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Will the Apple TV Become a Gaming Platform?

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the yeah-it'll-hold-up-my-xbox dept.

Games 194

An anonymous reader writes "New data strings uncovered in the recently released iOS 4.3 beta 3 suggest that Apple may have grand ambitions for its little hobby known as the Apple TV: the device may soon transform into a gaming platform."

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More walled gardens anyone? (3, Insightful)

cbope (130292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172222)

Do we really need yet another Apple-controlled walled garden? Don't we have enough of those already?

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (2)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172250)

It's more about bringing their existing walled garden to a different space. That's probably how they expect to succeed where so very many others haven't: they can bring along the existing iOS developer support and public awareness from the iPhone and iPad.

(I recall Sega and Pace teaming up for a Dreamcast-based gaming satellite box to play casual games. It unsurprisingly floundered. That said there was a pretty decent lunar lander game on Sky Digital when it first appeared.)

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (5, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172254)

Well, on the basis that pretty much any gaming console these days is a walled garden (at best), the answer is a resounding "maybe"?

It wouldn't actually hurt to have another entrant into the games console business (even if this proposal doesn't look too much like a console). Sony and MS's current offerings are actually unbelievably similar - I don't think I've ever known a console generation where there was less to actually separate two competitors. At the same time, Nintendo look increasingly like a successful toy manufacturer, who have feet of clay when it comes to actually making interesting games - and in attracting decent third party developers.

A credible new entrant (sorry, Infinium Labs) could potentially give the industry a shot in the arm. Apple may or may not be the people to do it - there's a hell of a lot I don't like about the company and its principles. However, their recent approach to software pricing indicates that they might at least bring something interesting to the table.

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172416)

Maybe this is what got Nintendo so worried yesterday [slashdot.org]

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (4, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172454)

Sony and MS's current offerings are actually unbelievably similar - I don't think I've ever known a console generation where there was less to actually separate two competitors.

Uh what? They are different in every way it is possible to be different while still offering the same basic features.

  • The Xbox 360 is a 3-way SMP system. The PS3 is a CPU/GPU/Coprocessor system.
  • The Xbox 360 has added features with each new major update. The PS3 has removed features with each new major update.
  • The Xbox 360 has motion-detecting equipment (Kinect) which does not require a controller. Sony has motion-detecting equipment which does.
  • Xbox Live costs money, PSN is free.
  • The Xbox 360 is the first console that looks decent compared to the competition, mostly because the PS3 looks like a George Foreman grill.
  • The PS3 uses Bluetooth for wireless controllers, while the 360 uses a proprietary protocol.

Now, preferring PS3 or Xbox 360 is a matter of personal preference, but it's not because the two platforms are identical.

The problem is that history has shown us that there is room in the market for three players. Further, the Mac is not where the games are. Microsoft entering the market made sense; Xbox is short for DirectX Box. Where are the Mac games? Where are the Mac game developers?

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172548)

Where are the Mac games? Where are the Mac game developers?

Well, Bungie used to be Mac developers - probably the best Mac games developers.. and Microsoft sucked them up and repurposed Halo as an Xbox game instead of a Mac game (maybe it was originally intended to be for Windows too, can't remember).

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172734)

Not only was Halo supposed to be a Windows game too, but it was released as a Windows game. It was nice to play it with keyboard and mouse. I only wish the subsequent games were also released for Windows, but I assume they weren't to drive more customers to Xbox Live Gold.

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (2, Informative)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172886)

Actually, Halo was originally supposed to be a Mac RTS. Quick google will serve you well.

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (0)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173230)

Halo was released for Windows a year or two after Xbox. It was never released for Mac despite that being the original intent. I expect they were making MS a little nervous.

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (2)

PsychoSid (683168) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172614)

http://store.steampowered.com/browse/mac/ [steampowered.com] Just for starters

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172750)

http://www.ambrosiasw.com/ [ambrosiasw.com]

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172756)

I didn't mean in terms of the technology. To the average consumer, provided the technology is "good enough", it doesn't really matter. What I meant was in terms of the user experience.

The PS3 and the Xbox 360 have:

- a very similar games library with fewer exclusive games than in any previous cycle;
- exclusives which often tend to act as mirror images of each other (eg. Halo vs Killzone, Gran Turismo vs Forza);
- controllers with some variations in shape, but exactly the same number and arrangement of buttons;
- very similar online stores; and
- broadly similar graphical capabilities, as reflected in most games.

Compare with any previous console generation and it's hard to find two which ran so close to each other in these terms.

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (1)

C_amiga_fan (1960858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172824)

Consoles used to have real differences. One would run on a Commodore 6502 chip, another on a Z-80, and another on an Intel 8088. Or one might be a self-spun design (Emotion Engine) while another used a Pentium and the third used a PowerPC. That led to different code being run and different results.

But now they ALL run on a powerPC, with virtually identical code. That's why they are all so close to one another in speed, sound, and graphics (except Nintendo which made the conscious decision to limit graphics to 480p but could handle 1080p just as easily as PS3 or X360).

