9to5Mac claims the Apple TV 4 will go on sale in October for under US$200 and will offer Siri support, a new remote control, an App Store (with, among other things, games) with a software development kit for developers, and a refreshed user interface. It will also be ready for Apple's television streaming service, which will arrive in 2016, the article adds.
Apple "has the patents, engineers, hardware/software assets, and the marketing savvy to sell a potent rival to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4," says Alcaraz Research. And it has good reason to do so: console gaming is still a $13 billion/year industry, according to the industry-tracking firm, The NPD Group.
"Even though Apple generates most of its profit from selling high-priced iPhones, selling higher-margin connected TV boxes is a notable diversification move, says the research group. "Aside from the higher hardware margins from a $199 console/TV box, the additional revenue from app/game purchases adds further importance to Apple TV 4."
Rod Hall, a J.P. Morgan analyst, says a new Apple TV with an Apple TV App Store would give Apple a foothold in the home gaming market. He says that the combined console and PC [personal computer] gaming market is expected to sell US$35 billion worth of software this year. For every 10% of share in this market that Apple could tap into, Hall believes it would add about 1.5% in additional earnings for the company.