If you want to go out and buy a gaming console, chances are slim that you’ll come home with a fourth generation Apple TV. Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are your odds-on favourites for straight-up gaming. But if you’re after a high quality device for media consumption, with the design and user interface sensibilities that Apple brings to the table, then Apple TV is an easy recommendation.
As a bonus, with the Apple TV you’re also ending up with a device that does gaming very well, which we’ve been banging on about since December 2016. The trick though, is that with Apple TV the gaming console aspect of it is only accessed via a compatible controller, as without one, you only have the Siri Remote. Now the Siri Remote is an elegant piece of hardware – it’s great for navigating the Apple TV menus and consuming media, and there is an interesting niche of games which play very well with the remote (read about three of them here, and one more for the road right here), but for traditional gaming, a traditional controller is needed.
The lack of any bundle up until now has no doubt been a contributing factor to Apple TV’s slow burn in regards to the recognition of the device as a digital-only gaming console. The Minecraft and Steel Series Nimbus combo is a great entry point to opening up this functionality.
Earlier this year, just prior to WWDC, we reached out to a handful of developers to find out what they were hoping for with any Apple TV gaming related announcements, and an official Apple controller was a common theme in responses. An official controller from Apple would signify a real commitment from the company to the gaming functionality of Apple TV, in turn giving developers confidence that spending time and money making games compatible with the platform is worth it. In lieu of that, the bundle that today became available, sold via the Apple Store, might be the next best thing.
It will be interesting to see if the bundle is just coincidental timing, or if it signifies a more significant change, especially considering Apple’s September 12 event is just around the corner. Many are expecting the announcement of a fifth generation Apple TV next week, with power under the hood to enable 4K resolution, which could also mean a bigger step towards the mainstream gaming arena.
Right then. Enough speculating about the future, this bundle is available now, and it’s a positive step in the right direction. You can check out a whole bunch of quality titles for Apple TV in our Best of Year One list, and just simply scroll back through the stories prior to this one for all sorts of excellent gaming options across a multitude of genres. And for a look at some upcoming releases, have a read right here.
ATVG will be watching Apple’s event next week with a keen eye, and we’ll be lodging a full report of anything we spy relating to Apple TV gaming.