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35173528)

The PS3 uses a cell processor, I might be wrong but I dont think it has much in common with a PowerPC chip.

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172942)

I can see you're a 360 fanboy, I won't hate you for that, but I will say that you've cherry picked a few reasons that they are different.

There's almost nothing to separate the two, they are almost identical as far as releases, with the 360 just nudging the PS3 out for exclusives and first releases.

You've gone ahead and acted like a total tool to "prove" that they are different, but anyone who's been around gaming for any length of time can see the similarities.

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (1)

Custard Horse (1527495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173378)

Sony and MS's current offerings are actually unbelievably similar - I don't think I've ever known a console generation where there was less to actually separate two competitors.

Uh what? They are different in every way it is possible to be different while still offering the same basic features.

  • The Xbox 360 is a 3-way SMP system. The PS3 is a CPU/GPU/Coprocessor system.
  • The Xbox 360 has added features with each new major update. The PS3 has removed features with each new major update.
  • The Xbox 360 has motion-detecting equipment (Kinect) which does not require a controller. Sony has motion-detecting equipment which does.
  • Xbox Live costs money, PSN is free.
  • The Xbox 360 is the first console that looks decent compared to the competition, mostly because the PS3 looks like a George Foreman grill.
  • The PS3 uses Bluetooth for wireless controllers, while the 360 uses a proprietary protocol.
  • The Xbox 360 has a helicopter installed as part of the internal cooling - not one of those stealth ones - a LOUD one. The PS3 is much quieter.

Fixed that for you.

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (1)

C_amiga_fan (1960858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172520)

Personally I'd enjoy a sub-$100 internet box that I could connect to my parents television, and they could view hulu.com. Then I wouldn't have to keep hearing them say, "I'm bored," all winter long. (Actually it's just mostly my dad; my mom reads books.) And of course they don't care if the Apple is walled - they don't even know how to turn-on a computer, so a simple device where you just "click to play" would be ideal for them. Apple is good at producing this type of software.

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172578)

Then I wouldn't have to keep hearing them say, "I'm bored," all winter long.

Wow! I don't think I've ever heard my Dad say he's bored. Ever since basic training I had theorized that parents just naturally learned what soldiers are taught, "I'm Bored" is a direct summons to Murphy to enact his laws.

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172760)

Then I wouldn't have to keep hearing them say, "I'm bored," all winter long.

Wow! I don't think I've ever heard my Dad say he's bored. Ever since basic training I had theorized that parents just naturally learned what soldiers are taught, "I'm Bored" is a direct summons to Murphy to enact his laws.

Damn right. My drill sergeant used to say "if you're bored it's because you're not smart rnough to come up with something to do!". I hated that little brown fucker, but he's right.

Now, on the jubject at hand, I do agree with the above post that the platforms (Sony and Xbox, I don't really count Nintendo) offer very similar experiences. But wouldn't you blame that on the game developers and not the consoles? The developers have to turn a profit and if their games are only available on one system then that sort of limits the audience, no?

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (1)

C_amiga_fan (1960858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172916)

My father is 70 going on 7. He never grew-up and is used to having everything his way (even the cereal has to be put in the cupboard facing the right way). I call it "spoiled brat" syndrome.

Now suddenly he's retired, with nothing to do, and is whining like a little boy. During the summer he rides his motorcycle around, but in winter he can't do that, so he mopes and complains and curses at the snow.

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (1)

jittles (1613415) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172974)

If you can find an original apple TV you can crack that thing open and install the full blown Mac OS on it. Haven't done it to mine, but I did do a hardware mod to mine and it was quite simple to do.

I managed to get mine off Craigslist from an upset college student who wanted mommy and daddy to buy him a bluray player and not an apple tv. The kid was so spoiled, and stupid, that he sold it to me for less than the going price of a used 40GB apple TV and when I got home I discovered it was 120GB model. I would have thought it were stolen if not for the fact that he told me he was a student at a very expensive private U, and he had an $80k+ SUV in the driveway of the huge house his parents bought him...

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (0)

jittles (1613415) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172920)

Sure there is a huge difference between Xbox and PS3 right now, from what I understand. I've heard (can't see for my self, but it is from a friend who does have Xbox + PS3), that people don't enjoy playing Call of Duty Black Ops all that much because the wide open PS3 is rampant with cheaters. Even with the Xbox being a little bit better controlled, you still run into people w/ aimbots and map mods and whatnot that they use to cheat, but its supposedly much worse on the PS3.

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173014)

There are minor variations from game to game. Bayonetta looked better on the 360 than the PS3. Final Fantasy XIII looked better on the PS3 than the 360. There are some differences around the online services and the gaming experience. The Black Ops problems are almost certainly the result of coding differences between the two versions of that particular game than by anything specific to the hardware.

The essential similarities of the experience presented by the two consoles (I own both) tend to get lost in online discussions, because of the degree of emotional heat that the "console wars" tend to generate.

Viable..Only as Adjunct, Unfortunately (1)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173626)

At the same time, Nintendo look increasingly like a successful toy manufacturer, who have feet of clay when it comes to actually making interesting games - and in attracting decent third party developers.

