Apple TV Games Must Work With Apple TV Remote, May Not Require External Controller

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    When creating games and apps for the new Apple TV, developers are required to build in support for the touch-based remote, making all content accessible to all users without the need for additional accessories like an MFi controller.

    As noted by developer Dustin Westphal and shared by our sister site Touch Arcade, Apple's App Programming Guide for the tvOS says the following: "Your game must support the Apple TV remote. Your game may not require the use of a controller."

    The new Apple TV works with third-party Bluetooth controllers, but because they are an optional accessory, they are not allowed to be the primary input method for a game. This requirement will force developers who want to build games around controller use to also include a touch or motion-based control scheme for use with the Apple TV remote.


    As Touch Arcade points out, the requirement is bound to be a hassle for developers, especially those with games that have complicated control schemes.
    Apple appears to have originally planned to allow developers to require a game controller to play Apple TV games, but the company later nixed that policy and is now requiring all games to support the Apple TV remote in addition to a controller.

    Apple's choice to require support for the Apple TV is not surprising, as it also has the same requirements for iOS devices. Developers can build controller support into their iPhone and iPad apps, but apps must also include touch-based control schemes for users who do not have a controller.

    Article Link: Apple TV Games Must Work With Apple TV Remote, May Not Require External Controller
  2. levitynyc macrumors 65816

    Aug 19, 2006
    Thus driving a nail in the coffin for any companies interested in making good games for it.

    No one on earth is going to buy this for its gaming capabilities.

    Why even bother if you need to be able to control it with that disaster of a remote?

    The NES is 30+ years old and is a more capable gaming machine than the Apple TV.
  3. WestonHarvey1 macrumors 68020

    Jan 9, 2007
    Entire genres of games will simply not happen on this platform.

    It doesn't matter though, because the TV set top box is already a proven failure for gaming.
  4. infiniteentropy macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2009
    This is the first I've heard that the Apple TV supports third-party controllers. I own a SteelSeries remote and was wondering this. That is huge for me, to be able to use the Apple TV like a proper console. As a mostly-casual gamer, this will be one of my primary gaming devices. Very nice!

    Edit: Hadn't thought that this new will pre-empt a whole genre of games because of having to support this terrible remote for gaming. Yeah this is bad news after all. Dang it.
  5. caliguy macrumors regular


    Jun 12, 2005
    Not surprising. Many customers would complain if they needed to buy an additional accessory. People with 3rd party controllers will just be getting the high scores ;)
  6. rorschach macrumors 68020


    Jul 27, 2003
    They probably don't want to have to deal with the inevitable onslaught of "I bought this game and I didn't know I needed to buy some accessory! I want a refund!" (even though the requirements were listed right on the app page).
  7. itsOver9000 macrumors 6502


    Mar 29, 2013
    B.F., KS
    If that's the case Apple should create their own real controller and include it with the Apple TV.
  8. JonneyGee, Sep 15, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2015

    JonneyGee macrumors 6502


    Jun 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    This is understandable but unfortunate. I'd love to see the Apple TV compete with the likes of Xbox One and PlayStation 4, or at least the previous-generation consoles. There's no way to make a game like Madden work with the built-in remote though.
  9. jtropeano macrumors member


    Jun 19, 2009
    Denver, CO
    Well there goes Guitar Hero / Rock Band, which was specifically talked about @ the Keynote.
  10. thewebb macrumors regular


    Jul 22, 2014
    Why exactly is the remote a disaster? I'm guessing you're saying that based on how it looks and not its functionality since I'm 99% sure you haven't used it. I don't care if it looks a little strange as long as it works just like they demoed it.
  11. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    I'm not surprised, but that kills any interest I have in the gaming aspects.

    After waiting for a new ATV for years, I'm planning to stick with my existing ones for now. The apps will have to be pretty good for me to upgrade b/c the gaming aspect isn't anything I'm interested in at all.
  12. RoboCop001 macrumors 65816

    Oct 4, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Let's hope they figure out a way to let developers do this in the future. Maybe with a big alert on the screen before purchase that says "This game requires [insert controller here]."
  13. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    You don't need to use it to see that it's an ergonomic mess, just like the previous ATV remotes.
  14. canesalato macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2010
    #14 can you do something as simple as a jump forward on a 2d platform with that?
    Come on! That's a remote, not a game controller!
    It's an amazing remote, I guess.
    It can ALSO be a great controller for A FEW games but requiring it...means that after all these years Apple still doesn't get games (except maybe the most casual and shallow ones).
    Well...150 euros more in my pockets I guess :D
  15. jdillings macrumors 68000

    Jun 21, 2015
    Good move that doesn't force consumers to buy third party stuff just to play games.
  16. thewebb macrumors regular


    Jul 22, 2014
    4 individual buttons + volume controls and a touch pad = an ergonomic mess? Please describe your preferred layout.
  17. WestonHarvey1 macrumors 68020

    Jan 9, 2007
    That's still a crappy experience though, having to comb through App Store search results to make sure you can actually play the game with the hardware you have on hand, or go out of your way to filter them out (if that option is even provided).

    Add-on accessories are pretty much DOA on any console, going all the way back in history.
  18. Boatboy24 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2011
    1 Infinite Loop
    They probably have. And they probably want to charge $99 for it. :D
  19. Shlooky macrumors regular

    May 31, 2012
    This is a good move by Apple. otherwise the developers will force users to buy third party controllers and not support the remote at all.
  20. rorschach macrumors 68020


    Jul 27, 2003
    You don't NEED to.

    All this means is that games have to work with the included remote, not that developers CAN'T support third-party controllers. They just can't require that you buy one to use the game at all.
  21. lunaoso macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2012
    Boston, MA
    As long as developers can find a way to make controls for the remote, nothing is stopping them for making actual good controls for third party controllers.
  22. JeffyTheQuik macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2014
    Charleston, SC and Everett, WA
    I'm hoping for :apple:Watch support. Imaging playing baseball with a real bat indoors, and your watch is the remote for it!

    oh... wait...
  23. mabell11 macrumors newbie


    Sep 15, 2015
    Not solely the reason, but definitely part of the reason:

    A developer could create a free game that requires a $50 controller to play, essentially bypassing Apple's purchase structure.
  24. ZackVLion macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2002
    I can see consumers buying games and not realizing a controller is needed and then trying to get a refund on the game or something...No matter how clearly they put on the app store page for the game "EXTRA CONTROLLER NEEDED, DOES NOT WORK WITH REMOTE" you know a billion people are gonna buy it anyways and then complain/be upset when it doesnt work with the remote and leave 1 star reviews "DIDNT WORK WITH MY REMOTE!!! AVOID THIS GAME ITS A SCAM"....the problem is people are dumb....
  25. Thomas beau macrumors newbie

    Thomas beau

    Jun 19, 2015
    So why can't the developers create a basic functional set of controls that will work with the Apple Remote and have a much greater set of controls that can be access through 3rd Party controllers. Is Apple going to require that the set of controls be the same for all devices?

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