No one expected there to be more than one of the new-fangled Siri Remotes inside the new Apple TV‘s box, but for anyone that was considering picking up the set-top box as a gaming option, there’s one caveat you should know.
For Apple, the new Siri Remote is the crux of the new Apple TV. We’ve seen as much with an updated App Store review guideline, which outlined in clear language that all apps built for tvOS, the operating system running the new Apple TV, must support the new Siri Remote. That’s not surprising in and of itself, considering the remote comes in the box and its the main point of interaction for the set-top box.
Even before that, though, it was discovered that games on the new Apple TV have to support the new Siri Remote, too. In fact, they’re required to support it, or they won’t get published. Games can support third-party controllers as well, but the default is the Siri Remote. One of the strengths of the new Apple TV is its gaming capacity, and, as was showcased with an updated version of the massively popular Crossy Road, multiplayer is a big component, too.
But don’t think you can use multiple Siri Remotes on a single 4th-Gen Apple TV, because you can’t. As first reported by iMore, the new Apple TV can only pair with one Siri Remote at a time. Which means it’s impossible to use multiple remotes for multiplayer gaming.
Instead, owners will have to download the new Remote App from the iOS App Store and use that as a controller, or buy a third-party controller to play in multiplayer titles. Apple is of course selling the new Siri Remote separately for $79, but that’s strictly meant as a back-up unit or replacement, and not as a secondary controller.
It’s an interesting decision from Apple, considering the Siri Remote is, by definition, the standard controller for gaming, but at least there’s an olive branch with the Remote App and its capabilities.