This will only be a success as a way of tying interactive content with TV shows. Unfortunately, established game makers have managed to accomplish a mathematical paradox: they've made tie-in into a 4 letter word.

Still, I see tremendous potential for folks like Zynga doing tie-ins with big media events. How about "Drinking Game"? People publish sets of rules before an event. (Academy Awards?) Then, you get to watch a set of virtual college students get sloshed playing the game. Viewers will vote up or vote down claims that rules were triggered. Drinking with the virtual students is entirely optional, of course.

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (2, Funny)

Unxmaal (231) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172256)

Do we really need yet another Apple-controlled walled garden? Don't we have enough of those already?

Yes. No.

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172360)

speak for yourself. of course the truth is that thankfully there seems to be a rather limited number of folk that are prepared to get their laughing gear around jobs' withered pecker, even in America, the home of stupid, gullible and superficial people.

Would it make a difference? (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172290)

I was going to say the same at first, but then it occurred to me that it's not like the other consoles and whatnot are exactly open, are they? Control freakery is the norm, call-home DRM and collecting information about your every move too, and let's not forget that Sony just removed an official feature in a firmware patch.

And then we have such historical cases as Nintendo in it's NES days. Good Lord! Not only they determined what you can publish for their console, but also how many units you're allowed to sell, how many cartridges must you buy from them (whether or not you actually sell that many copies of the game), _and_ you had to write off the right to make software for any other platform for two years for the privilege of publishing for the self-important Nintendo. Took a lawsuit to get that crap removed.

Frankly, I don't think Apple can be any worse than the rest of the gang even if they were to try to.

Re:Would it make a difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172302)

And the thing is, developing for the AppStore is A LOT cheaper than the bigger consoles. In terms of licensing costs and development tools. So this would be a win for the indies.

Re:Would it make a difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172356)

Is developing indie games for the xbox really that expensive? Seems to me like it's what... $99 a year or something?

Re:Would it make a difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172448)

As far as I know, the indie games on XBLive are only available in the US. I haven't seen a single one in Finland (does any european country get them?).
So yes, it would still be a bigger thing for indies, than Xbox live.

Re:Would it make a difference? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172568)

I bought Limbo here in the UK. Surely that's one of the indie games.

Re:Would it make a difference? (1)

paedobear (808689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172748)

It's quite possible you just haven't noticed them (they're sort of hidden away) but afaik they're available world wide with the exception of Australia. Certainly when they were launched in Japan I think it was one of the last tranches of a worldwide roll out.

Re:Would it make a difference? (1)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173228)

YES!

What people don't see is the walled gardens have been there for quite awhile. Trying to blame this on Apple is ridiculous to say the least. At a minimum though, Apple's developer program costs are very light. We know as well that the door for 3rd party tools has been opened, it's only a matter of time before we have a copy of Eclipse or some development environment that is cheap and robust and available on multiple platforms for free. That will lower the entry costs to developing greatly.

Hopefully this will push console development costs down, or maybe Apple will make a beefy AppleTV gaming edition and rise to the top.

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172306)

Do we really need yet another Apple-controlled walled garden? Don't we have enough of those already?

Yeah. Can't we leave gaming to open systems like the Xbox and PS3?

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (1)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172770)

Do we really need another idiot using the phrase "walled garden" because they don't have the brains to figure out why Apple takes this approach? Don't we have enough of those already?

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (0)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173592)

We have enough brains to figure this out. Fanboy's like you just don't like the obvious result.

You don't need to make device crippled to make it easy or secure. Macs proved that.

If you insist on making a platform crippled then you clearly have some more sinister motivation in mind.

Furthermore, forcing novice end users to "jump through hoops" or "do without" is not user friendly.

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (1)

Paspanique (1704404) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172858)

Personally I would not use anything Apple related after my Itune/Ipod experience, their product is not meant for me, I know that now. But I would not mind having more competition in the gaming industry, whatever it takes to drive innovation and improvement. Any market is in danger if it has too few of choices. You can hate their products, as I do , but you can't minimize the probable positive impact they would bring.

Re:More walled gardens anyone? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173098)

Do we really need yet another Apple-controlled walled garden? Don't we have enough of those already?

Then, don't buy it and get over it.

Didn't we already see this? (4, Informative)

ksd1337 (1029386) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172236)

Apple already tried a gaming platform back in the day. It was called the Pippin.

Is this idea gonna fly?

Re:Didn't we already see this? (1)

Unxmaal (231) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172268)

Apple already tried a gaming platform back in the day. It was called the Pippin.

Is this idea gonna fly?

Yes.

Re:Didn't we already see this? (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172294)

Apple already tried a gaming platform back in the day. It was called the Pippin.

I thought it was called the iPhone.

Re:Didn't we already see this? (2)

AccUser (191555) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172316)

Yes, but given that AppleTV is an iOS device, there are already a plethora of games and lifestyle apps that can probably run today with little or no modification.

