the same types of games that are available on mobile. Really, as mobile becomes more and more powerful (and cloud gaming becomes technically more viable), you're going to see those delineations continue to crumble. 
    Steam makes most of its money from “hardcore” gaming. Will that change? Maybe. But I’ve been reading this for years, and it hasn’t changed yet.

    besides, it’s not the issue. The issue is whether Apple can get this to become a recognized gaming platform. They’ve sorta tried, but they haven’t tried very hard.
  • Reply 65 of 73
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,983member

    Marvin said:
    melgross said:
    The problem, as I keep saying, and I will say it again, is that without franchise support from major console developers, this will never get off the ground as a serious game machine. 

    They tried, and mostly failed on iOS. I mean, major console developers. Many mainstream games have iOS counterparts, mostly unplayable, with crappy controls or miserable graphics. That's all they can deliver. They ignore Metal, they don't code from scratch, they all act with the obsolete cross-platform mentality: write once, run everywhere. No, one can't win on mobile like that. They must code from scratch and use Metal.
    The graphics intensive games aren't the ones making the revenue on mobile, it's a different business model.

    When you look at the number of units, Apple TV is comparable to the big consoles in install base (~40m units) but it doesn't sell premium software. Console gamers will spend $60 on a console game so just 10m buyers gets $600m revenue and this can happen in the first week of sales. The business model on mobile is free-to-play.

    https://venturebeat.com/2016/03/23/half-of-all-mobile-games-revenue-comes-from-only-0-19-of-players-report/

    When you look at the financials of the biggest gaming companies: Ubisoft, EA, Activision, Tencent, the mobile revenues come from very few titles that make a lot of money. These are the same titles you see constantly in the top grossing lists and you can see how quickly the revenue falls off:

    https://thinkgaming.com/app-sales-data/

    Ubisoft only makes 7% of sales from mobile, 93% from PC/console. They make about 1.5b euros per year.
    Activision makes 70% of their revenue from Call of Duty, Candy Crush, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch.
    EA makes 20% of their revenue from mobile and the top earners just now are Madden NFL, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes and The Sims.

    The way that companies succeed in mobile is addiction. They need high monthly active users who keep paying. They essentially need to get the small percentage of people who pay on mobile to match the revenues of their other platforms e.g get 100m monthly active users, get 2% (2m) paying and get them to pay e.g $5/month for $120m/year revenue.

    Getting a single game over 100m monthly active users is hard even with a mobile base of ~3b mobile users. Now consider the numbers on Apple TV with an install base likely below 50m units. If you got 1/5th of the worldwide install base playing your game, that's still just 10m monthly actives and 2% of them paying is 200k players = $1m/month, to cover both development costs and marketing. The user engagement changes too because it's not someone with their mobile device with them all the time playing at any opportunity, it's when they are sitting at home in front of the TV so it's competing with TV viewing.

    Console gaming can compete better with TV viewing because of the depth of the experience with AAA games but developers would have to be crazy to produce AAA games on a massive budget ~$50-100m to then market it to a free-to-play audience with a small install base.

    The style of game that would probably work best is the MMO/online-multiplayer games like League of Legends, Overwatch, Titanfall, Destiny, Dota 2, Starcraft, Hearthstone. These can work using the controller inputs, they don't need to be the highest quality graphics (these games have versions on last-gen consoles), they can make revenue from subscriptions and IAPs and they will have long-lasting user engagement.

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/317099/number-lol-registered-users-worldwide/
    https://venturebeat.com/2017/08/03/overwatch-and-hearthstone-help-blizzard-hit-a-record-46-million-active-monthly-players/

    If Apple could get something like Overwatch ported over, they'd get a few million players that way. Star Wars Battlefront is another but titles like that would have to lose or significantly lower the upfront fee and push the in-game purchases. This isn't easy to do because their partners will ask why they are dropping prices on a competing platform and not theirs.

