Apple TV reference unearthed, device may be coming soon

appletv_smallsizeIn late January, Apple revamped its website to include a section dedicated to the Apple TV. Before, the device and its accessories were tucked away in the iPod section, and fanbois took the change as a sign of something big to come – namely a brand new Apple TV, rather than just the current set-top box. But will Apple be releasing a new device anytime soon? According to evidence unearthed, all signs points to an yes.

9to5Mac has discovered references to a new device’s framework related to its AirPlay functionality. The sighting of “AppleTV4,1” confirms that a new device is in the works and may soon be ready to hit Apple Stores. Based on Apple’s previous history of announcements, there’s a good chance that we’ll be seeing the device as early as March.

The reference to the new Apple TV came out when iOS 7 was first released, but the evidence to support the rumors wasn’t discovered until now. It is notable that the nomenclature jumped from Apple TV 3,2, the current version, to Apple TV 4,1, which signifies two things: it still belongs in the Apple TV family, and it will come with significant new features and hardware components compared to older versions. If it was just an update, Apple would probably have stuck with Apple TV 3.x.

Aside from the AirPlay functionality, other evidence points to the possibility that the new Apple TV will have support for game controllers, though the reference to the Game Controller framework could be remnants of iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch builds. If the Apple TV does come with game control functionality, we could be seeing something similar to what the Roku 3 offers, but because there are more apps on Apple’s App Store, fanbois will have more to enjoy on the big screen. Also, Apple’s PrimeSense technology could be incorporated into the gaming, as well as gesture-based controls.

Apple has always been tight-lipped about its products, and so we don’t expect any confirmation until about a week or so before it’s ready to reveal anything. For now, fanbois can only hope that a new Apple TV will be released sometime this year, so they can throw away their old devices that were ruined with the most recent software update.