Re:Didn't we already see this? (3, Insightful)

igreaterthanu (1942456) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172442)

little or no modification.

Little modification? It has completely different input devices.

Re:Didn't we already see this? (1)

AccUser (191555) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172490)

So what is the input device for AppleTV with games, because I am sure that it isn't available yet. My iPad controls AppleTV using the Apple Remote app, and that works well. Why can't the same be done for other apps? Imagine this: I launch a game from Apple Remote, and my iPad is now the controller, the AppleTV is the display. As far as the app is concerned, it is receiving the same input as it would expect when running on and iPad. This is the beauty of a well defined API. And Apple certainly has one.

Re:Didn't we already see this? (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172686)

So instead of being a $99 gaming device, it's really only going to be for those who shelled out for an iPhone/iPad, both of which are more expensive than current consoles already? Good luck with that!

Also, don't a lot of iPad games often require you to coordinate your fingers with what's onscreen? You can't do that when you're looking at a TV. Angry Birds and Plants vs Zombies will not port over well to a system of the kind you suggest. I think they'd be much better getting a simple control pad so that at least people can play more traditional style games if they're going to go down the console route.

Re:Didn't we already see this? (1)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173176)

AppleTV + iPod touch can be had for $200. That's in line with today's consoles.... and guess what, you get a portable game system at that price point that you don't with the current consoles.

Re:Didn't we already see this? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173608)

Forgot about the Rouch, but it's still a crappy input system, and it misses the point of what actually makes mobile phone games so different to the other games we've had so far (I admit a couple of mobile games are mildly fun and vaguely addictive, but I've not liked any enough to actually buy one yet). If you want to move to big screen gaming, you're going to need a better device - and preferably one that has a strap and costs well under $100 if you're going to be swinging it around wii-mote style.

Re:Didn't we already see this? (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172802)

If they're smart, they'll do what the other consoles do not and offer a keyboard and a mouse as an input option, as well as hand-held controllers. If I could use a mouse and kb with FPS games on a console I'd be unstoppable.

Re:Didn't we already see this? (1)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173206)

I really grow tired of these "if I had a mouse and keyboard" statements.

And while you're struggling with the controller on Halo, I'm smoking you left and right. You shouldn't get to chose your input device when the game is designed for a specific platform. I'm sorry you can't just point and click your way through a game while the rest of us adapted per game and system. Get better with the controller and get over it.

Re:Didn't we already see this? (1)

Loosifur (954968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172970)

When you say plethora of games, what exactly are you referring to? Honest question, not trying to be snarky. I ask because my experience has generally been that people who say, "Platform X has plenty of games," don't really care that much about games. Sort of like telling someone who drives a Bugatti Veyron that the Toyota Prius has plenty of horsepower. Also, that you refer to "lifestyle apps" implies to me that, when you mention games, you're talking about casual games rather than FPS or the like.

Re:Didn't we already see this? (1)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172402)

saint steve wasn't at apple when the pippin was released and flopped, so it didn't come with a reality distortion field as factory standard.

now, hardcore gamers will probably shun this thing, but casual gamers (mostly mom and grandma) will probably buy it.

basicaly another gaming niche that currently belongs to nintendo that apple will tackle and probably be successfull.

Re:Didn't we already see this? (3, Informative)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172522)

basicaly another gaming niche that currently belongs to nintendo that apple will tackle and probably be successfull.

Right,

You do know that when facing competition that Apple, historically loses.

The only two companies really making money out of gaming machines at the moment are Nintendo and IBM.

Nintendo have a massive back catalogue of extremely popular games from over 20 years of released consoles and several extremely profitable 1st party IP's (Mario, Zelda). Apple has a bunch of Flash games written by 3rd parties. In this regard, Apple only competes with the Wii virtual console, not with actual Wii or DS games.

IBM, oh yes them. They make the chips for the PS3, Xbox360 and Wii.

Re:Didn't we already see this? (0)

Bigbutt (65939) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172634)

Apple has a bunch of Flash games written by 3rd parties.

Wait. iDevices support Flash now? That's news to me, unless you're using the English definition of Flash of course.

[John]

Re:Didn't we already see this? (1)

DarkXale (1771414) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172986)

Its a common phrase used to describe flash-like content in terms of appearance and behaviour. While its not technically powered by flash - almost all smartphone games have had an equivalent on various flash game websites for years; Angry Birds -not- an exception. The original games that Angry Birds is copied/based on was released almost a decade ago.

Retro Apple (Mac) Games for Apple TV (3, Interesting)

poena.dare (306891) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173574)

Y'know I'd buy one if Apple resurrected some old Mac games:

The Ancient Art of War
Armor Alley
Balance of Power
The Fools Errand
Cap'n Magneto
Continuum
Core War
Dark Castle
Dungeon of Doom
and
Orlando Poon's Toxic Ravine Clean-Up and Rescue Service

Shoot me, I'm old.

Re:Didn't we already see this? (2)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172786)

You know, you're right. Apple also had a touchscreen device in the Newton. I guess that means the iPhone iPod touch and iPad won't be popular either. . . . .

apple tv (0)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172292)

apple tv is nothing but a failed, overpriced and unnecessary piece of low tech electronics. also, apple does not seem to be focusing its massive hype machine on it. so, don't expect much t happen.

