New Apple TV Is Said to Focus on Games, Challenging Traditional Consoles

New Apple TV Is Said to Focus on Games, Challenging Traditional Consoles

Apple stumbled into the games business almost by accident not long after it released the iPhone in 2007, igniting a new multibillion-dollar mobile games industry in the process.

Could a new Apple device — one linked to the television — shake up the market for game consoles?

The idea no longer seems ridiculous to many people in the games business.

Apple is expected to make games a primary selling point of its new Apple TV product, which is scheduled to be announced on Wednesday in San Francisco, according to people briefed on Apple’s plans who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

This is a big change from Apple’s previous versions of Apple TV, a device shaped like a hockey puck that for the first eight years of its existence has mainly been used to stream videos and music.

It’s tough to know how compelling the games on Apple TV will be until the company reveals the system this week. Yet many of the components necessary for a satisfying game experience will come with the device, the people say — including more power for better graphics, a new remote that could double as a controller and, perhaps most important, an app store to buy and download games.

“I think Apple’s going to create a big new category in gaming, one that others have tried and failed to create before,” said Jan Dawson, chief analyst at the technology research firm Jackdaw Research. “What the Apple TV has the potential to do is to bring casual gaming to the living room and make it a much more social activity.”

Most game executives and analysts see little chance that Apple will be able to woo hard-core fans of the leading high-end game consoles, the Xbox One from Microsoft and the PlayStation 4 from Sony — both of which will most likely still have better graphics than the new Apple TV. Gamers who fancy big-budget games like Call of Duty and Destiny will probably not be easily persuaded to switch systems.

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