How true are the Apple TV game console rumours?

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Apple TV

Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen home consoles could be seeing extra competition in the near future as insider sources state that the new Apple TV could feature a built-in gaming device. The redesigned set-top box is rumoured to include access to the full app-store as well as a game console.

Tech giant Apple appear to be getting serious about stepping out into the gaming world. The recent iOS 7 updates are the first to allow standardised game controller API, introducing a console-like experience to the mobile platform. The online library of games is also continuously expanding, allowing access to online game sites such as butlersbingo.com as well as many popular app titles.

Now the long-time rumour that Apple will launch their own game console seems to be materialising. Currently there is no information on the specs or details of the console, but many are already believing that the Apple device could find its way into living rooms across the world, presenting a threat to those already on the market.

Apple TV

“The threat right now is that Apple has gained a huge amount of market share and has a relatively obvious pathway towards entering the living room with their platform,” said Valve co-founder Gabe Newell, when speaking about the Steam Machine at the University of Texas. “I think that there’s a scenario where we see sort of a dumbed-down living room platform emerging – I think Apple rolls the console guys really easily. The question is can we make enough progress in the PC space to establish ourselves there and also figure out better ways of addressing mobile before Apple takes our living rooms?”

Despite the noted potential of the Apple game console by respected industry insiders, critics have questioned how controlling titles that are predominantly designed for touchscreen interaction would translate to TV use. Others are noting that the Apple game console has been rumoured consistently since 2006, meaning that the device may not have found its place in reality quite yet.

The five-year-old Apple TV has already sold over 10 million units, but it is deemed as more of a “hobby” by those at Apple’s HQ in Cupertino. There’s no doubt that porting the contents of the App Store will attract hoards of consumers, but with devices such as the Roku 2 already allowing users to play apps such as Angry Birds on their TVs,  some are questioning whether there is any substance to the Apple game console rumours at all.

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