Re:apple tv (1)

Melchett (1992998) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172320)

If Apple was giving up on Apple TV, it would have done it a long time ago. An Apple TV with apps and games makes perfect sense. I'm not convinced it will be successful outside the Apple fanbase, but they'll keep on trying because there's money to be made in selling films and TV programs on-demand.

Re:apple tv (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172492)

If Apple was giving up on Apple TV, it would have done it a long time ago

Apple is much like Microsoft these days in the fact their core business is making enough money that they can justify losses in other sectors.

iTV has been a complete and utter failure compared to other DVR systems. The market is already saturated with cheap DVR devices that can do more than the iTV can and this is obvious to the outside observer. Geeks are getting things like Boxee, normal people are getting Chinese made DVR's at walmart. Idiots are buying them from their Pay TV companies.

Hell, even setting up a Windows based media centre is a simple task for anyone with enough skill to install Windows 7. Apple lost out on this market with Apple TV yet they released another version. The only people with iTV's I know are the hopeless Apple fanboys who buy everything from Apple regardless (even the regular fanboys avoid iTV).

Re:apple tv (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172668)

ahhh. You relize ALL DVR require a cable subscription right? AppleTV is about changing the way you consume media. Anyway, the product is selling really well. People are buying them, regardless if you think other products are better. That is why they continue to sell them.

Re:apple tv (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173052)

Apple TV was never a DVR system. It's a video rental system for iTunes and a media extender for iPad/iPhone and iTunes on OSX.

Re:apple tv (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173180)

In so far as the iTV can't record anything, it's not a DVR.

Re:apple tv (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172636)

$99? Half the price of any console is too much?

Re:apple tv (1)

Existential Wombat (1701124) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172656)

Overpriced? Best value XBMC hardware device on the planet.

Re:apple tv (1, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173636)

It might be "cheapest". However that doesn't necessarily make it the best value.

It's really funny how the same fanboys that used to screech about their computers being BMWs happily embrace this cheap and crappy approach that Apple has taken with it's newer devices.

I would rather run XBMC on hardware that can actually play all the stuff I own and all the stuff I am likely to acquire and won't force me to limit myself or limit myself to what Apple sells (or something that's degraded to the point where it might as well have been).

Re:apple tv (1)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172812)

Overpriced? Really? It's $99. Why don't you just post "I hate Apple" instead of trying to pretend to put reason behind your post. $99 is cheap and AppleTV works very well for what it does.

Re:apple tv (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35173572)

I have an original apple tv as well as a new one. Apple has done a good job at improving the firmware over the years and it does stream well. There are bugs with the apple tv though.

Two days ago, my wife bought me a new apple tv. The built in wifi support has a bug where an SSID broadcast on two bands won't work with "autoscanning". I had to manually type it in to get it to connect. It just appeared not to take my password for an hour. This is a bug. I have an airport extreme! Interestingly, sony can't get it right either. The PS3 would only connect while autoscanning and not with a manually typed SSID. Go figure.

If this is EVER true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172304)

This is going to sound awefully tangental... but does it ever seem to anyone else here that society as a whole is on a train to crapville and there's nothing the rest of us can do about it? I kind of relish the fact that growing up, everyone was buying general purpose computers made of roughly similar parts, which let me build many a personal computer throughout my life from parts made affoardable because of the economies of scale... so even if people mostly consumed, I could still create because the equipment was the same.

The Apple TV is all about consuming content. It's rather difficult to CREATE something using the Apple TV. Even worse, it's not even about consuming ALL content - my XBOX 360 can stream anything my computer can play (I admit not perfectly, but hey, from a basic beginning to end play of a file, it does a great job) - with the Apple TV (and most apple consumption products) one is so constricted by format specifications that not only is consumption the only thing you can do, you can't even consume EVERYTHING, we're talking limited consumption. But because of the hype, or the fact that people are OK with that or whatever, it becomes harder to find the stuff that isn't bound by those limitations.

If the Apple TV ever becomes a gaming platform, it won't be pushing any boundaries in terms of gaming, it'll be serving some sort of similar gaming content to the iPhone/iPad - though without a touch interface, you'll wind up with something less innovative. But because of the specs of Apple consumption devices, when the next generation of consoles eventually launches, how many homebrew games are going to take as much advantage of those consoles as they do today? I worry that you will see an ever greater rush to the bottom as authors vie for as large a slice of the ever more saturated pie as they can get. I don't blame the authors... because who could? Their needs to meet a market of some mass are understandable...

I guess I'm just not particularly looking forward to a world where instead of saying to a friend "Oh you want to create something like that? Well, let me help you get started, and best of all, you already have everything you need to get yourself started!" very few people will consume media that inspires them to create anything, and even should inspiration strike, the seperation of consumption vs. production machines might mean that fewer people in the future would have, by virtue of their consumption, the tools to create....

Of course, that's probably a worst case scenario...

