How About the iPhone as Controller for Apple TV Gaming Console?

Hot on the heels of the premium "App Store Plus" (TM Erica Sadun) $19.99 rumor we helped propogate yesterday, in his (its?) weekly column, the Macalope pulls a follow-up rumor out of his rear port (actually makes it up on the spot) for a concept that's actually pretty darn intriguing:

You know how Apple’s still trying to figure out the Apple TV? Sure, you do. You’re smart and sexy and you keep on top of these things. Well, last summer the brown and furry one’s old sparring partner Adrian Kingsley-Hughes actually hit on a great idea: making the Apple TV into a gaming platform and selling games from the App Store. The only thing Adrian thought was missing was a controller. [... The controller is] your iPhone or your iPod touch with a brand new game-controller app. Remember how Apple likes to make its products interdependent so you have to buy all of them to unlock Super Steve God Mode? And, really, who has an Apple TV and doesn’t also have an iPhone or iPod touch?

Personally, I've got an Apple TV and an iPhone, and I love the Apple Remote App for watching video, so this idea appeals to me quite a bit. Casual gaming, Wii-style, on the big screen, with an amazing multi-touch controller? Yes please.

Anyone else want this like now?

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

How About the iPhone as Controller for Apple TV Gaming Console?


as interesting and cool as this sounds... I love my iPhone, but I have to be honest. The reason I would NOT use a touch controller... who has time to be looking DOWN at 'buttons' while playing a game. For me, I will always need the tactile feedback of separate buttons on the controller. Just my opinion, but games today are too complex for a virtual controller, very cool idea but I feel that it would lack in usefulness.

I think the approach is to make the iPhone into a controller on par with XBox and PlayStation then it will fail miserably. However, I would think more Wii accelerometer meets iPhone then there's a potential winner. What the iPhone/iPod Touch could do is become a controller that fits game play rather than one that's forced to conformed much in the way that apps developers have the freedom to use the touch screen's real estate for whatever purpose they wish. What Apple could do is create an app that is a collection of game controller profiles so when you buy a new app on the AppleTV the controller gets synced into the App and it gets booted up when the game is selected on the AppleTV. I see a lot of potential here for some really cool stuff. If the folks all over the web are postulating this stuff think about what Apple engineers are actually doing.

This is absurd. Nice photshop graphic though. As much as I want my Apple TV to do more, i dont need to be getting calls while playing Super Mario Bros.
Plus i'm sure Apple with jump at the chance to sell us a new piece of controller hardware.

Don't see it happening. iPhone gaming may be taking off. But, they will have to pry that Xbox controller from my cold dead hands before I give it up. I can't even stand to use the motion controls on the Wii, they are most often a joke or feel like they were just thrown in for the sake of having motion control.
The iPhone is about as much as I want for motion controlled games just steering left and right.

wtf? you ppl cry about battery life as it is... yes it can do cool things but it doesn't need to.

iPhone as a remote control on steroids? Yes please.
iPhone as a game controller? No thank you.
The touch screen just can't cut it. Give me actual buttons and a thumbstick.

Exactly. This is just another excuse for unsociable misfits with no lives to continue crying about their battery life. When home, use home devices... when mobile, use mobile devices and they will last as long as necessary (and maybe even try discovering girls while being out). :roll: