Apple TV and Gaming

For a man so prolific, complicated, and of course secretive, it should be no surprise that Steve Jobs left behind one quote in his biography which has intrigued readers like no other: “I’ve finally cracked it.”

In some way, shape or form Steve Jobs had solved television, Apple’s role in bringing television and the Internet closer together, or maybe (but not likely) the secret to smellovision.

Many words have already been spilled analyzing this uncharacteristically specific hint, but I had a moment today which made me think.

I have been dabbling with using a standing desk for the past two years. After getting an external monitor to hook up to my laptop and give myself a little more breathing room I converted back to a sitting desk. But today I rearranged my desk again and set the monitor up high once more. And then did something curious: I picked up the Magic Trackpad to resume a video as I was organizing my things.

Standing a few feet away from the desk I held the trackpad in both hand, thumbs on top, like I would an Xbox or PS3 controller. Two thumbs together will scroll, one thumb or the other acting alone will more the cursor, and tapping will select anything selectable.

To paraphrase Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Magic Trackpad is not as clumsy or random as an air mouse (or even a Wii remote at times).

There have been critics of Apple’s current remote arguing that it has too few buttons to be useful and is, in fact, too minimalist. Anyone who has had to type more than a few characters on an Apple TV with it will agree. While there is an app available for iOS devices to control the Apple TV, $200 for an iPod Touch is high price point for a remote control with more than barebones functionality.

But what if Apple is working on a Magic Trackpad 2.0? Cheaper than the current $69 version. Maybe closer to the $50 price of a new Xbox controller. If Apple builds a full television set, one of these would come with it. If that TV can play iOS games…multiplayer games…well, others can join in if they have an iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad or their own touchpad-esque, Xbox-like, Apple Controller.