Re:If this is EVER true... (1)

AccUser (191555) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172368)

We're all consumers at some level, and whilst people consume, others will always create.

One of the things that has really surprised me about gaming on the iPad is the sheer variety of ideas. Whilst the platform hasn't pushed boundaries in terms of graphics, it has done so in other areas, and this has largely been driven by independent developers that are not afraid to try out new ideas. Have you played Papa Sangre [papasangre.com] yet?

Re:If this is EVER true... (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172470)

And how is that different from almost EVERY TV AND GAMES CONSOLE EVER SOLD IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND? Sorry for the caps but you either do not remember the past correctly or seem to have an extremely selective memory. Maybe I'm totally off base here, but even after the introduction of the apple TV you can still build and piece together your own computer. And software. And games. And movies. And music. And drawings. And and and and and. By your definition books were incredibly evil because all a book really allows you to do is "consume content".

At some point, this would make sense (1)

AccUser (191555) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172308)

Given the success of gaming on the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad, it makes sense that Apple could provide installable application support on the AppleTV, now that it too has joined the iOS platform family.

It is worth pointing out, though, that with the addition of AirPlay, there is no reason why developers can't use the AppleTV as a remote display for a game, whilst the device (iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad) acts as a controller. Similarly, why not use these devices to control applications running on AppleTV? The Apple Remote app already does this, and I have a pinball game running on my Mac that is controlled by the iPhone - it is a reasonably good controller.

Re:At some point, this would make sense (1)

emj (15659) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172436)

That seems too complicated for things comming from Apple tech, pairing iPhone etc is bound to be troublesome. It's a wonderful idea technically but I'm not sure it would work in real life, I hope they choose another path if they do this.

Re:At some point, this would make sense (1)

AccUser (191555) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172464)

Actually, it works really well. Pairing is already supported for the AppleTV with the Apple Remote app, and it works like a dream.

Airplay: No; Like ‘The Incident’: Yes (1)

grebonoj (890593) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172440)

AirPlay is a streaming protocol that buffers video before playback. Delay is unnoticeable when your sharing media, but would be unacceptable for gaming. However look at the (fantastic!) iOS game The Incident: when playing on iPad with iPad sending output to TV, you can use your iPhone/iPod Touch as a controller. Swap iPad for Apple TV and you get this rumor. Many other examples that use ios devices as controllers in intresting ways, for example Chopper 2 and Scrabble. As for "walled garden", isn't every existing game platform tightly managed? (ps3, xbox, wii)

Re:At some point, this would make sense (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172500)

Other than games that use the accelerometer that probably wouldn't work out too well because you would have no physical feedback on the controls. Having to look at controls when they are on the same screen is enough of a pain in the ass, having to look totally away from the game screen to see the controller seems like a recipe for frustration.

Re:At some point, this would make sense (2)

AccUser (191555) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172536)

Have you tried Papa Sangre [papasangre.com] ? This game is best played in a dark room with your eyes closed. Whilst the core of the game is audio only, it does provide visual feedback by way of high-contrast indicators. Even with your eyes closed, you can tell that you have done the right thing.

Anyway, I am not suggesting that this is the way forward, but it is entirely possible. And what if you had a dedicated game controller app installed? This could provide a HUD-like information as well as control, and also provide audio and visual feedback. It makes sense to me...

Re:At some point, this would make sense (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173102)

That looks (sounds) awesome, I wish I could hear in stereo :(. Amazing concept, though.

Re:At some point, this would make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172638)

They could adapt their hardware to do the job, but it would be in competition with companies that have more specific equipment and experience.
The only reason gaming does well on the iPhone is because its a popular phone. Its not a very good handheld gaming device.

is it going to come with a gamepad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172314)

oh yeah this thing will be useful for games without a gamepad or a touchscreen

Re:is it going to come with a gamepad? (1)

AccUser (191555) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172332)

I would suspect that the vast majority of AppleTV users already have a portable iOS device (iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad). These could be used as controllers, given that gaming controls have already been proven on these devices.

Re:is it going to come with a gamepad? (1)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172838)

Thank G you were here to point out this gaping hole in their strategy. I'm sure Apple totally overlooked this and never would have thought of it without your brilliant insight.

iPad turns into a controller (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172358)

and the game is on the TV. Easy. Everything is practically in place.

Not a gamer company (3, Interesting)

sosume (680416) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172404)

Apple is not a gamer company. iOS games are only used casually, and Apple hardware scores badly in the cost vs performance tradeoff. Gamers want to be able to tweak their hardware and Apple is not likely to allow this. So for casual games, Apple won't be able to compete with the Wii on the low end, and won't be willing or able to provide high end gaming gear to the hardcore gaming crowd. So this is like Rolls Royce selling bikes - won't work. Combined with the expected resignation of Apple's Glorious Leader Kim Il Steve, this will only improve odds for people going short on Apple.

Re:Not a gamer company (2)

AccUser (191555) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172450)

Apple didn't think games would fly on the iPhone. They were wrong.

