1. Updated Apple TV launches
2. Tech pundits and gadget blog commentators pan it because of limited content deals but most likely not living up to some pie in the sky ideal
3. Apple TV sells well
4. Apple keeps iterating on product adding new content as they get more leverage
5. Console gaming gets accidentally disrupted because they don't take the threat seriously and "it's just Angry Birds on your TV, not the good games like Call of Duty"
6. Installed base gets too large for Activision (and other large game studios) to ignore and launches Call of Duty on Apple TV
7. Another leg on the stool for Apple
I guess integration with their other products is one advantage, but really, most other consoles have smartphone apps as well, and they're nothing special. The integration with Airplay that TFA touts seems rather dubious... isn't that just normal QOS any old router can do?
EDIT: The most obvious advantage, I guess, is the large corpus of devs who are willing to rewrite their apps to target a new form factor. No other company right now commands that sort of manpower, and that, indirectly, may be enough to convince content owners and game publishers to target their platform.
If, and this is a big "if," Apple can make this easy, and generate enough noise, and most importantly of all get critical content provider momentum, they could see significant market penetration. What's clear is that the traditional tech media has been absolutely terrible at judging products' potential at their initial launch, at least when it comes to Apple.
Because literally with the press of a button you can make the video playing on your iPhone or iPad appear on your HDTV.
Because you just plug in the Apple TV and hook it to your wireless network and it shows up on your iOS devices instantly as a recipient for video and music streaming.
No setup. No confusing configuration. It just works.
It's the same reason that Apple was the first company to really get video calls to work. Other vendors and phone companies tried to get video calls to work...and some of the tech crowd certainly made use of it. But Facetime was the first video calling system that made it ridiculously easy for non-technical folks to use.
I have an AppleTV and a ChromeCast. I have a bunch of (legal) rips of the Simpsons.
On the ChromeCast I have to load a single video in the Chrometab every time. The playback isn't always smooth.
On the AppleTV, I drag VNC to the display, hit full screen and watch all day. The playback is smooth and hassle free.
The ChromeCast is more portable, but not by much. If the AppleTV was USB powered I would consider traveling with it.
If you think of app developers as content producers, you can see how well Apple is already doing with partners.
They could always cut a deal that makes some studios jump, something for a few years to lock them in.
Part of the cause is issues such as controller support. I'd say this would be a much easier sell at home than mobile, since using a physical controller would just require buying one, rather than buying one and then carrying it around everywhere in case you feel like playing a game. But still, not bundling a controller, which is almost certain, fragments the market and means that developers will probably end up having to support awkward touchscreen controls anyway.
Another part is pricing on the App Store. If people are only willing to pay $5 rather than $60, how can you make the same caliber of game? Freemium works, if you're lucky enough to get popular, but it's also a miserable user experience that I hope traditional games stay well away from. Another way to see it is that on a console you have less choice, but if the indirect effect is to increase game quality and I don't mind the price, please give me less choice.
On the other hand, PC gaming seems to be doing pretty well even though for every $60 game there is a free online Facebook game; the market managed to sustain both "casual" and "serious" gaming on the same device. The same could theoretically happen with iOS... It would help if there were multiple storefronts rather than one big one, but that isn't going to happen.
The reason the iPad has hurt Gameboy sales is because they can both provide similar level of games. Due to size restrictions a dedicated gaming handheld really can't be that much more powerful than an iPod. There isn't a size restrictions on consoles. Xbox and PS4 back in a whole lot more power into their consoles than Apple ever could in a Apple TV sized piece of hardware. Unless the Apple TV blows up again to something like the size of a Mac Mini, it isn't going to get the same Call of Duty that real consoles get.
...theoretically. Apple TV is currently a niche product, the mass popularity currently only exists on mobile devices, and adoption of a new TV device won't be instant. But if Apple does come up with a truly compelling story for video content, users will follow.
My guess is that Apple is trying to build channel momentum any way they can. Unable to pre-negotiate deals and launch with a huge splash, as they prefer, they're doing it from the bottom up, starting with content providers like Crackle that probably get a lot more out of it than Apple does.
But as we've seen, Crackle begets Smithsonian and Smithsonian begets PBS and PBS begets ABC. So it seems like it's working.
I bet in the next year, we'll see some sort of foldering option for home screen icons.
Actually, Apple has a relationship with the Walt Disney Company, which owns the ABC, ESPN and the Disney channels - and many more. Perhaps these additional TV apps were added after enough content creators agreed to whatever terms.
Also, interestingly enough, there is a show on Disney Junior that first premiered on the Disney Junior iPhone/iPad app before it was shown on the regular Disney Junior TV channel. Maybe this is a new model to beta test new content?
The bear case is actually the opposite - they aren't leaving any money on the table now, but it will be at the expense of future growth. They'd be better cutting over to stand-alone sooner, at a loss in current revenue, to better position themselves for the future. That may or may not be the right play, but that's really how you should be reading the current market.
Giant companies are often not very customer friendly, but they are rarely leaving obvious money on the table.
[Edited for clarity]
This is the equivalent to a highly telegraphed right hook from a boxer - that also happens to be heading directly for an opponent dazed, on the ropes.
This wouldn't come as a surprise, but using a buttonless handheld touchscreen as a controller would be a terrible interface for gaming on a tv.
If you're trying to model something simpler like a WiiMote, then I think you might hit closer to the mark. Let's keep in mind too the fun possibilities of asymmetric information games that are possible because of the display (think poker, football, Scrabble, Wii U type-games, etc).
OK, I'm curious. As a blind person, how much value do you get from watching TV? Do you just listen to the audio? What do you (for lack of a better term) watch? It seems like scripted shows typically have a lot of content that is only shown, not said; and most other content such as news and sports would be easy to get on the radio, which would seem preferable.
Care to enlighten me?
The gaming is also a really exciting possibility, iOS has an amazing gaming ecosystem and I miss it a lot when I'm playing stuff on my kindle and phone.
The only thing I'm not enthusiastic about is it will still be too locked down to replace my media pc.
I acknowledge that you can work around that limitation by using AirPlay from Mac/iOS, or adding media to your iTunes library.
My point is that there's no incentive for Apple to add the specific functionality you (we) would like, i.e. playing stuff from a USB mass storage device or from an SMB share.
Yes, which doesn't require the iTunes store.
"This channel requires subscription, please verify your payment with your iDevice, thank you." Fantastic.
Couple of things that require fixes.
Frankly the current content is pretty lame. ABC has a sheepish presence catering to its prime TV shows. ESPN seems to use this as a vehicle for ESPN3.
I had such a bad experience with itunes movie rentals over the weekend. Utterly bad streaming/buffering experience. Unacceptable.
Come on .... Do you know they have internet radio support?
Searching is such a pain. Try using the search on the youtube app.
The remote interferes with your Bluetooth receiver on your mac book.
- lack of local storage
I immediately face-palmed in disgust.