AirPlay is regarded one of the most attractive selling features of Apple‘s newest products. AirPlay offers the ability to stream video, music or photos from your iOS device to an Apple TV which then displays the content on an HDTV in 720p resulution and stereo sound. One of the most interesting features to be offered in Apple‘s upcoming firmware update, iOS 5, is AirPlay Mirroring. AirPlay Mirroring was marketed to stream an exact mirror of the content displayed on an iPad 2 to an Apple TV which many regarded as a very useful teaching or presentation tool, but it seems now there there’s much more to it than that…
Apple has been rumored to be getting into the console gaming market on and off for the past few years and it’s starting to look a lot like AirPlay Mirroring could be Apple’s quiet step in the gaming direction everyone has been waiting for. As iOS 5 beta testing continues, AirPlay mirroring has seen significant performance improvements, where as one-to-one game controls and smooth video once seemed impossible, it now appear to be within reach. iOS gaming developers are discovering the possibilities of streaming a separate video stream to the Apple TV while using the iPad as an an input device. Any games with HDMI out support already built in apparently require no additional code for AirPlay mirroring. Just imagine the possibilities as developers are given more time or better hardware – Take a look at the examples of AirPlay Mirroring gaming including Real Racing 2 and Touchgrind BMX in the video below:
This tablet controller and TV console system looks awfully familiar, doesn’t it? Nintendo‘s upcoming Wii U includes a touchscreen tablet controller which is wirelessly connected to the a conventional gaming console connected to a TV. The Wii U tablet controller includes the classic gaming controller features such as analog sticks, triggers and buttons that the iPad 2 is lacking but it certainly looks like Apple is set to meet Nintendo head on in the tablet controller gaming market and it’s Apple going into this tablet gaming battle with a big head start.
Apple has the installed base advantage as they have already sold over a million iPad 2 devices and over a million Apple TVs that come complete with the App Store library full of games. The Wii U isn’t due for release until sometime in 2012 and all that stands between those Apple TV and iPad 2 owners’ and tablet-to-TV gaming is a free firmware update expected to arrive this Fall.
This similarity in systems will certainly affect game developers choice of platform when creating their next game. At very least, the ability to port games from Wii U to the iOS 5 AirPlay mirroring and vice versa will seem like an obvious path to take and a very cost-effective one at that. If only Nintendo was willing to make iOS games (at a competitive price), maybe we would see Zelda iOS or Super Mario iPad Brawl. Maybe Apple should just buy Nintendo, since they’re already making such similar products…
Are you interested in tablet-to-TV gaming technology? Does AirPlay Mirroring make you want an Apple TV and iPad 2, or are you going to wait till 2012 for the Nintendo’s Wii U?
Apple iOS 5 with AirPlay Mirroring is expected to be released in Fall 2011. The Wii U is set to release in 2012.
Source: Apple Insider