They are not a gamer company, but they have built a really solid platform, with very low entry requirements for development. Yes, there is an annual subscription fee for the developer program, and this is a requirement for submitting applications, but this cost is relatively small. Everything else you need is free (not counting 3rd-party toolsets and libraries).

Whilst PC gamers can tweak their hardware, what about PS3 and XBox360 gamers? How much tweaking can they seriously do?

And how many games are available for iOS compared to the Wii? I have and iPad and a Wii. I enjoy both, they are different experiences, but I only have about 20 games for the Wii. I have played many more times this on the iPad.

Re:Not a gamer company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35173346)

How many PS3 and 360 gamers actually care about tweaking their hardware? For the majority of us, its all about playing the game. WHen you have all these system requirements, you can cut out people who might not be bale to get their hands on the required hardware.

Re:Not a gamer company (1)

FyRE666 (263011) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172472)

If you read the article you'd see it's likely to use a streaming service like onLive - the device itself only needs enough horsepower to accept player input and display the video stream coming back from the gaming servers. Even openGL is pretty irrelevent.

Apple is already beating Nintendo at it's own game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172512)

Apple TV costs 99USD, the Wii costs over 200USD. And console gamers never want to tweak their hardware.

Developing for the iOS costs 99USD/year and you can decide your price for sales, of which you get 70%. That's a better deal than you usually get with publishers/distributors. Developing for the Wii requires licencing deals with Nintendo and a lot of capital and most likely previous successes in game development (this is the case with the DS at least). It's very likely you won't get 40USD out of the 50USD sales price for the Wii game. In addition you need to buy a devkit for the Wii. The Wii is not a HD device. The AppleTV is.

Indies would jump at this, fast.

Re:Not a gamer company (1)

xMrFishx (1956084) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172704)

Disagree.

Gamers, generally don't want to be able to tweak their hardware. I'm a PC gamer, always have been, but given the market share of console gamers, what's this tweaking we're talking about. Last I heard, 360s bant you if you tweaked them, and PS3s sue you if you look at them funny. Most consumers want plug and play hardware. PC gamers generally also fall into this category, those few of us that actually fiddle are a very very small minority of consumers.

If I was to say who was Apple's direct competitor in the gaming market as a newcomer, it's not Sony, it's not Microsoft, it's king of the casuals, Nintendo. The realms that Nintendo exists in in the eastern market, and the legacy that is Sega is nothing like what the Westerners see. The DS is criminally popular in the east. This is what the phone market of the West is entering into in a way that portable handhelds over here never quite made. It's the same region the Wii is sitting in, and where something like the (for want of a better word) iPlay would go.

If there was a company who had the capital, investors and technology backing to produce a low cost high impact technology, it's going to be someone like Apple. Most tech companies are followers, not innovators. They generally follow the herd and play it safe with product creation. Development for the big boys is expensive. Last I heard, it costs a small fortune to dev for the 360/ps3. Bedroom games makers can't hope to enter markets like this. It's just not worth the competition.

I don't know much about Nintendo's development accesibility, but seeing as they've always had alot simpler, lower cost products in their range, I'd think it was cheaper and easier to get into. What's the going rate for a Wii these days, $150? You've got an AppleTV at $99. I know it's weaker, a more specific product would no doubt have a few hardware tweaks to fit it's placement. But given the number of iDevices kicking around, you've got a potential controller in the users hands already. Who knows where something like this could go, but marketing money can make lead into gold. A little accidental developer support and coders will run wild. A $99 dev kit (aTV) is not really a big cost for most coders.

Don't count your chickens

Re:Not a [Hardcore] gamer company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172746)

Apple is not a gamer company.

Uh... yeah. Neither is Facebook. Neither of them attract the existing gamer market much; but they are both like a factory that is just churning out new gamers that don't even identify themselves as such. Hell, my wife spends more time playing games than I do these days.

Bejewelled
Scrabulous
Farmville
vs
Bejewelled
Angry Birds
???
Profit

I'm sure someone more 'in the know' could expand that list a hell of a lot and put in numbers. Apple isn't a gamer company, they are also not not a gamer company. They're a platform company. That's actually closer to what nintendo, microsoft and sony all are anyways. If the games on the iPod/Phone are any indication, apple knows how to make a good platform. With their prices and terms of service, apple will be destroying the low end of the big three in 2... 1...

Re:Not a gamer company (1)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172918)

That is probably the stupidest post I've ever ready. Congratulations!

iOS games are used only casually? WTF does that mean? That they're not used "formally"? What a bullshit argument.

Gamers want to be able to tweak their hardware? Really? Maybe a low percentage of gamers do, but the vast number of people who want to play games are the same people who buy and play a LOT of games on iPhones, iPod touches and iPads. Wrong on this one too.

" for casual games, Apple won't be able to compete with the Wii on the low end" Yeah, because Wii is offering sooo many games for $.99 or FREE, there is NO WAY Apple could compete with them. Retard.

"this will only improve odds for people going short on Apple." Yeah, you go ahead and do that. Short a company that is hitting on all cylinders on the stupid assumption that Jobs hasn't surrounded himself with people who think like him. Did you even bother to think any of your arguments through?

