Could Apple TV Upset Sony & Microsoft?

Apple TV’s recent relaunch might have seen a price drop, but it’s the news that references to gaming were found in the latest (beta) firmware update that excite the most, sparking rumours that the little machine might be used for online gaming, powered by Game Center.

Snippets mentioning ‘ATVThunder’ hidden away in the code allude to iTunes-based games that will be fed through to Apple TV, whether via streaming or actually based on the unit itself – it’s obviously not clear at this stage but speculation is flying.

Technically Apple TV is indeed capable of a fair bit – OpenGL rendering coupled with the same A4 processor as the iPad would provide plenty of grunt for both methods of gaming, and there’s also talk floating around Mac-focused sites that the iPhone (or iPad) could be used as a controller.

As The Register says, given Apple’s success on portable platforms, surely they’d be looking to extend that market to TVs, too, and this would go some way to providing a real competitor in the front room to traditional consoles…

Via Engadget.


  1. Given the class of games now appearing it does have the potential to upset the status quo and probably will do. Good, competition breeds innovation, but with the PlayStation Suite, Sony will have a ready made competitor.

  2. My brother in law recently got Apple TV and, high rental prices aside (£4.49 for an HD movie), it’s a really slick service I’m sorely tempted by for myself. If it did streaming via Windows Media Center I’d buy it tomorrow (if I had any money).
    Apparently Airplay works well and if it could do something where it sends the game to the screen from my iPhone and lets me just use the handset as a controller then I’d be a little more interested too.

  3. I have two apple TV’s, one for the bed room and one for the living room, so i’d love this.

    Playing the Dead Space iOS game on my TV with a controller would be awesome.

    Would be interesting to see where apple takes this if it does well. A full fledged home console from Apple with a dedicated store, iTunes connectivity and a more robust Game Center app on par with LIVE…yes please.

  4. I really think the OnLive-style game streaming model is the future, particularly when piracy is such a big problem. And for this, the AppleTV is in position to show off visuals as good as 360 and PS3, from a casual glance, anyway. I bet they’ll only be streaming iphone and iPad games to your TV for the first year, then moving into full-on “cloud gaming” after that.

  5. I wonder who would be more scared of this happening Microsoft or Sony?

    • Nintendo. This will be more casual gaming and that is Nintendo’s market. Sony are already working on gaming for Android to counter the iOS effect though if Apple started building TVs……..

  6. a download only console with a monopoly supplier?
    count me out.

  7. No.

    • I’m in agreement. There’s a difference between casual games & the ones people want to play on consoles.
      Sure, you can play Angry Birds on a PS3, but people want more than that, we want immersion rather than five minute games.

      • Loads of big budget games are being designed to run on iOS, it wasn’t long ago that the Rage & Unreal Engine’s were ported to the system, we just have to wait for the games that are presumably already in development and take a tad longer than the game types you’re thinking of.

        The Rage engine runs at 60fps features all the vertex & fragment shaders that we know & love in this console-gen along with real-time radiosity that people have recently been masturbating to in the Battlefield3 reveal, except… on a phone.

        To be honest by the time all the multi-core phones are out this year they’ll probably make the NGP seem not that special at all, with the added bonus you can ‘flip’ them to your TV for playing at home.

      • Rage Engine:
        Unreal Engine:

        There is of course the touch limitation to get over, but the games & standard of games will be more than adequate for home gaming, should Apple head down this path, I always wondered why they hadn’t done it before, but they were probably waiting for the multi-core architecture processors to come along to do the service justice

      • Mr CC Star:

        Yes, lovely look at the nice games. Look at the shiny! Very nice. Now look at the numbers

        Apple TV sales – 1 Million (Dec 2010)
        Xbox/Wii/PS3 Sales – 200+ million (Dec 2010)

        Are Sony/MS/Ninty worried? I refer you to my orginal post.

        Now.. look at me. Now look away. Now look at me – I’m on a horse!

      • 1 million Apple TV sales to a largely sub-standard, over-priced streaming service which isn’t a patch on its rivals… How might that number change if the blooming thing actually had a use?

        whilst it may (will) not catch up with the consoles you’ve mentioned it could disrupt the 10m-15m unit sales of each one in the coming years, especially if there’s a v2.0 of the current Apple TV model which supports 1080p movie stremaing like Boxee etc

      • It would help if they advertised the damn thing :)

        I agree if they had the sales MS might be worried, but I would argue that Televisions these days are internet ready andy have the likes of Qriocity or the Samsung movie store already loaded up, Apple Tv is not required. I think they missed the boat on this one.

  8. If I could play the games from my phone to TV that would pretty cool! I should think even games made specifically for the iPhone 4 (retina display) would look fine on a TV let alone the iPad

  9. Couldn’t possibly be a worse idea than the pippin could it? ;) still, apple tv is tiny and would make perfect sense for youngsters and casual gamers

  10. Not interested in any Apple product, personally. Overpriced junk. Would take Android over iPhone, already prefer Walkman to iPod, no interest in iPad, and no interested in Apple’s or OnLive’s streaming game nonsense.

    Recently deleted iTunes from my PC, too. Amazon MP3 is cheaper, or I’ll buy the CD and rip it.

    • ‘Junk’… best I go throw my MacBook Pro in the skip then, oh and my iMac. I’m gonna keep my iPhone though, just in case I need to make an urgent call for an ambulance in case my leg drops off or something

      • “in case my leg drops off or something”

        you think that’s something that’s likely to happen? o_O

      • Maybe… I’m always prepared for the worst. Saying that, it is a Friday so I’ll probably end up getting legless tonight

    • To be fair you obviously have a grudge against Apple so anything they offer is already dead to you.

      • they do charge crazy money for things.

    • God i hope you sat on the Debate Team in high school.

      Such a convincing argument. It’s all junk and nonsense.

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