Apple could be adding gaming support to the Apple TV in an imminent update, at least that’s what the latest rumour to come out of iLounge says. The update is rumoured to allow the Apple TV to download games directly to its on-board storage and be played using Bluetooth game controllers.
Currently the Apple TV can only be used as a ‘dumb’ receiver to stream games from an iOS device to a TV. It’s a method that hasn’t received much attention because of the irritation of constantly having to look down at the iOS device’s touch screen because of the lack of physical buttons.
Apple has already overcome this issue with its MFi (Made For iOS) certification program. MFi certified controllers like Logitech’s PowerShell Controller are already available for the iPhone 5 range of phones, but there are also stand alone controllers like the SteelSeries Stratus that could work with Apple TVs. MFi controllers use Bluetooth 4.0 which is a low power version of Bluetooth to interact with iOS devices, a technology that has been present in iPhones since the iPhone 4s and is also included from the third generation of Apple TV onwards.
While the controllers for the Apple TV gaming console are easily taken care of, the matter of storage for the games will be more difficult. From the second generation of Apple TV onwards there has only been 8GB of storage which has to be used for both the OS and for caching of video. With games like Infinity Blade 3 weighing in at a hefty 1.8GB Apple would have to use some sort of streaming trickery similar to what Sony plans with Playstation Now or release a new model with a larger on-board storage.
If Apple does decide to get into the console wars it will be interesting to see how fast the adoption of a R1 299 console fares against the likes of the Playstation 4 at R6 299.