    Another style of game that works well on TV would be the experience games where it's like interactive/emotional storytelling. These would be games like Unravel, Inside, Limbo, Ori, Little Nightmares, Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Life is Strange, What Remains of Edith Finch, the Telltale games franchises. Telltale put one on Apple TV already: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/minecraft-story-mode-a-telltale-games-series/id1069464603?mt=8. Some of these games can tie-in with TV/movie franchises. They are pretty much one-off experiences e.g <5 hours gameplay but they are lower budget so just getting a few million sales at a low upfront cost is good enough. They just need convincing that it would be worthwhile, maybe Apple covers the cost of porting to Apple TV and recoups it from the sales.

    The other aspect to think about is the development time for the games. The A10x chip should be faster than the Nintendo Switch. The Switch's sales have been driven by Zelda. This game took 4 years to make with 300 developers:

    http://nintendotoday.com/breath-of-the-wild-development/

    The Apple TV could run a game just like this but development would have had to start 4 years ago and target the current Apple TV. If a similar development started now, they'd be targeting the next Apple TV. This is why the multiplayer games work better because players interact with each other. Maps and content can be added over time and revenue is more predictable.

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2017-03-13-an-epic-shift

    I don't think the Apple TV is suited to either AAA single player console games or mobile iOS games, it's somewhere in between where it's a connected device that works best with controllers and needs quick turnaround, low budget games with high user engagement.
    Mobile iOS games are not games that are played when walking, so I don't get why AppleTV wouldn't qualify as "mobile" just because it is connected to power and TV. There are many successful games that you can begin on the iPhone and continue on iPad or Mac. What is excluding the AppleTV from such a continuity? This is just a developer choice, not some intrinsic limitation of AppleTV. Limiting the scope of AppleTV gaming to Solitaire doesn't do justice.
    Mobile doesn’t mean “played while walking”. That’s a subset of mobile. Mobile means “played anywhere you are”. The aTV is not a mobile device. You can take it with you, but you can do that with your iMac too, if you really wanted to. But it’s hard to use either in a park. 

    Starting a game on your mobile device, and continuing it on the aTV is a nice idea. It would be a version of Continuity. But that still wouldn’t make it part of the mobile market.
  • Reply 66 of 73
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,232moderator
    Mobile iOS games are not games that are played when walking, so I don't get why AppleTV wouldn't qualify as "mobile" just because it is connected to power and TV. There are many successful games that you can begin on the iPhone and continue on iPad or Mac. What is excluding the AppleTV from such a continuity? This is just a developer choice, not some intrinsic limitation of AppleTV. Limiting the scope of AppleTV gaming to Solitaire doesn't do justice.
    Apple TV is a mobile platform in terms of the software. The main differentiator vs iPhone/iPad is the control input (touch screen vs controller). Games designed to work for both iPhone/iPad and Apple TV need to work with a touchscreen, which has an impact on the game design. Games designed solely for controller input don't always translate to touch (e.g Beat Sports). There are games that have been designed well enough for touch that could easily use a controller e.g racing games like NFS No Limits:

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/need-for-speed-no-limits/id883393043?mt=8

    That works fine with touch and would easily transition to a controller. But some of the highest-earning mobile franchises aren't so easy to port. Candy Crush could be made to work on Apple TV but hovering and swiping would be trickier. They'd have to have a cursor/highlight that would be moved by the trackpad, then tap to activate, then swipe direction to switch gems. It wouldn't be as enjoyable to play like that, especially on timer-based levels.

    The main reason for developers already on iOS to avoid the TV platform is the size of it. It's already hard to profit on iOS let alone targeting and supporting a platform that is <1/20th the size. Games that can be ported in a week are no problem but higher quality titles need a lot of reworking and testing. Super Mario Run could work on Apple TV but it is designed for portrait and they have touch inputs:

    http://www.idownloadblog.com/2016/12/15/super-mario-run-tips-tricks/

    It wouldn't be trivial to compile it for Apple TV and a landscape display, they'd need to rework the entire assets and level design in the game and figure out an alternative to the touch events. Let's say they did this, look at the potential revenue. If the paid rate is the same, Nintendo would make 1/20th of $53m = $2.7m. It would be less because people who bought on iPhone/iPad wouldn't pay again. It's not worth them investing in.

