There’s always been a lot of discussion about what Apple’s play for the living room would look like. Some people think they’ll build an actual TV while others think it will be some form of set-top box.
Personally, I think it is neither. I believe their TV solution is already here, and it is called, funnily enough, the Apple TV. You can pick one up for £99 and it will instantly let you rent movies and stream music and video from your iOS devices.
But this is just the start. One of the lesser-publicised announcements at WWDC, as part of the iOS 7 feature list, is support for 3rd party game controllers, by allowing them to be certified for use under the existing “MFi” (Made for iPhone) program.
This means that soon, you can use a console-like controller with an iOS device, and you can bet your bottom dollar that this will be rolled out to the Apple TV. All that is required is an app store for Apple TV and you’re set.
So, we have a £99 box that streams all your content and can play games. That to me sounds like a pretty compelling proposition.
The only bit I haven’t figured out is the hardware. Apple have spent the last few years slimming down the Apple TV, removing built-in storage in favour of streaming. However, to run apps, it will need storage, and to play decent games it will need beefier hardware, which will bump the price. There’s still a big gap up to the next level, so there’s room to increase the price, but it does change the dynamic somewhat.
Anyway, can’t wait to see what they come up with.
Some more great commentary on this by Austin Sweeney on his blog
Over the last few days OnLive, a service that I have considered as a pioneer of its field (here's my initial review) has gone through some very tumultuous changes. Specific details are few and far between (here's a link to their pathetic statement that's supposed to clear things up), but the 'facts' seem to be:
OnLive has sold its assets to a “new investor”
All of its 150-200 staff have been fired (or some variation of), but some are to be hired by the new company
The service is expected to continue un-interrupted
We don't know anything more. Will the OnLive service really continue to operate or are they just saying that because at the moment they have to? Who is the new owner? Why was OnLive sold in the first place? What is going to happen to the staff? What is going to happen to the customers? What is going to happen to the content? Will I still be able to play my purchased games?
Recently I have become extremely enamoured by a game on iOS. This doesn’t happen often, and I feel compelled to write about this and help spread the word. The game is called Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP and is available on the App Store (universal version) for iOS and on Steam for Windows.
Some great developments in the OnLive world (UK) this morning.
OnLive have released an Android app, meaning you can now play the same on-demand games from your PC/Mac/Game System on your Android phones. I don’t have an Android device so I can’t test this or confirm if it runs on Android tablets as well, but this is great news. It shows OnLive have not only got ideas but are able to execute them and bring them to market (a lesson for RIM maybe?).
Interesting that they are launching on Android first, with no specific mention of iOS. I imagine this is because of the fewer App Store restrictions, allowing them to bring the universal controller (see below) to the experience, which I am not sure will be possible on iOS (although I really hope I’m wrong).
In addition, they have announced a universal wireless controller that will allow you to play on all OnLive devices with a single controller. This is completely new – playing a game on your tablet (or smartphone to a lesser extent) using a gamepad would indeed be awesome. From the launch site it looks like you’d need an adapter to play on the Game System which is a bit backward, and its a shame this isn’t coming bundled as part of the OnLive package and requires an additional £40 purchase.
Those that have seen me on Twitter and Google+ will know how enthusiastic I am about the new OnLive service that has recently launched in the UK.
I have just taken delivery of the OnLive Game System, which is the physical box that costs £69.99 (link), although I got it free by pre-ordering Batman Arkham City during a promotion, so I thought I’d have a go at my first product review! This isn’t what I’d call a ‘comprehensive’ review – there will probably be details I miss but I’m going to concentrate on what I think is interesting and relevant.