Re:Not a gamer company (1)

sosume (680416) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173444)

Let me start with congratulating you on your excellent communication skills. Bravo! I guess calling people retarded and their written words stupid is something you picked up from your manager at the local Wendy's.
Perhaps you have been hiding under a rock (or behind the grill) for the last decade or so, but you are apparently in need of explanation of the term 'casual gamer'. This is a gamer who plays every once in a while, on simple games like Bejeweled or Angry Birds. This is in contrast to the hardcode gamer, who playes mmos or fps like WoW or COD on a semi-daily basis. These people like to overclock, mod and what more. This is the group of people I think of when I refer to 'gamers', and the group who spends the largest part of their income on video games - this would traditionallty be a target group for Apple, were tey to enter the gaming market.. And apparently you have never owned a Wii, which definitely makes you a subject expert.
Now go get me that free refill you promised me.

The real question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172678)

Can it run doom yet?

Apple Controller (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172744)

Perhaps the string "Controller" simply refers to Model-View-Controller which is a common term when developing for iOS. No need to take rumors so seriously.

Sneak attack. Heh. (1)

Zelgadiss (213127) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172780)

Apple has been launching a lot of "sneak attacks" lately. :P

The iPod was innocent enough, but through it they effectively (and quietly) ate up a chuck of the PDA market via the iPod Touch.

Via the iPhone, they are starting to threaten Sony's and Nintendo's handheld console market.

Gaming on the Apple TV seems to be the latest "salvo".

PS: I suppose most consider the Apple TV as a failure. While I don't own one, it doesn't seem that bad. It's a cheap "media" server that lets you rent videos and watch them on your HD TV, as well as display/playback media streamed from a computer network.

Short answer? No. (1)

Loosifur (954968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172834)

Angry Birds HD? Apple ceded the gaming field to Microsoft many moons ago, and hasn't done anything to position itself to compete in that environment since. Besides which, does Apple TV even have enough of a foothold for Apple to use it as a wedge into console gaming? Granted, this is anecdotal, but no one I know has Apple TV, and I have a couple of friends who would buy anything with a lower-case 'i' in the front. In fact, those same people use competing products which aren't handicapped by Apple's antagonism towards third-party developers.

I mean, I'm sure there are Apple fans who will buy anything Apple releases for gaming, and then tell everyone they know about how much better Apple TV is for gaming purposes than a PS3, Xbox360, or Wii, but I just don't see console gamers flocking to Apple TV. Nor do I believe that Apple TV will gain enough of a footprint as a media device to give Apple a foothold for gaming. Other multipurpose devices do what Apple TV does, only better, cheaper, and without the limitations. I don't own one, but I'm assuming that, like most Apple products, you only see the full functionality when you combine it with other Apple products.

Re:Short answer? No. (1)

pympdaddyc (586298) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173394)

Setting aside Apple TV portion of this thread for a moment, I think you've missed some recent happenings in the Mac space. The last few revisions of the iMac hardware have definitely had a focus on gaming performance. And no, this doesn't mean they have a good price-to-performance ratio, but it does mean some people on the fence (like me) can now at least consider the trade-off when it was previously not a viable option.

In terms of general ecosystem, the increase of gaming performance is also echoed in Parallels' and Fusion's focus on gaming optimizations in their latest versions. I expect the hardware refocus also in part led to Steam's migration to the Mac platform. Finally, the Mac App store does have "real games" on it and they are selling; it's not just Angry Birds HD.

Circling back on the Apple TV, I think media/blogs are making a mountain out of a molehill, and we're all pointing to the mountain and saying "Oh Apple, you're so stupid, this isn't a mountain." I would be surprised if apps didn't appear on the Apple TV, and as we've seen in both the iPhone and iPad, apps directly lead to people making games. That doesn't suggest that it will compete directly with the PS3/XBox/Wii systems, or that Apple is even trying to. It's just the spread of the application eco-system.

nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172946)

apple has never forfeited aesthetics, size, and quietness for the power required for a decent gaming platform. nor will they in the future.

One word - (1)

z3pp3h (1842070) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172950)

Or maybe only a sound... "Meh..."

How would this work? (1)

pokyo (1987720) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173576)

I'm a little confused by this. Is there a new Apple TV device coming out? Does the newest Apple TV device have any storage capacity? Do they expect people to own an iPhone so that there is a decent controller? Seems like an afterthought to me.

The plan all along (1)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173638)

The current generation AppleTV has Bluetooth for input and 8GB of flash that are inaccessable currently.

What Apple didn't have was a large base of apps that don't require touch screen and many of the other hardware expectations of the current iOS devices.

Introduction of the Mac Appstore fixes that and readies the AppleTV to become a portal for those Apps to be put onto an iOS device. You have to look at it from a very high level looking down at the synergies between the computers and their iOS devices. The overarching plan is to make development for any of them just as easy as the next and make Applications readily available across all devices. I expect that to be a huge focus for LION and this year's WWDC.

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