If you checked Twitter today or yesterday, you’ve probably noticed that Apple announced some new stuff; one of them being the new Apple TV.
The new version of this living room device is the first refresh of the dormant, yet loved, product in three-years. With this refresh comes a new remote control (with glass touch surface, gyroscope and accelerometer; think Wii Remote), an operating system called tvOS that integrates Siri, the 64-bit A8 processor, Bluetooth 4.0, and lastly, apps — the remote and apps being the most relevant to gaming.
Two games were shown at Apple’s keynote, both showing the capabilities of the new Apple TV remote. Crossy Road, the popular Frogger inspired game from Hipster Whale, was shown being played using just the touch surface of the new remote — Hispter Whale also unveiled multiplayer for the game that will be exclusive to the Apple TV. Additionally, Harmonix brought out a Wii Sports inspired game called Beat Sports, a rhythm game centered around sports mini-games that uses the remote’s gyroscope and acceleromater.
Both games look like they could be fun distractions while you’re waiting for your significant other to get the popcorn so you can finish watching Mad Max: Fury Road; they essentially took games I would play waiting in line somewhere and put them in my living room?
Storage is also an issue for gaming when it comes to the new Apple TV. All apps have a maximum 200MB allowance, which puts a interesting hurdle in front of developers looking to bring their game to the device. The new model only comes in 32GB or 64GB models, and data is only stored on the device for a limited amount of time. Developers have to break their games into downloadable chunks that are accessed when needed — just for reference the iPhone version of Hearthstone is currently sized at 868MB.
Apple has been rumored to be entering the flooded gaming market for quite sometime, and this new TV model looks to be their first serious dive into living room gaming since the Pippin. Unfortunately, games don’t seem to be the main focus of the new Apple TV. A lack of a controller, outside of third-party support, and a 200MB size limit for apps makes me believe this “step ahead” is just another Netflix and chill machine.