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iOS 4.3 beta 3 alludes to Apple TV gaming

updated 08:10 am EST, Thu February 10, 2011

iOS 4.3 makes gaming references

New code unearthed in iOS 4.3 beta 3 may have shown the first signs of gaming for the Apple TV. Several references exist to "ATVGames" that imply some sort of interactive play. The Engadget tip caught mentions of scheduling, sorting by date and standings, implying a Game Center style ranking.

The code also mentions "ATVThunder," but this could be a reference to video as much as gaming; it includes mentions of "archive" and "live" that could reference a real-time event as well as traditional on-demand content.

Two unusual codenames, Sedona and Flagstaff, exist that are references to video, but whether they're new or existing isn't evident. Sedona references video metadata such as the director or episode and could be as much as streaming TV or as little as existing services. Flagstaff has few details beyond being attached to iTunes purchasing.

Some mentions aren't new. "Feature_remote_screensavers" is most likely just a reference to existing support for screensavers from Flickr, MobileMe and other photo services. Likewise, it's been possible for awhile to have iPhone-style resorting of favorites.

Any gaming on the Apple TV as-is would be basic. The hub uses the same essential A4 chip as in the iPad and iPhone, but the existing remote would have very limited utility and might only apply to trivia and other basic games. An iOS app also wouldn't work since Wi-Fi would induce significant lag for action games and anything else sensitive to timing. The beta code may not be used for any gaming at all, but if it did it might need more dedicated peripherals.

Apple TV devices already have to stream content on-demand, but they don't yet have the option of direct Internet streaming that isn't a rental. Rumors persist that Apple's North Carolina data center might be used for full cloud services but haven't been corroborated by anything tangible.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. lamewing

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2004

    +3

    Pippin

    It is Apple's Pippin revisited. Let's hope it fares better.

  1. cmoney

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2000

    +2

    iOS Controllers

    Apparently AppleTV already has a Bluetooth chip so if they turned it on in a firmware update they could probably use the same mechanism and APIs that already exist to allow iPhones to be used as game controllers for iPad games.

    This could end up being pretty big considering there are already established game developers for the iOS platform so ATV game development should be similar enough to tempt them over. Developers could see this as a quick way to target Wii-style family gaming without having to go through the whole rigmarole that console development involves.

    Hopefully it also means Apple is thinking about opening the App Store to the ATV. If that happens, ATV would become a million times more useful.

  1. DeezNutts

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    +1

    would need a lot of development


    I could see it working for small games (tetris would work great with existing controls).

    Other than that the machine just lacks the power and input controls to provide an experience on par with existing consoles.

    Would be cool though to have ATV added to the app store.

  1. cmoney

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2000

    0

    console competition

    iPhones and iPads are powerful enough and the ATV has the same processor. Wii proved you don't need to compete on graphics power alone. Don't forget prices will likely be less than the typical $50-60 for console games.

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