All Apple TV Games Must Use The Remote

If you were hoping for some ‘proper’ games on the new Apple TV then you are out of luck. Small print added to the terms and conditions for developers reveals that all games must work with the standard remote.

  • Your game must support the Apple TV remote. Your game may not require the use of a controller.
  • tvOS games that support controllers must support the extended control layout. All controllers for tvOS are nonformfitting extended controllers.
  • Games must be playable using standalone controllers. If you support an extended controller, the game must be playable solely with that controller.

The standard remote has a motion control sensor and you can swipe, click and tap as you would do on an iPhone, but that’s it. No buttons or joysticks so this will limit the complexity of games available on the system to the same level as those found on the iPhone.


Apple had previously said that additional controllers would be supported, but had not mentioned that all games must support the Apple TV remote.

Source: Develop /9to5Mac



  1. So much for this iteration being a console killer

  2. The last line somewhat contradicts the first part. Apple tv could certainly hook a few people into gaming who then go on to buy a console so they can get the proper gaming experience.

    • I took that to mean rock band type controllers

      • Ah yes probably.

      • And Mfi (Made for iOS) controllers.

        I just got one of them for my iPad – it’s essentially a PS3 controller and lets me play games like Vice City, Transistor, Valiant Hearts, FIFA, Knights of the Old Republic and more on the iPad as if it were a console.

        There are plenty of games already in Apple’s ecosystem which support proper controllers, and there will be plenty more in the future.

        All the games above can be played without a controller just using the touch screen of course. Same as any game released on Apple TV will be possible (if not great) just using the remote.

        They don’t require the use of a controller, but they still support the controller.

  3. “Limit the complexity of games available on the system to the same level as those found on the iPhone.”

    Games found on the iPhone include Bioshock, San Andreas, Knights of the Old Republic, Monster Hunter, Lego Star Wars and many more which support full controllers.

  4. I would facepalm but that would imply that this decision was worth me facepalming. This is beyond a stupid move. This is Virtual Boy levels of stupid moves. I mean, if you can match the Virtual Boy(which shipped without a freaking cable and had no strap) then you are not destined to enjoy many sales. I mean, a remote? The last console to use a remote was the… ok, bad example. But the Wii managed to avoid being a failure due to it’s library and appeal to an untapped market.

    Apple, you can’t replicate the success Nintendo had. Your requirements have single handly turned most developers against you as they hate being limited by one platform’s requirements. Sure, the IOS developers will continue their work but if this is meant to be “The console killer” or meant to put the PS4 and X1 to rest, you failed.

    Did no-one and I mean no-one go “Actually, that’s rather stupid. Wouldn’t it put the major developers off our product?”

    If this is meant to be a giant IPhone then release a damn table… oh, right you did. Then why and I mean, why does this exist for gaming?

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