clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Hands-on with the new Apple TV, its games and the Siri Remote controller

New, 26 comments

Speculation that the new Apple TV would seek out and destroy gaming consoles can be led to rest for yet another year. It's clear from Apple's event today, and the timbre of its hands-on demos in San Francisco, that Apple's traditionally approach to games is set to continue.

Although Apple TV's big focus is on television — the target audience is cable cutters — some games will be available to play, with the new touch controller, which features gyroscope and accelerometer. Polygon played a few of these games today.

Most impressive is Shadowmatic, which features 3D objects which can be rotated until they throw a familiar shadow against a lighted wall. So, a weird abomination becomes ... a kettle. It's a pleasing puzzle with crisp graphics that makes use of the touch controller.

Beat Sports is a motion control game in which players hit balls along to musical prompts. If you grew weary  of the Wii circa 2007, this is not gong to light your fire. Players twitch their wrists to swing bats or other variations on popular sports. It's pretty enough, but not in the least bit exciting as an innovation.

apple tv

Other games demand more of the controller. Playing driving game Asphalt Airborne 8 means holding the controller like a steering wheel and making small adjustments to negotiate turns. It looks like a mobile game but large. Disney Infntiy 3's third-person Star Wars works in much the same way, though the visuals are better.

Talking of visuals, Rayman Adventures is a colorful platform game that controls pretty well. But you've played the game, or something like it many times before. Crossy Road is pretty and, with multiplayer options, could be a go-to purchase if you buy an Apple TV, though whether you'd buy an Apple TV for t, is altogether another question.

Also on show today was a, a Call of Duty-style shooter that works with the touch-controller but is better played with a game controller. Apple is working with the likes of Steel Series and Hori to create the kinds of controllers that are already available for iOS games. The game can be played by up to four players with, according to an Apple spokesperson, four-player split screen.

Fantastic Plastic Squad from Pound Sand stars 80-style action toys as they do battle with creepies. This is a third-person action game that can make use of the controller. The touch pad moves the player, while hitting the top of the touchpad will execute a jump. The player shoots automatically upon gaining an enemy in its sights.

Prior to the event, Apple made no promises about using Apple TV to challenge game consoles. The product offers games of an adequately functional nature without really offering anything exciting or innovative.