Next-gen Apple TV release in “weeks”, could be smaller, focussed on gaming according to rumor

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As Apple products go, it’s been a while since we’ve seen the Apple TV box get a hardware refresh. Although changes were made between 2nd and 3rd generation models in terms of performance, little else changed. Aesthetically, the two are almost indistinguishable. And rumors about the 4th gen model won’t go away.

A new report published by App Advice this morning predicts that the next Apple TV could be much smaller in size than the current model. This in itself would be impressive, given how many ports are placed on the rear side of the device. Even on the current model, the I/O selection virtually takes up the entire back of the unit. The author even mentions that it could take on a more Chromecast-style design, which I find incredibly hard to believe.

Secondly, and more importantly, is further speculation that Apple is wanting to start bringing bespoke apps and games to its “hobby”.

“Apple won’t be revealing an ‘iTV.” Nor will they be launching a device which offers a la carte TV programming, as was once believed. Instead, the next Apple TV focuses almost exclusively on being a gaming console.

To achieve this, we’ve heard from sources close to Apple that the company is putting the finishing touches on a new digital marketplace that looks very similar to the App Store. Initially, it will include much of the same content.”

There’s little certainty in the post. Words like “could”, “likely” and “possible” are littered throughout the article. And so it’s hard to say if any of it could be taken as guaranteed. Saying that, we’ve been hearing for months, from various publications, that Apple’s next Apple TV box is going to allow third party apps. The focus on games would certainly make sense too, and is something many of us have always seen as an evolutionary step in the Apple TV’s continued development.

As for launch time frame, the article states that this is to be Apple’s first new product of 2014 and is set to be released in a “matter of weeks.” 

Via: App Advice

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  • http://www.joshspadd.com/ Josh Hrach

    If true, I have a theory about how this ‘App Store’ could work. I think the key lies with the game controller APIs added in iOS 7. If a game is guaranteed to work with a game controller, then it could work as a console game. Much like an app is marked as ‘Optimized for iPhone 5′, an app can be marked as ‘Optimized for Apple TV’ or something similar.

    Given the existence of some console games on the App Store (Knights of the Old Republic, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and Lego Star Wars come to mind), if each of these were to be given controller support (GTA:SA already does, but the others don’t as far as I know), then you’d essentially have a new gaming console that can play the same level of games that people had on consoles a few years ago. And I don’t think there is any slowing down in terms of gaming development for iOS. If this is the route Apple heads in, then I think we might be seeing a true console alternative.

    • Cam Bunton

      Yeah, I agree. When I was reviewing the Stratus controller recently, I spend about the same time playing compatible games like Respawnables and GTA San Andreas as I would playing any console game.

      Sure, and iPad isn’t capable of the same bit-rate or definition, but that doesn’t make the game any less immersive, or enjoyable. It’s also much cheaper. I’d happily have similar games on the Apple TV. It’s still a good $200-$300 cheaper than the newest consoles, and iOS games and apps are far cheaper than console ones.

      • http://www.joshspadd.com/ Josh Hrach

        Plus, and maybe this is just me, but I typically find older games more enjoyable than a lot of the newer options available. I was so thrilled when Knights of the Old Republic came to iOS. I would gladly pay a few dollars to have those older classics available for iOS/Apple TV. (Though would we ever see something like Morrowind or Oblivion?)

        Plus, given the presence and relative “success” (if I can use that term) of GBA4iOS, I’d love to see a new Apple TV, jailbroken, with emulator support. I could finally retire all of my classic game consoles and replace them with a single device.