The next version of Apple’s streaming box will work with Bluetooth game controllers made by third-party accessory manufacturers, according to a new report from 9to5Mac. This means that Apple is looking to both cash in on the popularity of mobile games, as well as compete with devices like Google’s Android TV and Amazon’s Fire TV.
The new Apple TV, which the company is expected to introduce at a press event in San Francisco next week, will come with a enhance remote control capable of doubling as a basic game controller for casual games, according to multiple reports. However, more ambitious gamers will also be able to bring their own controllers and pair them with the device via Bluetooth.
This puts Apple TV into a new category of streaming devices that double as paired-down game consoles. Amazon introduced its Fire TV with a big emphasis on gaming in April 2014, and has been selling a $40 game controller as an optional accessory to the streaming box.
Google also is targeting gamers with its Android TV platform, which includes streaming boxes from gaming accessory specialist Razer and the higher-end Nvidia Shield Android TV game console. The latter sells for $200 to $300, depending on storage needs, and comes with a game controller in the box.
Two hundred dollars is coincidentally also one of the price points mentioned in an earlier report about the new Apple TV. Apple has thus far stayed mum on any of those reports, with a spokesperson declining to comment.