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Patent bares rumor: Apple TV gearing up for games?

The Xbox and the PS3 now have Apple TV-like abilities. Is Apple planning to pull a switch-a-roo?

Apple patent

It seems the success Apple has achieved with gaming on the iPhone might spill over from pockets to living rooms. The makers of the iPhone have filed a set patents for a Wii-style wireless controller that looks to be made for the Apple TV and could be used for a number of applications.

The patent filing, including the image above, clearly shows an icon for Safari, as well as images that appear to be an iPhoto-like app.

The filing, which describes a "remote wand for controlling the operations of a media system," specifically uses the Apple TV as a reference. Could this mean games on the device?

The Apple TV is a fairly powerful product for what little it currently does. Don't get me wrong, I love the device. I have one and use it almost every day. It's the easiest way to get my movie fix on in my living room, and the Flickr and YouTube functionality is amazing, as well as fun at parties.

Right now, though, that's about all it's good for. Apple has put together a pretty good method for distributing games (and other apps) via the iTunes App Store. And because the basic operating system on the Apple TV is very similar to the iPhone's, it wouldn't be too big of a jump to develop for it.

I'm excited about the prospect. Imagine playing a game like Light Bike on a 720p TV with surround sound. And if Apple TV app development is anything like the iPhone's, you could see an avalanche of good, inexpensive games.

It wouldn't aim to compete with the Xbox 360 or the PS3, but the guys at Nintendo might want to keep an eye on what Apple ends up doing with this patent filing, if anything.

(Via PC World)