What has the impact been like of the fourth-generation Apple TV? According to a recent BuzzFeed interview with Cupertino’s Eddy Cue, it’s been tremendous developer and consumer interest, with a huge focus on casual gaming. From what Cue revealed in the interview, Cupertino isn’t even close to done with the Apple TV, and is looking to expand its reach and power.
Cue told BuzzFeed news that there are already “over 2,000 apps live in the store” for the Apple TV. Who’s buying the new set top box and downloading those apps? According to Cue, it’s an even mix of people upgrading their Apple TV and people buying their first Cupertino-branded set-top box.
And on the customer side, things are going great. What we’ve found is that a little over half of transactions are coming from people upgrading from the last Apple TV and just about the other half are coming from new customers that are buying their first Apple TV.
Other than streaming video, folks are doing exactly what I predicted they would do on the Apple TV: playing games. Cue says that Apple sees a lot of promise in the set-top box as a gaming platform.
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.
Apple has even recently unveiled the first-ever list of best Apple TV apps, showing the trend towards both media consumption and casual gaming.
Hardcore gamers might not be flocking to the Apple TV, but Cue admits that isn’t the ecosystem the company is after. Instead, Cupertino is targeting the casual gaming market, with a few hardcore games fleshing out the offerings on the Apple TV platform.
What’s the future of the device? Although Apple’s streaming television service may have been put on hold, Cue still says we can expect to see “a lot more content creators and providers going direct to consumers next year.” Apple is also apparently not finished with the idea of an iOS-based remote for the set-top box. While the latest software update finally allows the existing Remote app to work with the latest Apple TV, Cue says the company is working on a new app that will provide the full functionality of the Siri Remote on an iPhone. That app is expected to drop in the first half of 2016.
It’s fantastic to see Cupertino speaking out about the importance of the Apple TV in its ecosystem. The device is clearly no longer part of the hobby niche that it was previously relegated to, and is instead an essential aspect of Cupertino’s range of products for communication and entertainment.