When the fourth-generation Apple TV was unveiled last month, one of the features Apple focused on was its gaming capabilities. Because the set-top box supports a full-on App Store, developers will have the freedom to create new gaming experiences, which Apple says is “gonna be huge.” To that end, the Apple TV wants to take over both your living room and your console, a jack of all trades for entertainment.
It’s too bad the multiplayer experience will be limited.
According to several developers, via TouchArdcade, only two MFi controllers can be connected to the Apple TV at a time (in addition to Apple’s own remote), meaning only a couple of people can play at once. It’s unclear if the limitation is down to the MFi controllers themselves, or Apple’s hardware. TouchArcade mentions that this may be a long-standing bug with MFi controllers, in which case it’s not Apple’s fault. Either way, guess we can’t expect any Smash Bros. clones to hit the App Store anytime soon.
“We just got word from one of the developers who were lucky enough to win the Apple TV dev kit lottery who races out and bought a ton of MFi controllers with the hopes of making a 8 player party games,” Touch Arcade said. “These hopes were quickly dashed as they realized that the new Apple TV will only connect to two external Bluetooth devices at once, along with the included remote.”
As MacRumors notes, all tvOS games and apps are required to include touch-based controls for Apple’s own remote, while Apple’s site says not all games will support the use of controllers. This could just be an early limitation as developers build out experiences, so we’re not laying blame just yet. But if a limit is implemented, it already sounds like developers won’t be able to create the experiences they hoped.