    The business model that works for platforms with a low install base is a high upfront price for software. This works for consoles because buyers are accustomed to this. Apple customers are accustomed to free-to-play or very low priced software. This works ok for Indie titles like the Sky game that was shown at the event, these are games that are like interactive artwork:



    They have a team of 24 people: http://thatgamecompany.com/our-team/. If they get 1m sales on Apple TV at $4.99, that would be a great result. For a AAA company, that's not worth pursuing.

    If AAA companies can find a way to get recurring revenue from the users on the platform then it might work out. The games industry is trying to move to this:

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2017-09-12-gamings-move-away-from-ownership-model-is-inevitable-ea

    That partly talks about streaming games but also game library subscriptions like EA Access. This may be something Apple can do with an Apple TV subscription model where people use credits from their subscription to access games then it removes the paywall while still giving developers the money and it can be a monthly charge for access to the game.

    As others have pointed out, the platform needs to build a reputation with people who care about games, both developers and players. Developers need to know they can make money, players need assurance that the games will be high quality. Without heavy investment from Apple, this will be a very slow process and may never reach that level. I don't think the Apple TV needs to be a competitive platform to consoles, its main role is to enhance the TV experience. If some high quality games work out on it, all the better but if not, it still works as a platform for party games, interactive TV and other social games, which adds value to the device.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 67 of 73
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,983member
    Marvin said:
    Mobile iOS games are not games that are played when walking, so I don't get why AppleTV wouldn't qualify as "mobile" just because it is connected to power and TV. There are many successful games that you can begin on the iPhone and continue on iPad or Mac. What is excluding the AppleTV from such a continuity? This is just a developer choice, not some intrinsic limitation of AppleTV. Limiting the scope of AppleTV gaming to Solitaire doesn't do justice.
    Apple TV is a mobile platform in terms of the software. The main differentiator vs iPhone/iPad is the control input (touch screen vs controller). Games designed to work for both iPhone/iPad and Apple TV need to work with a touchscreen, which has an impact on the game design. Games designed solely for controller input don't always translate to touch (e.g Beat Sports). There are games that have been designed well enough for touch that could easily use a controller e.g racing games like NFS No Limits:

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/need-for-speed-no-limits/id883393043?mt=8

    That works fine with touch and would easily transition to a controller. But some of the highest-earning mobile franchises aren't so easy to port. Candy Crush could be made to work on Apple TV but hovering and swiping would be trickier. They'd have to have a cursor/highlight that would be moved by the trackpad, then tap to activate, then swipe direction to switch gems. It wouldn't be as enjoyable to play like that, especially on timer-based levels.

    The main reason for developers already on iOS to avoid the TV platform is the size of it. It's already hard to profit on iOS let alone targeting and supporting a platform that is <1/20th the size. Games that can be ported in a week are no problem but higher quality titles need a lot of reworking and testing. Super Mario Run could work on Apple TV but it is designed for portrait and they have touch inputs:

    http://www.idownloadblog.com/2016/12/15/super-mario-run-tips-tricks/

    It wouldn't be trivial to compile it for Apple TV and a landscape display, they'd need to rework the entire assets and level design in the game and figure out an alternative to the touch events. Let's say they did this, look at the potential revenue. If the paid rate is the same, Nintendo would make 1/20th of $53m = $2.7m. It would be less because people who bought on iPhone/iPad wouldn't pay again. It's not worth them investing in.

    The business model that works for platforms with a low install base is a high upfront price for software. This works for consoles because buyers are accustomed to this. Apple customers are accustomed to free-to-play or very low priced software. This works ok for Indie titles like the Sky game that was shown at the event, these are games that are like interactive artwork:



    They have a team of 24 people: http://thatgamecompany.com/our-team/. If they get 1m sales on Apple TV at $4.99, that would be a great result. For a AAA company, that's not worth pursuing.

    If AAA companies can find a way to get recurring revenue from the users on the platform then it might work out. The games industry is trying to move to this:

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2017-09-12-gamings-move-away-from-ownership-model-is-inevitable-ea

    That partly talks about streaming games but also game library subscriptions like EA Access. This may be something Apple can do with an Apple TV subscription model where people use credits from their subscription to access games then it removes the paywall while still giving developers the money and it can be a monthly charge for access to the game.

