Craig Olsen on the Nimbus and Steel Series’s Apple TV ambitions
With Steel Series hardware featuring on Apple’s own product page for Apple TV, Craig Olsen, its president of worldwide mobile, is unsurprisingly bullish. He reckons the set-top box will be a “rich, immersive, and rewarding experience” for millions of people.
Nimbus is the first pad to be revealed that was built specifically with the hardware in mind, even if Apple’s own focus has switched to ensure Siri Remote is universally supported across tv OS’s App Store. Olsen diplomatically says Apple’s controller is “remarkable, as one would expect – an impressive feat of engineering that delivers a great experience for consumers who use it to play games”. Yet he still believes “some consumers will prefer a more familiar button and trigger layout”.
Even if controllers might now be somewhat sidelined, Olsen doesn’t appear downcast: “We felt the chance to build a gamepad controller for the new Apple TV represented a singular opportunity not only for Steel Series, but also for consumers, in that we were confident we could do it better than anyone else.” He adds that the Nimbus represents the company’s most extensive R&D effort ever. Despite retailing well below previous MFi efforts ($50), the Nimbus boasts a Lightning port, 40 hours of playing time per charge, and premium components throughout. “It will also control other content on the Apple TV,” Olsen says, “meaning that for as low as $199, someone can have a new Apple TV, complete with both Siri [Remote] and Nimbus controllers. That’s a complete entertainment and gaming platform for a remarkably low price.”
The Nimbus resembles other MFi controllers but includes a prominent Menu button with which to navigate TV functions, and also incorporates a proprietary Lightning port