Apple’s history with gaming has been… less than spectacular, for various reasons. The recent announcement that iOS 7 would support gamepads was both long overdue and a wee bit begrudging, as if Apple resents the idea, and for all the speculation, it seems unlikely the Apple TV will have any official Apple gaming support. So Rolomotion, from Rolocule, is attempting to fill the gap.
If you’ve used a Wii, the concept will be very familiar: Download Motion Tennis, pair your iPhone and your Apple TV, put on a wrist strap to keep from destroying your iPhone, and start whacking balls. The iPhone’s various sensors track your motion, and there you go, you’re playing tennis and getting some exercise. The game is actually quite well-tuned and well-designed, which isn’t a surprise since Rolocule has made several tennis games for iOS. This is really just an extension of that work, but it works well, it’s intuitive and, most importantly, it’s fun.
The main question we have, though, is whether this will get any traction. The most glaring problem, is that it’s hard to argue you’re better than a game console when the controller costs $600 minimum. Similarly, you also have to own an Apple TV, which Apple is deliberately hamstringing as a streaming video solution, and it’s hard to justify the cost when dedicated video game consoles have more streaming options and, you know, more games.
All that said, if Apple’s not going to pave the way, somebody has to, and Rolomotion is demonstrating that, with Apple or without them, games will be coming to the Apple TV. Really, it’s now just a question of whether Apple will get behind them, or continue to be, well, Apple.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.