Apple TV will support 3rd party controllers, but is it enough? [Discussion]

apple tv

Apple unveiled feature rich, successor of its existing products and announced some new services during the annual Apple event — some with new exciting features and others that are just a iteration of predecessor with minor tweaks; while some of them are simply an innovative rip off. For better or worse, that’s what we are going to get this year from the big Apple.

First of all, let me confess that I am not a big fan of Apple products, and none of my work system includes anything that has unfinished ‘Apple’ logo on it — and, I am referring to natural fruit here. My laptop runs Linux Ubuntu 15.04, a notebook has Windows 10, and my PC is powered by Kali 2.0 (which is another Linux distro); Hell even this website is powered by one of the Linux distro. So, before you start calling me a Windows fanboy, I wanted to put myself in the safe zone.

apple tv

Of all the new gadgets and smartphones unveiled during the event, Apple TV was something that drew attention. The iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, and iPad Pro was expected to debut at the event and I was like – Meh!, but when it comes to the Apple TV, we weren’t sure what it is going to serve on the table and when they finally did, I was stumped. If Apple TV powered by the whole new ‘tvOS’ can deliver 50 percent of what they demonstrated during the event, I am sold. For more insight information, I will let Apple brag about it.

Now you must be thinking why I am leaning towards Apple when I hate it so much? — First, I don’t hate it, and second, it is just a troll, shelling the old hardware into a new shiny box. The Apple TV is a bad product at so many levels, and I will let you know about it in my upcoming article. Regardless, of these bold references, I know thousands of people will have this Set-top-box in their living room because one thing that we could figure out so far is that Apple is really good at selling products to people who don’t actually need it.

It isn’t entirely a new concept, but it certainly is a better way to intrude in your living room than any other existing competitors. The streamlined features and ability to integrated benefit of integrated system is welcome addition to other features it offers, but the unique remote that allows you to talk directly to your TV and play native iOS games, is just amazing — this is where the fun part ends.

crossy road

The tvOS was emphasized for its ability to play native iOS games and being able to interact with Siri; I can vouch for it because they did demonstrated Crossy Road (by Hipster Whale) and Beat Sports (by Harmonix) during the event, which certainly looked fun to play on large screen with your friends and family. This makes it even better when you don’t really have to stick out a controller everytime you want to play these interactive games. Apple says you can use your iPhone to make them work just like the Apple TV remote for multiplayer gameplay.

There’s little doubt that navigation will be much smoother and more intuitive compared to existing Smart TV devices. From a gaming perspect, clearly cues have been taken from the Wiimote in terms of the waggle factor, courtesy of its accelerometer and gyroscope. And what it lacks in terms of useable buttons, it attempts to address with a smooth, glass trackpad. Now, the gamers who are personally attached to the console controller will find it hard to adapt with this new instrument to interact to the game, but again, most of the hardcore gamers will probably refrain themselves from playing the iOS games anyways. So, it basically targets the casual mobile gamers, who can dwell into the  time killer device, which makes sense as they would feel much comfortable with the touch navigation offered b the remote.

apple tv remote

Fortuantely, Apple is also accepting third-party controller who can qualify their MFi program. The bad news is that it’ll limit your choices. Steelseries controllers are shown twice on Apple’s gaming page for Apple TV, but it’s not clear just how many others are MFi certified. The good news is that you have options — and likely more as time goes on. Apple TV gaming is pretty impressive and has us all interested… but playing a first-person shooter with a TV remote is a bit too weird for me.

What do you think?

Can Apple TV remote replace your standard controller, and become a first successful set-top-box and a micro-console – a jack-of-all-trades product, which other competitors has failed miserably so far? Let’s bring it on in comments.


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