    As others have pointed out, the platform needs to build a reputation with people who care about games, both developers and players. Developers need to know they can make money, players need assurance that the games will be high quality. Without heavy investment from Apple, this will be a very slow process and may never reach that level. I don't think the Apple TV needs to be a competitive platform to consoles, its main role is to enhance the TV experience. If some high quality games work out on it, all the better but if not, it still works as a platform for party games, interactive TV and other social games, which adds value to the device.
    I can go with that.
  • Reply 68 of 73
    melgross said:
    Steam makes most of its money from “hardcore” gaming. Will that change? Maybe. But I’ve been reading this for years, and it hasn’t changed yet.

    besides, it’s not the issue. The issue is whether Apple can get this to become a recognized gaming platform. They’ve sorta tried, but they haven’t tried very hard.
    If you look at the 2016 "top seller" lists for Steam, you see games like Civilization, No Man's Sky, Rocket League, and Stardew Valley in the Platinum and Gold sections for sales, so casual games can certainly do well even if the overall mix is more typical "hardcore" stuff like The Division, Counterstrike, Warhammer, and DOTA 2. 

    As far as "recognized gaming platform", tvOS is intended to be complimentary to iOS for the most part. There's no doubt iOS is a recognized gaming platform, so I think the main issue is really just momentum for tvOS, not recognition. The first year of release was not so hot due to some issues like file size limitations and the ATV remote requirement being a problem, but the second year it started to mature. I think a lot of the people that don't think there's much in the way of games or apps on it just haven't looked very recently. 
  • Reply 69 of 73
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 5,007administrator
    melgross said:
    Steam makes most of its money from “hardcore” gaming. Will that change? Maybe. But I’ve been reading this for years, and it hasn’t changed yet.

    besides, it’s not the issue. The issue is whether Apple can get this to become a recognized gaming platform. They’ve sorta tried, but they haven’t tried very hard.
    If you look at the 2016 "top seller" lists for Steam, you see games like Civilization, No Man's Sky, Rocket League, and Stardew Valley in the Platinum and Gold sections for sales, so casual games can certainly do well even if the overall mix is more typical "hardcore" stuff like The Division, Counterstrike, Warhammer, and DOTA 2. 

    As far as "recognized gaming platform", tvOS is intended to be complimentary to iOS for the most part. There's no doubt iOS is a recognized gaming platform, so I think the main issue is really just momentum for tvOS, not recognition. The first year of release was not so hot due to some issues like file size limitations and the ATV remote requirement being a problem, but the second year it started to mature. I think a lot of the people that don't think there's much in the way of games or apps on it just haven't looked very recently. 
    Civilization is in no way a casual game. But, if you mean "not bro-toxic" by casual, I may agree.
  • Reply 70 of 73
    Civilization is in no way a casual game. But, if you mean "not bro-toxic" by casual, I may agree.
    Disagree. IMO, it's one of the original casual games, similar to the Sims. The concept appeals to a wide audience and it isn't really that hard to just start playing for fun. That doesn't mean you're going to be very successful with it, but you could say the same thing about pinball or chess.  
  • Reply 71 of 73
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,388member
    Civilization is in no way a casual game. But, if you mean "not bro-toxic" by casual, I may agree.
    Disagree. IMO, it's one of the original casual games, similar to the Sims. The concept appeals to a wide audience and it isn't really that hard to just start playing for fun. That doesn't mean you're going to be very successful with it, but you could say the same thing about pinball or chess.  
    There's not casual about Civilization. Angry Birds is casual. If I can't effectively play a full game on the toilet or in line somewhere with limited focus on the game play then I can't see how you can say that such a longterm, complex game is casual.
  • Reply 72 of 73
    Soli said:
    There's not casual about Civilization. Angry Birds is casual. If I can't effectively play a full game on the toilet or in line somewhere with limited focus on the game play then I can't see how you can say that such a longterm, complex game is casual.
    Okay, but if you're going to use the definition of "can play a full game in a limited time with limited focus" for casual games, then both iOS and ATV can't be described as only catering to casual gamers. iOS has endless amounts of titles that don't fit that description (including turn-based strategy games like Civilization), and ATV has plenty of them as well within it's smaller selection. For example, you're not going to be finishing Oceanhorn in 5-10 minutes of absent-minded gaming. 
    edited September 2017
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