The Apple TV ($169 at Walmart) has supported wireless gaming controllers for the , but there are far better gamepads made for more robust gaming systems available. And starting with , you'll have two new options when it comes to getting your game on.
The addition of two new controllers comes at a time when Apple is readying the launch of , a gaming service the company first announced in March. Exact details are still unclear, but the gist of the service is this: You'll pay a subscription fee (still unannounced) for access to 100 new and exclusive games on your Apple TV, iPhone ($1,000 at Amazon), iPad ($249 at Walmart), and Mac.
Expanded controller support is exciting. Not only will you have the option to use better hardware, but if you already have a compatible controller, it'll cost you nothing. Not to mention you'll already be familiar with the button layout.
There are a few aspects of the new controller support that remain unannounced, but we've rounded up a list of controllers, what we think the setup will entail and theorize any limitations.
Which controllers will work with Apple TV?
The two new controllers join the already supported Made for iPhone (MFi) controllers such as the SteelSeries Nimbus.
What about the iPhone and iPad?
Don't worry, while Apple didn't mention iOS and iPadOS 13 would add support, iPhones and iPads will indeed work with both controllers.
What about setup?
The controllers will likely use Bluetooth to connect to your Apple TV. Meaning, initial setup will consist of putting the controller in pairing mode, and then adding a new Bluetooth device to the Apple TV.
If you've ever added another Apple TV remote or an MFi controller, theif not exactly the same.
Are there any limitations?
We don't know yet. Presumably, Apple will support the new controllers the same way it did MFi controllers, in that you're able to use them to do nearly everything on the Apple TV. For example, you can use a SteelSeries Nimbus controller to turn on the Apple TV, move through apps, select TV shows, and control playback.
Another aspect that's unclear is whether or not features such as rumble and headphone-out will work when the controllers are paired to an Apple TV, iPhone or iPad.
Where can I buy these controllers?
Just about anywhere. Xbox, PlayStation and even MFi controllers are commonplace. Amazon is a good place to start, but be sure to check your local gaming store like GameStop for deals on used controllers.
What about multiplayer support?
We aren't sure. However, the Apple TV supports multiple MFi controllers right now, so it'd make sense for the continued support of more than one device.