The new fourth gen Apple TV has been out for a little while now. I remember a little while ago seeing a tweet asking “Do console manufacturers Microsoft and Sony need to start worrying?”. I’m a gamer, I’ve been inducted into the club a long time ago. I’ve owned all the old consoles that there were, starting with the NES, Super NES, N64, Wii, Sega Genesis, Gamecube, TurboGrafx, Playstation, PS2, and PS3. I’ve overclocked my videocard to get better performance in computer games, played LAN matches of all the major computer games and been up till the early morning hours playing a newly released computer game. Currently there are two different camps of gamers, console and computer and I’m in both. Smartphones and tablet devices introduced a new camp, the mobile gamer. The new iPad brought phenominal gaming to mobile. The iPhone 6s has power rivaling laptop hardware. However the PS4 and XBox One has specs and power rivaling high end graphics computers.
Does Microsoft and Sony have to worry? not right now. The Apple TV will bring mobile gaming to the living room. However mobile gaming is a different beast when compared to hardcore gaming whether console or computer. I don’t think the danger is that Apple TV will offer gameplay for the hardcore gamer. I think the danger is that eventually mobile/casual gamers will outnumber the hardcore gamer. If or when that happens and mobile game developers start making more money than established game developers on the consoles. Game developers will go where the money is and that is when the console makers need to start worrying. I think Microsoft and Sony will surprise everyone and the same mobile games that are out on the Apple TV. Will also be available on the consoles. They can’t dismiss it and sleep on it because that would be costly. Just look at Nintendo, a once mighty name in the console market. Now they are low tier when compared to the PS4 and the XBox One.
The Apple TV has the advantage of an already established mobile/casual gaming market. The test right now will be whether the Apple TV can really get people playing in the living room. How will it support using iPhones/iPads as controllers or players. If everyone at a party with iPhones or iPads can jump into a game and get excited. It can become the modern day board game. Will the Apple TV ever get so powerful it could run games like Call of Duty? I would never say no but I can’t see that happening for the forseeable future. If it ever does that is when the console makers really need to start worrying. In other words not quite yet.