Apple has cornered the mobile gaming market for a while now, but it was only a matter of time before the company would set its eyes on the home console game. Today during a presentation rife with a cavalcade of new announcements, the newest iteration of the Apple TV digital media player was revealed. It's still a station for all of your home media and television apps, and it's keeping the same name as before.
But there's one important aspect that sets it apart from all the rest of the Apple TVs of the world: This one's meant to be a gaming console too. First and foremost, this version of Apple TV will be running on tvOS, a brand new operating system that'll support Handoff, or the same ability that allows you to start a call on your iPhone and take it to a MacBook Pro or other Apple device. In this context, you'll be able to begin playing a game on your iPhone and take it to your Apple TV to finish it out.
You'll be able to do all this using a brand new remote that uses a glass touch surface along the top, along with integration with Siri. Of course, this means motion control is supported as well, which was shown off during the presentation as some familiar developers took the stage to announce various new titles for Apple TV.
Developer Hipster Whale announced an Apple TV version of the hit mobile title Crossy Road, which seemed to focus on both cooperative and multiplayer modes over the single-player lilt of the mobile version. Harmonix was also on hand to introduce Beat Sports, another motion-controlled title that finds players engaged in quirky rhythm-based sports mini games. Up to four players can join in on the fun in the colorful, oddball title.
All of this sounds as though it could be Apple's aim to reach out to those into multiplayer and group gaming. Both Crossy Road and Beat Sports leaned heavily toward the inclusion of other players as part of the experience, and the additional game announcements followed suit.
Disney Infinity 3.0 and Guitar Hero Live are both excellent candidates for playing with friends or family, especially since players can simply jump from one device to another and back again. Several other console-quality releases are planned as well, and if Apple continues in the same direction as these initial releases, we could be looking at a console that's bent on bringing the party to living rooms as well as establishing on-the-go play.
The device is set to hit store shelves in late October in over 100 countries by the end of 2015 and will come in two different, surprisingly affordable models: a 32GB version for $149 and a 64GB version for $199. It's going to be an interesting push for the company as it aims to pull in both mobile and console gamers. Will it work? It sure will be interesting to see.
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