HDTV with Apple logo (small)

Just as the iPhone and iPad have been chipping away mercilessly at Nintendo’s dominance in the handheld gaming market, Apple’s next-generation set-top box should give dedicated game consoles a good run for their money.

A report by 9to5Mac’s well-informed writer Mark Gurman lays out a few upcoming features for a rumored fourth-generation Apple TV that are bound to prompt gamers, casual and hardcore alike, to jump with joy.

Siri and games

The next Apple TV is widely expected to include long-awaited voice control via Siri. Indeed, a revamped remote for the device, described by 9to5Mac’s source as being “near-universal,”will reportedly feature a built-in microphone and a dedicated Siri button.

Apple TV Air Remote (Martin Hajek 000)

“A source who has used the product says that ‘you can navigate [mostly everything] on the new Apple TV [solely] using the new Siri button’,” writes Gurman.

“The source also called the deep integration of Siri a ‘main focus’ for the new box, as its convenience will appeal to non-gamers and gamers alike,” the article reads.

The article stops short of saying whether or not Apple will open up Siri to third-party developers anytime soon, a long-expected move that might opening door to Siri-base casual gaming with voice control.

New control built for gaming

The next Apple TV’s sensor-laden remote with Nintendo Wii-like motion sensing is just a tip of the iceberg. The redesigned accessory is said to be thicker than the current aluminum remote for the Apple TV and include a touchpad that could even make existing iPhone and iPad games playable with ease on a big screen TV.

Apple TV Air Remote (Martin Hajek 003)

In addition to the Siri button, the revamped remote apparently includes a dedicated Home button which takes you straight back to the Home screen and utilizes a standard replaceable battery. It will connect to the Apple TV over Bluetooth, as opposed to the inferior infrared connectivity on the current remote.

“As a result, the Apple TV’s support for motion controls is unlikely to include a system navigation and pointing interface akin to Nintendo’s Wii,” Gurman writes. Gamers will even be permitted to connect multiple Bluetooth gaming controllers to their Apple TV and choose between them.

Updated hardware

The next Apple TV is widely expected to use the iPhone 6’s dual-core A8 processor with increased performance owing to the fact that the set-top box will be connected to a power outlet. Because energy consumption is not a major concern, Apple can conformably raise A8’s clock frequency to make it run faster.

The device will run an unreleased version of iOS 9 operating system and include a dedicated App Store with third-party game and app downloads.

Availability

According to Gurman’s sources, the new Apple TV will be indeed formally unveiled at Apple’s iPhone 6s media event on Wednesday, September 9. The set-top box device will reportedly ship in October for between $149 and $199.

Apple September 2015 event invite graphics

By the way, Apple’s invite graphics could hint at “near-universal Siri control.”

Shut up and take my money

As a huge sucker for high-quality games on iPhones and iPads, I can’t tell how many times I wished that the Apple TV had downloadable games.

Squinting at tiny mobile screens isn’t exactly my idea of prolonged gaming so I’ll be making sure to purchase the new Apple TV the day it lands on store shelves.

And what are you most excited about for Apple’s September 9 event?

Next-generation Apple TV and remote concepts via 3D artist Martin Hajek.

Source: 9to5Mac