Apple TV mockup (Curved.de 004)

Casual gaming will be a central tentpole of a fourth-generation Apple TV and downloadable games will be the primary selling point of the forthcoming device, as per The New York Times yesterday evening.

Though the next Apple TV won’t take console giants Sony and Microsoft head on, Nintendo has plenty of reasons to be worried: casual gaming on the Apple TV should benefit tremendously from downloadable games via a dedicated app store and a redesigned remote with a trackpad, Wii-like motion sensors, Bluetooth and more.

Games have been the top app category on the iPad App Store since the device’s inception in 2010. Following the iPhone’s and the App Store’s respective debut in 2007 and 2008, Apple has positioned the iPod touch as a handheld mobile gaming device.

In just few short years, casual gaming on the iOS platform has encroached on turf previously dominated by Nintendo and its Wii console. And even though gaming on the Mac was ignored by die-hard fans for years, the release of El Capitan will let developers create graphics-rich titles with a little help from Metal for Mac, a low-level graphics framework faster than OpenGL that has been powering the best triple-A iPhone and iPad games in the App Store.

Best games 2014

The next Apple TV is expected to be powered by a modified version of Apple’s existing A8 processor which runs inside the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Air 2. Because the device is tethered to a power socket all the time and there are no battery bottlenecks, Apple can add graphics cores and increase the chip’s frequency to power games in full HD on a big screen TV.

“No company has done more for the digital man-machine interface than Apple,” said Electronic Arts and 3DO founder Trip Hawkins. “They have warmed up to games and are a worthy candidate to win the family room in the next decade, though the competition and inertia are epic.”

Global games business is worth a PricewaterhouseCoopers-estimated $75 billion, with total revenue from console games accounting for more than a third of that sum.

The next Apple TV should run a tailored version of iOS 9 and cost about $149, more than twice as much as the current $69 box which lacks an app store and is mostly used by owners for audio and video streaming.

App Store section (Gorgeous iOS 8 games enhanced with Metal 001)

Other rumored capabilities include a universal search feature, possible 8GB and 16 GB editions, support for Bluetooth controllers and more. It won’t support 4K streaming at launch and a rumored iTunes-branded television service won’t be ready this year, as per the latest chatter.

4th generation Apple TV mockup by German website Curved.de.

Source: The New York Times