A Brief Note on Apple TV’s Gaming Features

on Thursday, Sep. 10th

Previously on…

Everything still pretty much comes down to the input. How does that remote feel as a controller?

The presence of Disney Infinity 3.0 is probably the most interesting announcement, along with the forthcoming Guitar Hero. (Although I admit I would have lost my mind if they annouced Rock Band instead of that Wii Sports thing Harmonix stood up with.)

Infinity and Guitar Hero are from the universe of periperhal-based “toys to life” games. The games exist in part to sell “plastic crap” that make playing the game possible. It would be easy for Disney to pack in a “standard” controller with the Infinity base kit. It’s what Activision does with Skylanders on the iPad, after all.

So while this isn’t a direct threat to console makers it is another nail in the coffin: PC gaming is already eating up the oxygen on AAA titles, and that will only be exacerbated by the VR influx of next year. If you’re a “mid-core” gamer — that’s the folks who buy a couple of titles a year, one of which is usually FIFA or Madden — you might look at a set-top box more seriously if those games hit. The legions of Wii owners who are looking for family fun could line up for Infinity and Guitar Hero, however. If Apple encourages cross-platform buy between iOS and tvOS? That would be a sweetner in the pot.

Can Apple TV do what Vita and Ouya didn’t?

I really feel it all comes down to whether or not the “fiddly bits of plastic” business model for games becomes the standard it seems to be turning into.

The big consoles are destined to fade away, almost certainly after this generation, but that has more to do with the demands of virtual and mixed reality than it does with hockey pucks plugged into flat screens.


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