clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

How is gaming coming to the Apple TV? What would win you over?

New, 22 comments

This morning in San Francisco, Apple will, by lots of accounts, rumors and sources, unveil the next iteration of the Apple TV. And that device will play games, reports the New York Times and the brain of most anybody with common sense.

We're also expecting to hear about a new iPhone, new iPad, the timing of the next major operating system and maybe even details on new laptops or computers.

But what matters most out of all of that, at least to me and probably you, is how Apple is going to handle this, its first major official push into gaming in more than 20 years.

Arguably, the last time Apple got behind gaming in a major way was the botched launch of the Pippin. But in 2008, Apple sort of accidentally began reshaping the game industry with the launch of the iOS App Store. The App Store launched in July 2008, bringing with it a slew of games including Spore, Trism, Galaga and Pacman. While the App Store had and continues to have a massive impact on gaming, Apple has been reticent to fully embrace gaming on the iPhone and iPad until much more recently.

It wasn't really until earlier this year that Apple finally decided to publicly acknowledge the impact game developers had on the App Store and thank them in person.

Apple received the first ever Technical Impact Award from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences for the store in February.

In introducing the award, Mike Capps, former president of Epic Games and current board member for the academy, called out the impact of the App Store for it's democratization of game development and distribution and said that the iPhone is a mobile video game console.

Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president of iPhone and iOS product marketing, told a gathering of developers that while Apple knew that the App Store was something new and unique, the company had no idea just how big and impactful it was going to become.

"It's just gigantic," he said at the time. "The App Store has forever changed software development, software distribution, because it levels the playing field between the big developers, the small developers.

"The success of the App Store is really tied to this incredibly diverse developer community we have, they make it happen with their incredible apps, their amazing games. And it's because games are so much fun and addictive. Users love them and they do pay for them."

The App Store, he said at the time, has generated more than $25 billion paid out to developers, $10 billion last year alone.

And that brings us to today, when Apple is supposed to announce a new Apple TV and the games to help push it to success in the same way gaming helped empower the success of the App Store and iPhone.

We'll have our own Colin Campbell at the event both to help with the news and to go hands-on with anything Apple might have to show after its presentation.

The event starts at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern. You can watch it right here either with an Apple device or by using Microsoft's Edge.

In the meantime, we'd love to hear what you think Apple needs to do to make the Apple TV something you'd play a game on.

Here's my predictions: An Apple TV with controller support, motion controls built into a remote of sorts and a big, family-friendly game to kick-off that announcement.

Which game? My heart says something from Disney (Disney Infinity 3.0 is supposed to be coming to Android and iOS by the end of the month) or even Nintendo, which recently announced plans to publish mobile games. (They also recently posted a job listing for a mobile game developer.) But my head says that maybe Apple will want something brand new and that Nintendo and Apple may not be able to play nice together, at least not long enough to pin an entire announcement to.