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Apple is widely expected to introduce an overhauled version of the Apple TV next month, and one of the big changes is supposed to be in how you control it. Already we've heard reports about a new remote with a touchpad and microphone, but now TechCrunch is reporting that it will do even more: the remote will supposedly be motion sensitive. The remote is said to likely include sensors that track it as it moves in multiple directions, allowing it to detect motion about as well as the Wii Remote. The Wii Remote also relies on an IR sensor, but it isn't stated whether this remote will require a similar accessory or work on its own.
This could be Apple's next step into gaming
The implication, of course, is that the Apple TV could become a major new competitor in casual gaming. That's a likely trajectory for it even without a Wii-like remote: Apple is supposed to finally open up an app store for the Apple TV, and games are sure to follow quickly. The store would give Apple TV owners an easy way to start gaming on their TV and likely at a much lower cost than buying an Xbox or PlayStation.
That'll require the Apple TV to get a lot more powerful, and it's supposed to. Reports have pegged it as including a version of the iPhone 6's A8 processor, which TechCrunch suggests could be running stronger than usual here since the Apple TV won't have to limit itself to conserve battery the way a phone would.
Apple is also supposed to be making these changes to the remote simply to make the Apple TV easier to use. TechCrunch reports that the device's interface has been improved as well — right now it's literally just an endless grid of rectangles — apparently in a way that makes it easier to navigate through large libraries, which, as a streaming box, the Apple TV is kind of inherently composed of.
One thing that the Apple TV is still not expected to include is access to an Apple-made streaming TV service. That's supposed to be because of a struggle to make content deals, and TechCrunch suggests that Apple is going ahead with the launch now to gain leverage. Should this new Apple TV — and, perhaps more importantly, the many video sources in its app store — begin to succeed in a big way, content partners may be a lot more eager to get on board.
The new Apple TV should be announced on September 9th.