On Apple TV and the world of gaming

Apple TV Controller Hero
Apple TV Controller Hero (Image credit: iMore)

Once again the "Apple Must" crowd is back. This time, it's "Apple must build a gaming console to compete with both the Xbox and PS4."


OK, Xbox started life because Microsoft was worried about PlayStation as the "computer" for the living room. Also, Bill Gates was looking for billion dollar ideas. Back then, for Microsoft to carry hardware on the books was heresy. This was big. Xbox would own the living room. Except, not so much.

The Xbox One launch promised to, not only be an amazing next-generation gaming console, but also rule the living room with both Kinect and a TV watching experience (if your plans to conquer the living room need an IR blaster, you've already lost).

You see, the thing about game consoles is that they're awesome to a certain audience – the dedicated gamer.

Apple has ignored that market. Wisely. It's changed the conversation to an app-driven world. A world where Apple TV can become a player because it allows you to use apps on a TV. It is also a game console for the masses. Answering the call of my colleague Serenity, Apple has removed the Apple TV remote requirement but still has an emphasis on causal games. The games normal people play. The Bejeweled games of Facebook. The Alto's Adventure. Quietly, with precision and focus, Apple is poised to capture the living room. Forget the silly rumors about streaming services. This is a coherent and powerful strategy. Others may have won the battle, but I think Apple might just win the war for the living room.

So, are you a hardcore gamer, or just one of the "rest of us"? What are your favorite games?

Michael Gartenberg

I’ve covered the personal technology beat for more than two decades at places like Gartner, Jupiter Research and Altimeter Group. I’ve also had the fun of contributing my $.02 on the topic at Computerworld, Engadget, Macworld, SlashGear and now iMore. Most recently I spent a few years at Apple as Sr. Director of Worldwide Product Marketing. On Twitter I’m an unverified @gartenberg. I still own some Apple stock.