The new Apple TV can’t replace my game console


Apple TV gaming

Apple has big plans for their set-top box, the Apple TV. Based on all of the rumors and reports that we’ve been seeing over the last several weeks, if not months, it would be hard to consider that Apple still thinks of the Apple TV as just a hobby.

Even if the box’s sales won’t ever match that of the iPhone, and it will always just be another one of Apple’s many devices, the company is putting a lot of focus on it now.

Siri’s getting built in, but that’s not all that surprising. It’s getting better hardware under the hood, and, again, not all that surprising, either. These are things that should, or at least could, have been in a previous generation of the streaming device, but Apple simply decided to take its time. (Definitely no surprise there, right?)

So the upgrades are a long time coming, and I’m sure there are some folks out there that will be waiting to get their hands on it whenever it becomes available. I can’t say for sure whether or not the changes will make owners of a current Apple TV “upgrade” or anything, seeing as their device still does exactly what it’s supposed to do just fine, but for many individuals and families the new additions just might be enough to warrant dropping more money for a new set-top box.

Probably the most interesting thing about the Apple TV this time around, at least for me, is that Apple is apparently aiming right for companies like Microsoft, Sony, and even Nintendo with their latest attempt at taking over the living room. Not with its streaming capabilities, even if that is certainly part of it, but also because of a huge focus on gaming.

The new Apple TV is said to feature support for Bluetooth controllers to better handle more in-depth games that will be available on the box via the brand new App Store. On top of that, the standard, out-of-the-box remote for the Apple TV is said to feature motion sensors, which will put it almost in line with the Wii Remote of yesteryear, and let “gamers” control titles like racing games like they’re actually steering the wheel.

This is one area where Apple taking its time probably didn’t do the company any favors. The Wii and its motion sensing controller was great back in 2010, and it was a smash-hit for good reason. But that was 2010 and, for the most part, players have moved on from that idea. Even Nintendo has, as they put focus on another outlandish idea with its Wii U Controller — but that didn’t work out nearly as well this time around.

As someone who plays video games quite a bit, both on PC (kind of) and mostly on consoles, there’s absolutely nothing about the Apple TV’s future gaming outlook that excites me. It’s the same reason why Android TV’s gaming aspirations weren’t exciting, either. I don’t want mobile games on my TV. (I keep wanting to use the Angry Birds title as an example, but that doesn’t work anymore, since that’s a console game now, too.)

I don’t want mobile games as the only option for my gaming experiences that are connected to my TV, I should say. I’m not saying that I’d ever turn down playing some Alto’s Adventure or even Extinction Squad on my TV for a quick break between Halo 5 matches, but I don’t want those mobile titles as my only options.

Obviously there are situations where the Apple TV, even as a gaming unit, is a better bet for someone than an Xbox One or PlayStation 4, and I understand that someone might simply prefer a simple box rather than Microsoft’s or Sony’s efforts. That makes complete sense, and I think it’s awesome that Apple is expanding the feature set of its Apple TV, finally.

I just don’t think gaming should be that big of a focus for Apple when it announces the Apple TV 4 next week. I know, for me, I won’t ever see the Apple TV as something that can replace my gaming consoles. (Especially since their indie games, like mobile games, are getting better and better.)

What about you, though? If the Apple TV does have a big focus on gaming moving forward, will you pick one up for that sole reason?

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