It seems the success Apple has achieved with gaming on the iPhone might spill over from pockets to living rooms. The company has made a set of patent filings for a Wii-style wireless controller that seems to be intended for the Apple TV. It could be used for a number of applications.
The patent filing, including the image above, clearly shows an icon for Safari, as well as images that appear to be an iPhoto-like app.
The filing, which describes a "remote wand for controlling the operations of a media system", specifically uses the Apple TV as a reference. Could this mean games could be played on the device?
The Apple TV is a fairly powerful product, considering the few things it currently does. It's provides an easy way to get a movie fix in the living room, and the Flickr and YouTube functionality is good, as well as fun at parties. At the moment, though, that's about all Apple TV's good for.
Apple has put together a good method for distributing games (and other apps) via the iTunes App Store. And, because the basic operating system on the Apple TV is very similar to that of the iPhone, it wouldn't be too big of a jump to develop for it.
We're excited about the prospect. Imagine playing a game like Light Bike on a 720p TV with surround sound. If Apple TV app development is anything like the iPhone's, you could see an avalanche of good, inexpensive games.