Apple TV is becoming a serious alternative to console gaming for casual gamers. It’s a cheaper alternative to both consoles and PCs. And it’s a great option for kids when parents aren’t sure which console to buy. And developers are starting to take notice—releasing their past hits more and more. For example, Sega just released their mega-hit, Sonic the Hedgehog. You can totally play the game with the included Siri Remote. But if you’ll be using Apple TV for primarily playing video games you should think about buying a wireless game controller.
As part of app development for tvOS—the operating system on Apple TV—Apple states that developers making games for Apple TV “…must support the Apple TV remote”. To put it another way: devs can’t make games that only use a wireless game controller.
But because all games have a variety of mechanics (jumping, running, shooting, etc.), sometimes there’s a need to use several different buttons—or combinations of those buttons—at the same time. That’s why a wireless game controller can give you an enhanced gaming experience.
The controller on the Sega Genesis—the system Sonic the Hedgehog was originally released on—had three buttons including a D-pad. The A and B buttons were for jumping. The C button was for a Spin Attack for destroying breakable objects and enemies. And the D-pad controlled which direction you were going while performing these actions.
With a game controller, you can control direction and actions at the same time with multiple fingers. So it’s easier to play the game and stops you from rage quitting in a horrible fashion (ike the time you threw your controller and broke that lamp, but blamed it on a crazy cat that wandered into your house. Nobody? Just me then?)
Modern game controllers have an average of eight buttons. This doesn’t include the D-pad and/or thumb sticks for direction. And as games evolve, so will their controls. So a one-handed remote—while still good—is a different experience than a traditional game controller.
Let’s have a look at gameplay on Sonic the Hedgehog using the Siri Remote alongside a wireless game controller. For this, we used a SteelSeries Nimbus.
With the controller, I found performing the actions a bit more precise. So aiming at a part of an enemy (crucial in boss fights), or landing where I want, was easier, too. And in a fast moving game where seconds matter, that’s important!
And here’s the best part of the wireless controller: it’s not limited to just Apple TV! More and more games on the App Store are becoming compatible across many Apple devices. To see which devices the game works on, find it in the App Store on your iOS device or in iTunes and look under Information.
So if you buy a game on Apple TV, it’ll automatically download on your iPhone or iPad if they’re all signed with the same Apple ID. So you can also use that same controller to play those games on your iPhone or iPad, too!
Want to learn more about how to have an even better experience when using an Apple TV? Chat with an Expert by clicking the Chat with an Expert widget in the bottom right hand corner from our main page or from any product page. Or schedule a visit with an Expert right from your Enjoy Account.
And you can find Apple TV on our site right here.