Why the new Apple TV will not kill your Xbox or PlayStation

A report has recently appeared online that suggests Apple is going to reveal an all-new Apple TV at their event on September 8th, next week. It’s commonplace to find journalists predicting that “Product X will kill Product Y” close to their announcements and this new Apple TV is no different.

The suggestion that Apple’s new device can compete with (and possibly kill!) dedicated games consoles, is simply ludicrous. Even more ludicrous? That very same claim backed up with a mere run down of specs, features and possible scenarios of uses for the device.

The point is: an updated Apple TV simply cannot compete with the PlayStation 3 or the Xbox 360 (or even their successors.) Raw power, gimmick-loaded controllers that feature motion detecting sensors and Siri-laced experiences are simply not enough to pit the Apple TV—if it even happens—against the PlayStation and Xbox of yesteryear.

There’s no denying that the mobile gaming scene has grown tenfold year after year since the original iPhone launched. The mobile market is saturated with devices that allow individuals to play games almost anywhere imaginable and that is precisely how developers of mobile games design their games: to be playable on-the-go and to allow players to drop the game and pick it up again whenever the mood strikes them. Mobile gaming, for the most part, does not hold the same core of gamers as console gaming does. Console games are often developed with a “sit down and play” ethos, that is: 90% of the time gamers will indulge in gaming sessions that run for an hour or more. That isn’t to say that there aren’t any games on Android or iOS that are developed with longer play sessions in mind, that statement would be almost as absurd as claiming one single device can eradicate two long standing “competitors”.

The growth of mobile gaming shouldn’t be seen seen as the oncoming death of the console. Instead we should welcome it as the growth of the gaming industry as a whole. What works on a mobile game doesn’t necessarily work on a console game and this is where the Apple TV could make a difference. By acting not only as an alternative to both the console and mobile scenes the device

It has been seven years since Apple first unleashed Apple TV to the world. The streaming box of wonder (oh, if only) was launched in a time when the world of internet-powered television was a very, very different place. That fact alone is more than enough reason question Apple’s decision to deprive the device of any substantial updates over the last three years. The same can’t be said for almost every other Apple product that exists on the Apple Store today.

Sadly, the truth is the Apple TV has become somewhat of a joke. The device has become inferior when compared to other offerings in the market place, ones that can offer the same functionality for less. Consoles such as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 existed primarily as gaming consoles, their entertainment features could be seen as side dishes that taste delicious. Apple needs to serve its dishes in the right order. First and foremost Apple TV should provide a way for users to get content from the internet or other devices to their television. Gaming should be served as a side dish, where Apple TV can shine as a cocktail blended from the experiences of both the mobile and console gaming.

Apple TV will never “kill” the offerings of Sony and Microsoft, that is an absurd statement. Instead the new device, if it actually exists, will serve as an alternative to the other options available to all of us. Another way to game. Offering the best of mobile gaming thanks to Apple’s account system and the best of console gaming thanks to the hardware it is said to offer.

Technology products offer a huge amount of variation, even within the smallest, most niche categories. It is foolish to believe that one product, designed for a market of specific individuals can provide for the needs and wants of all. It is impossible. The new Apple TV will be an option, one that many will choose and one that many will ignore.