Apple TV, games, and iPhone

November 03, 2009

Here’s a piece on Apple TV. Interesting bit:

… there’s no way you’re going to have games where the input is a little five-button Apple Remote, or anything else connected by IR.

Apple already has a great gaming controller. It is called iPhone. Granted, the hardware is not as spectacular as Xbox and PS3 controllers with vibration, analog thumbsticks etc, but there is something to be said about the benefits of having a full reconfigurable touch surface for gaming. Imagine games with pinch and other multitouch gestures. I have played many games on the iPhone and it really exceeds my expectations as a gaming platform. You should not dismiss touch-based gaming until you’ve tried. I recommend Assassin’s Creed, but why not also Flight Control and other such staples.

So, let’s imagine that we use iPhone as controller for games that you buy on iTunes and push to your Apple TV. I can’t see anything broken with this model. It would just need one “controller app” for iPhone, that could be game-specific or generic, maybe to the point of expanding the already existing Remote app.

Let’s also push this further and imagine games that work on Apple TV as well as iPhone; games that keep you immersed regardless of your environment. Until now, most games are bound to a platform, but you can imagine a rich experience like Sims where the story continues on your TV when you are home, and iPhone when you are on the move. Obviously the content and angle need to be a bit different due to screen size, direct vs indirect manipulation etc, but again, there’s something worthwhile in this model.

With the later example, you wouldn’t even need a new app store. You could keep buying games on your iPhone as you do today, and some of those could simply be expanded if you have an Apple TV.