WWDC 2017 Keynote and Apple TV Gaming: Less is More?

The fact that Apple chose not to cram a tvOS update in among all the other software and hardware news, leads me to believe that maybe there was too much to unveil. The WWDC keynotes can be lengthy experiences, and at 139 minutes this year’s was already pretty long. Anything more might have seemed too long. So maybe, just maybe, part of the new iPhone unveiling later in 2017 will be devoted to stage time for Apple TV news. Putting it on stage alongside the tenth anniversary iPhone announcement would certainly heighten awareness.

We know one thing for sure, and it’s that we will be hearing a lot more about tvOS later this year. Because Tim Cook said so. Anything that will bring more viewers to Apple TV will be good for gaming on the platform, as more units placed in homes means more potential players. The addition of Amazon Prime Video as a native tvOS app, will be sure to drive numbers. It’s a positive step forwards.

Perhaps it’s a good thing that the seemingly irrelevant news of Amazon Prime Video coming to Apple TV will have a few months to sink in and sell units before the next announcement hits, whatever and whenever that will be.

The other encouraging sign is the App Store redesign. Discoverability has long been an issue with Apple’s storefront. It seems the refresh will showcase selected games by telling the human story behind them, such as the featuring of Monument Valley 2 during today’s keynote, and an accompanying App Store article detailing its development. This sort of activity takes human curation, which implies care and quality control, as opposed to a heartless algorithm. It would be surprising if these new App Store ideals and showcases didn’t extend to tvOS as well.

We still have no idea what will be announced in the coming months that will have anything to do with Apple TV gaming, but even today’s seemingly unrelated announcements will actually be good for the platform. Also, WWDC has only just started. The WWDC app on Apple TV now has available the Platforms State of The Union, so we’ll sink our teeth in and see if we can’t glean anything from that to help us prognosticate further about the remainder of 2017.

We recently discovered what developers want – an Apple-designed gamepad. Will they get it?


Screenshot from Halfbrick’s Dan The Man