Apple TV + iPad = Wireless Gaming Platform for your HDTV?

Apple TV + iPad = Wireless Gaming Platform for your HDTV?

Summary: Apple may or may not have thought about the Apple TV as a gaming platform when the latest version was released last year, but the makers of Real Racing certainly gave it serious consideration when designing an update to the racing sim. That company, Firemint, has announced that Real Racing 2 HD will be the first game to support wireless gaming using Apple's AirPlay feature (when iOS 5 is released).

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Apple may or may not have thought about the Apple TV as a gaming platform when the latest version was released last year, but the makers of Real Racing certainly gave it serious consideration when designing an update to the racing sim. That company, Firemint, has announced that Real Racing 2 HD will be the first game to support wireless gaming using Apple's AirPlay feature (when iOS 5 is released). On its blog, Firemint points out that this isn't mere mirroring, where what is shown on the iPad is just also displayed on your TV. Instead, the race is beamed from the iPad to the Apple TV to display on your set (in 1080p HD), while the racing data is displayed on your tablet. One drawback for first-generation iPad owners is that this dual-screen mode is only available for the iPad 2 (presumably needing more graphics and computing power than the original iPad can provide).

While it can't replace a PS3 or an Xbox 360 in terms of dedicated a full-featured gaming console, the iPad/Apple TV gaming combo could be a nice value-add for people who already have the devices and are just starting to reap the benefits of the AirPlay functionality that Apple recently introduced. It will also be competing with OnLive's new iPad app, which, among other things, will let you play games on your HDTV while using the tablet as a controller if you have the company's MicroConsole TV Adapter, priced similarly to the Apple TV at $100. Both options are storming living rooms before Nintendo's Wii U console arrives next year, with a tablet-like controller with built-in display.

Real Racing 2 HD certainly won't be the last iPad game that will take advantage of dual-screen capabilities, so we'll just have to stay tuned to see how game developers take advantage of it.

Topics: Hardware, Apple, iPad, Mobility, Networking, Wi-Fi

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26 comments
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  • Apple TV is still around?

    They spent billions on this and it's a safe bet that they haven't recouped their investment in it, so I'm not surprised they haven't discontinued it.

    But with all the other devices on the market already that do the same thing, it's an uphill climb.
    Will Pharaoh
    • Which 'billions'? It was always hobby with no marketing or whatever else

      @Will Pharaoh: ... significant expenses.
      DDERSSS
    • Didn't spend billions

      Why bring attention to the R&D billions wasted by MS;-)
      Richard Flude
      • I didn't, I brought to your attention the billions spent by Apple

        @Richard Flude

        I'll use smaller words if you're having trouble following, just let me know.
        Will Pharaoh
    • RE: Apple TV iPad = Wireless Gaming Platform for your HDTV?

      @Will Pharaoh: Apparently, you missed this: www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2385697,00.asp<br><br>From the cited article: "Apple TV - both the first and second-generation models - together control about 55 percent of the media streamer market...Apple TV shipped 1.95 million units, or about 55 percent, In-Stat found. In second came Roku, which notched sales of 450,000 units, or just under 13 percent."<br><br>Yep, Apple TV is still around!<br><br>BTW, nothing else does "the same thing" as iPad 2 + Apple TV 2 with AirPlay that this article describes.
      deasys
    • RE: Apple TV iPad = Wireless Gaming Platform for your HDTV?

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  • RE: Apple TV iPad = Wireless Gaming Platform for your HDTV?

    While I can definitely see a lot of uses for this kind of setup (I'm really loving the Wii-U), a racing game really isn't one of them. Sure a map is nice, until you realize that if you actually took the time to look down at that map, you'd end up running off the road.
    Aerowind
  • RE: Apple TV iPad = Wireless Gaming Platform for your HDTV?

    Seems like a rather awkward way to play games.
    LoverockDavidson
  • Airplay works so well.

    With the Apple TV, being as cheap as it is, and Airplay, being how well it works, I'm surprised this isn't a more popular feature of iOS games. The new AppleTV has sold pretty well and I would guess sell better as people come to grips with the value this $100 device gets you.
    People
    • RE: Apple TV iPad = Wireless Gaming Platform for your HDTV?

