The next Apple TV refresh will turn the set-top box into a full-fledged game console, according to two separate reports citing trusty sources. Developers are already hard at work making controllers for the thing, one report says.iLounge was the first to break the news that “Apple TV will soon be getting proper game support in an update, likely to come in March or earlier.”
Citing reliable industry sources, the site says, “developers are currently working on Bluetooth controller options, and it’s expected that games could be downloaded directly to the Apple TV rather than relying on another iOS device as an intermediary.”
One such developer tells the publication that current set-top boxes could support Apple’s future software updates, possibly offering backwards-compatibility for some games.
However, storage would be a problem, since current-generation Apple TVs have very little flash memory on board (less than 8GB, some of which is occupied by the OS itself).
More information comes via 9to5mac, whose sources suggested that this new Apple TV would include “new types of content.”
An App Store or a “Game Store” for the device is said to be “under consideration.” In other words, it’s not a done deal just yet.
If history is any indication, Apple will introduce an updated device that offers exclusive App/Game Store support, to spur sales.
However, the company will probably leave game controller sales to accessory makers, allowing customers to choose to buy the box as a universal entertainment center that can offer extras if the necessary equipment is present.
Here at Softpedia we’ve long advocated for an Apple TV refresh that adds a gaming experience.
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This step has always been somewhat logical for Apple, as the Apple TV runs an iOS version, while the iOS App Store holds hundreds of thousands of games.
Now that iOS 7 allows full controller integration, it seems that the final piece of the puzzle is in place.