The new Apple TV is shaping up to Apple's most robust gaming machine yet, but not everyone is going to want to play games using its tiny Siri Remote. Fortunately, launching in October alongside the set-top box is Steelseries' Nimbus, a console-style controller built for big-screen play.
The Nimbus looks like a hybrid of the latest PlayStation and Xbox controllers, sporting a standard layout of two analog sticks, a d-pad, four face buttons and four shoulder buttons. A menu button sits in the center, below a strip of LED lights that indicate whether the controller is synced to player 1, 2, 3 or 4. The gamepad sports a Lightning connection for charging, and SteelSeries says to expect over 40 hours of battery life.
Even though it's being marketed as the official gamepad of Apple TV, the Bluetooth-based Nimbus will work with just about any iOS device, as well as with Macs. SteelSeries' new controller will also feature a companion app that makes it easy to find gamepad-friendly games on the App Store.
While the new Apple TV isn't the console-killer that some rumors have suggested, it does represent Apple's biggest push yet towards living room gaming. Major titles such as Disney Infinity 3.0, Skylanders Superchargers and Rayman Adventures are all headed to the media box, so it only makes sense for there to be a console-grade controller available to play them on. It's worth keeping in mind that Apple TV will support any MFi (Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad) controller, so the iOS gamepad you currently have might work just fine.
Aside from games, the new $149 Apple TV will support voice controls via Siri and a completely refreshed interface featuring a dedicated App Store. We'll have to wait until October to see how both the Apple TV and Nimbus controller hold up during day-to-day use, so stay tuned for our full reviews.