      @People
      Its not more popular simply because their's already a better solution (and less expensive) in the livingroom already for most homes. Why pay more money to go backwards.
      timotim
      • All too true

        @timotim

        I know of one person who "cut the cable" and went iTunes only for TV viewing thru the AppleTV.

        Here it is only 4 months later and they just had their cable TV "reconnected" because buying everything thru iTunes was so cheap, easy and reliable. :)
        Will Pharaoh
      • RE: Apple TV iPad = Wireless Gaming Platform for your HDTV?

        @timotim: Are you going to keep it a secret, timotim? What is that "better solution" you're talking about?

        Netflix streaming, live MLB and NBA, youtube, and other sources (in addition to the huge library of first-release and older video content via the iTunes Store) look and work great via Apple TV.
        deasys
  • With wireless mirroring in iOS5

    This might be a bit more fun....but I think first they will have an AppleTV iOS SDK and then worry about combining the pieces. It could ship with its own controller like the OnLive mini-console does.
    ShockMe
  • RE: Apple TV iPad = Wireless Gaming Platform for your HDTV?

    Gaming for an HDTV? Why spend $500 on an iPad and another $100 on an ATV, then having to hold up a pound and a half controller thats not comfortable for my hands for long periods of time, with no buttons, rumble or analog sticks...all just for Wii graphics? Xbox 360 is expected to get a price drop this year to $150 and makes this set up look like a kids toy when it comes to gaming...add another $150 for Kinect and thats only $300 for top of the line gaming and entertainment.
    timotim
    • RE: Apple TV iPad = Wireless Gaming Platform for your HDTV?

      @timotim: Why? Because games for the iPad are free to $10 vs. $30 and up for the Xbox. Because the iPad and Apple TV are far more versatile than the Xbox. Because both have proven to be far more reliable than the Xbox. Because the iPad is portable but Xbox isn't.

      Not hard to figure out...
      deasys
      • RE: Apple TV iPad = Wireless Gaming Platform for your HDTV?

        @deasys , In terms of price, you get what you pay for.
        Explain the statement "apple tv and ipad" are far more versatile than xbox"[with facts]..how can u compare xbox with ipad?without answering, you will be considered an apple shill and a troll.
        teeboy75
      • RE: Apple TV iPad = Wireless Gaming Platform for your HDTV?

        @teeboy75: Does your question really need an answer? Portability, instant LAN streaming, 75,000 apps, AirPlay, iCloud, ebooks, access to the world's largest downloadable video rental service, and so much more.

        It's quite apparent, isn't it? Sheesh...
        deasys
      • RE: Apple TV iPad = Wireless Gaming Platform for your HDTV?

        @deasys
        I have an iPad and an AppleTV. I love them both and they both work great, but the games available for the iPad are not on the same level as an Xbox or wii right now. I don't think any serious gamer would choose this set up over a console if it was an either/or situation. However, if you already have an iPad, it would be a great added feature for the device- no question.

        I am not a serious gamer by any stretch but angry birds just doesn't compare to Bioshock.
        Tigertank
  • Interface Possibilities...

    While I shudder to think of using my $900 iPad as a controller for an action game, it *does* offer some fairly unique capabilities. For example, buttons could be displayed along both edges of the device that could be reached using the players thumbs. The advantage is each button can be relabeled, use different graphics, etc., depending on the context (I have difficulty trying to figure out some of the controls for Playstation games). If you hold the iPad just below the bottom of the line of site of the TV, you can see the buttons in your field of view. I do think that a "gaming case" which ruggedizes and provides a thicker grip for the iPad (maybe a round one the thickness of a steering wheel) would be a desirable option.

    Airplay and the AppleTV have so many uses already when controlled by an iOS device, adding big screen gaming would just be another bonus. I had no plans to buy an ATV until I got an iPad which made the combined functionality irresistible to me. I got two ATV's... one for the living room and one for the bedroom. Now I can use my iPad in either room to view or listen to content on the big screen systems there. The iPad is definitely cutting down the time I spend on my desktop systems.

    One more AppleTV/iOS benefit: I can see the content on my iPad without wearing my reading glasses! Take that Kindle (just kidding)!
    eastmont
    • Re: Interface Possibilities...

      @eastmont: Is your iPad gold--plated? How did you manage to spend $900 on an iPad--presumably the top of the line model--that Apple sells for $829 (and that its dealers may sell for less)?
      deasys