Following on from a substantial number of reports over the past few months (read: years), that Apple was working on a television set, a new report is today claiming that a new version of Apple TV is in the works, but it’s not a television set. The new Apple TV will apparently house a wireless router, essentially a shrunk down AirPort Express device with 802.11ac capabilities (via 9to5Mac). The inclusion of a router would apparently improve performance for streaming to the Apple TV, although it’s unclear what performance enhancements would be achieved.
The new Apple TV will also apparently also include a greater emphasis on gaming although it’s not fully established what that actually means i.e. would the next generation Apple TV act more like a Playstation or XBox, or would it simply have tighter integration for playing iOS games through AirPlay?
In support of the claims is the fact that Apple has today created a brand new section on their online store devoted to the Apple TV, whereas before it was bundled in with the iPod. A cynical person may note that the company could be preparing to discontinue some of the iPod lines in the face of falling sales but there’s probably still a significant amount of mileage left in products like the iPod nano or shuffle.