In an interview with BuzzFeed published this morning, Apple's Eddy Cue has shared some details on how the company sees the new Apple TV as a gaming device.
“When we first announced the iPhone, we didn’t tout it as a gaming device. But games became a huge part of iPhone, because it turns out that a lot more people than just hardcore gamers love games. We expanded the market. I think the vast majority of people around the world probably aren’t looking to buy an Xbox or PlayStation. But that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy playing games. I think Apple TV expands the gaming market to those people.”
Cue goes on to say that “hardcore gaming isn’t exactly the ecosystem we’re after with Apple TV", adding that, however, hardcore games will be released on it in the future. Essentially, Cue's pitch is reminiscent of Nintendo's goal with the Wii in 2006 – to expand the gaming market to people who don't want to buy a console but would be comfortable with casual games on a TV. Only this time, Apple has an existing multi-billion iOS ecosystem backing the efforts of developers approaching the TV App Store.
Also from the interview, Cue revealed that the full functionality of the Siri Remote will be available in a new iPhone app next year:
"We’re working on a new Apple TV remote app that will give you the full functionality of the Siri Remote on your iPhone," Cue said. "We’re hoping to ship that in the first half of next year."
Yesterday's tvOS update restored support with Apple's existing Remote app for iOS, but it sounds like Apple has bigger plans that involve full Siri integration on the iPhone, too. I wonder if this app will also unlock deeper multiplayer features for gaming – with the "full functionality of the Siri Remote" on an iPhone, will multiple users be able to use their iPhones as controllers for games?