Why The Next Generation Apple TV Could Be The Biggest Game Changer

Live TV streaming, HomeKit hub, but that’s not all. There is more surprise to come…

As the Apple TV has been transitioning from a hobby device to a more meaningful product, Apple is readying a new and revamped Apple TV device that was initially rumored to make its debut at the upcoming WWDC starting June 8, 2015; but is now rumored to be not ready for prime time. The new Apple TV is expected to pack a live TV service for which Apple has been negotiating distribution rights with TV networks.

Apple TV is a great device but let’s face it unless you can completely replace your cable setup box (a.k.a “cut the cord”) or at least connect your Apple TV to it (like Slingbox) so you can watch cable through the Apple TV interface, it is very hard to replace any of your existing TV devices with the Apple TV. I find myself often switching the TV input source in order to view content on the Apple TV or to stream content from my other Mac and iOS devices. And despite all the streaming channels currently on the device I rarely use Apple TV to watch TV because I already have access to it through my cable box.

In order to be a true cord cutter the Apple TV needs to replace your setup box, which might not happen anytime soon. However in order to be more convenient It would be nice to connect the Apple TV between your cable box and your TV, so as to make the Apple TV your main viewing interface and allow you to watch your cable feed right from the Apple TV. This might be difficult to achieve unless Apple adds a coaxial or HDMI input to it’s upcoming device. And unless Apple has signed distribution agreements with most of the TV networks you might not be able to actually “cut the cord” just yet.

But one interesting feature that is most likely coming to the Apple TV is the opening of its SDK (Software Development Kit) to developers so that games can now be ported to the TV screen and new games with new experiences can be imagined and brought to life.

Considering that the gaming industry is huge and we have data to prove it on iOS, this could be the biggest game changer of the next generation Apple TV. If you think about it for a moment it is not just about porting existing games to the TV screen. It is about creating new experiences such as:

  • Multiscreen gaming between iOS devices and Apple TV.
  • Family gaming which could bring family playing together on the same screen. This is perhaps the most exciting part as it brings the console-like multiplayer experience to the TV screen.
  • With the maturity and advanced sensors of iOS devices, the new Apple TV SDK (rumored to be called TVKit) could turn them into motion game controllers, that you could move around in space in order to control your character in the game, just like Wii controllers.
  • Or Apple could introduce a new Apple TV remote control that is at the same time a motion-controller.

With these features the new Apple TV could be in direct competition with game consoles and also go head to head with Nintendo Wii on one hand and Ouya on the other hand. If anything the recent Android game console Ouya proved that this distribution model could work.

Could console and Wii-like gaming experience on the TV screen make Apple TV the next best game console? Let me know what you think.

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