The Apple TV has long been a bit of an awkward product category for Apple, with the late Steve Jobs even calling it a “hobby”. With living room focused products such as Smart TVs, tablets with streaming services and consoles with full home entertainment functionality now common place, it’s time for Apple to enter the fray with their own challenger.
If 2014 is going to be the year of the Playstation 4, Xbox One and Valve’s Steam Machines, then the Cupertino Tech giant will have to provide its own solution. The Apple TV with a few important additions and modifications could be the answer.
The Apple TV is due for a major refresh with an updated OS and hardware update expected soon. According to iLounge and 9to5mac, Apple may be about to introduce a new gaming-only version of the App Store specifically for the Apple TV. We can speculate that Apple will allow users to control the device by using their iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Furthermore, third-party gaming controllers will probably work also.
One of the most important additions every manufacturer much consider when building a set-top media centre device of any kind, is implementing full Television integration. Apple is reportedly working on integrating a TV tuner into the next generation Apple TV also in a manner similar to Microsoft’s Xbox One, allowing users to control their existing cable boxes. Being able to watch live television through an Apple TV would be a major plus.
It remains to be seen if Apple will consider employing some kind of Kinect-style control interface also. We can expect to know if these rumours have any validity within the the next 6 months or so. Regardless as to whether Apple choose to take change Apple TV in this way, they will need to introduce a home media centre product soon before this market segment becomes any more established. With the most comprehensive App Store on the planet, Apple would be well placed to take full advantage of it by bringing it directly into the living room.