Heading on over to store.apple.com will present you with more than just some new Valentine’s Day decorations; in fact, it will show you an entirely new section in the top bar. That’s right, there are now five “product lines” on Apple’s online store: Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod, and…wait for it…Apple TV. The Apple TV has, as Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac put it, “graduated” to a full product line, no longer hidden under accessories.
If you’ll recall, Steve Jobs at an All Things D conference once called the Apple TV a “hobby,” stating at the time that there was “no viable market” for the device. Well, it appears Apple may have something big in store for us; and that might be happening very soon.
There have long been rumors of an Apple TV refresh floating around the internet, and it seems that something may fast be approaching with this addition to Apple’s online store. Mark Gurman, someone who has been known to be accurate on what is going on, has said that an Apple TV refresh is imminent, and that his sources claim it will focus on gaming.
The reasonable assumption with the Apple TV as a gaming device would make you immediately expect iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches would be the natural device to use as a controller, and that is what sources have been saying, according to Gurman. I am not a big gamer on iOS, but if I could use my iPad mini as a controller to play games on my Apple TV, that would be pretty awesome.
Current Apple TV hardware doesn’t have any storage built in, so I expect that to be something that would be added to a next generation Apple TV, as well as some bumped up spec inside in order for it to run heavy games. Bluetooth is what one could expect to be used to pair the iOS device to the Apple TV in order to use the device as a controller, but Apple may opt to allow it over WiFi as well depending on the generation of iDevice you are using.
Not being a gamer for iOS devices, I’m not sure I could talk for how this could be used or what would be great to see. There is also talk that Apple’s “Made for iPhone” (MFi) game controller program could extend to this as well, and in that case, the Apple TV would also become more of a game console than a media hub as it was once intended to be. Hopefully we don’t have to wait too long to find out.
What do you think? Are you interested in a new Apple TV with gaming capabilities? What else would you like to see added? Let us know in the comments, or tweet me @TiP_Kyle.