Apple held its annual iPhone event on September 12, 2017 where it announced three new iPhones, a new Apple Watch, and a new Apple TV. These were all expected announcements, but the 4K Apple TV amd ARKit could have an effect on gaming.
4K Apple TV
One of the announcements was an upgrade to Apple’s streaming set top box, the Apple TV. The most recent iteration of the Apple TV includes the ability to output video and other content in 4K. During the presentation, Apple showed off the new Apple TV’s new power with thatgamecompany’s social adventure game Sky.
There is some potential here for Apple to start bringing in the power of their mobile gaming platform into the living room. The Apple TV is priced lower than the 4K consoles on the market, and the games it will play cost a lot less. Apple also has the advantage of consumers being able to purchase a game on their iPhone or iPad, and have it available on the Apple TV as well. This has the potential to allow Apple to gain a larger foothold in the game space outside of mobile gaming.
ARKit was originally announced during Apple’s annual developer conference, WWDC, which allows developers to create augmented reality apps and games more easily. Both Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have started to gain traction, but I think one of the two will win out in the short term. By including an easy way for developers to create apps and games for iOS devices, Apple may be starting to tilt the scales in the favor of AR. Along with showcasing ARKit, Apple also mentioned that the iPhone 8 and 8+ will be optimized for ARKit.
AR has already seen some success with games like Ingress and Pokemon Go. The updates to the framework should only create more successes. During the announcement, Directive Games show cased their new AR game, The Machines. The Machines is an AR-PVP game inspired by MOBAs. The game has you building an army robots to fight against friends. During the demo, Directive Games detailed how players can see the whole environment instead of being locked into a single view. This is just the first in what I expect to be a ton of innovative games using ARKit.
What do you think? Is AR going to be the future of mobile gaming? Will it win out over VR? Sound off in the comments!