The Apple TV is getting a notable new game today. This morning, Disney announced the launch of its highly anticipated Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition for Apple TV. This “toys-to-life” gaming platform from Disney allows players to use real-world interactive figures to activate original storylines in virtual worlds. This latest edition follows other popular launches like the Marvel Super Heroes release last year and the August release of 3.0 itself.
As an Apple TV starter pack, the new set includes a SteelSeries Nimbus Wireless Controller and a black Bluetooth Disney Infinity Base, as well as the “Star Wars: Twilight of the Republic” Play Set piece, with Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano figures.
For those who purchased earlier Disney Infinity editions, the company notes that all the figures and Power Discs from the 1.0 and 2.0 releases will be fully compatible with the new Apple TV version of the game.
In addition, thanks to the Apple TV’s support for third-party controllers, the Nimbus Wireless Controller has been configured to work with the new streaming media player hardware, while still allowing users to play the game as intended, the company says.
According to Sean Patton, Senior Producer for Disney Infinity mobile, the company took care to make sure its controller works well with the Apple TV hardware. “One of the cool things about it is that, like our reader, it’s bluetooth. And the performance on that is really good – it’s very responsive,” he says.
Also of note, the readers for the gaming consoles are wired, which makes them hard to pull out and put away – that’s not great for children, either. The Bluetooth pad is a big improvement, and one that’s available on Apple TV first.
Alongside the launch of the box set itself, players will be able to download the Disney Infinity 3.0 app from the App Store, which allows them to experience the Battle of Yavin from “Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope.” This allows those who are curious about the Disney Infinity universe to play a version of the game without having to invest in the physical hardware, but could help to convert them to that larger platform in the future.
While Disney doesn’t talk about the number of gamers on Disney Infinity’s platform, Patton could point to the sizable amount of content those gamers have created.
“We have hundreds of thousands of levels that have been created [by players] across all three versions of the game,” he says, adding that the range of Infinity titles can span demographic groups, too. In other words, it’s not just for kids. In part, this is thanks to the mainstream appeal of Disney-owned franchises like Marvel and Star Wars.
With Apple TV, Disney Infinity Can Reach A Broader Demographic
Prior to today, Disney Infinity was available on gaming platforms like Sony’s PlayStation 3 and 4, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Xbox One, and Nintendo Wii U. It also recently became available on digital platforms, like iOS and Android, as well as on PC and Steam – moves that represent Disney’s interest in making this gaming universe something that appeals to a wider range of gamers.
Related to this, for many new Apple TV owners, the Apple TV App Store will introduce them to big-screened gaming for the first time.
“Apple TV represents an incredible opportunity for us to bring Disney Infinity to a new audience of players who may not have a game console in their household,” said John Blackburn, SVP and GM, Disney Infinity.
Disney Infinity 3.0 on Apple TV could also help boost Disney Interactive’s revenue, which has been in decline. At the close of Q4, Interactive revenues decreased by $15 million to $347 million, while operating income increased $13 million to $31 million. But the latter was due to higher Disney Infinity sales, thanks to the release of Infinity 3.0 on August 30, the company said. And with a new Star Wars-branded set coming out on Apple TV, the potential for another sales boost is there again.
This first Apple TV release, then, is only the start. Patton says the company is already planning more Disney Infinity experiences for the Apple TV App Store, including the release of a “Force Awakens” set in December, and “Marvel Battlegrounds,” which will work with all platforms, including Apple TV.
The new starter pack will be sold for $99 at U.S. Apple Stores nationwide, including retail locations and online, beginning today. It will later become more broadly distributed.