The new Apple TV is on sale now, direct from Apple, with shipping dates ranging from October 30 to November 4. In early November you’ll be able to find it in retail outlets and online at other stores, too.

The new Apple TV looks very similar to the old Apple TV, except it includes a much faster and more graphically powerful processor — Apple’s A8 chip. Incidentally, the latest iPhones and upcoming iPad Pro sport even newer processors. The processor runs Apple’s new tvOS operating system, which is based on Apple’s iOS that’s used in iPhones and iPads.

New Apple TV Pricing

The new Apple TV comes in two new price points: 32GB for $149 or 64GB for $199.

The core elements of interest around the new Apple TV can be hammered down to three: the new Siri Remote, App Store, and Games, and once you understand the apps and the games, you’ll be able to figure out which version you should get.

Siri Remote

The new Siri Remote combines a glass touch surface with a built-in microphone, accelerometer, and gyroscope — along with a few old-school buttons — to create a tool that will let you more easily select, scroll, and navigate content. And what about the Siri part? You can use your voice to search for movies and TV shows.

There is more, though. Siri will let you handle some navigation with your voice. So what about the motion sensors? Those turn the little remote into a remote control that can be used to control games.

App Store

Speaking of games, the Apple is launching a whole new App Store for the Apple TV, and while it will feature games, it also will be what Apple hopes will become the foundation for the new TV living room experience — apps. In Apple’s vision, content providers will build new apps that will enhance and simplify the way we watch — and interact with — TV.

Initially, you might just start consuming news, weather, or sports via cool apps, but there is potential for much more, including apps for home automation.

Games

Back to games. The iPhone and App Store created a whole new world for casual gaming — from grandmothers to kids and everywhere in between. The new Apple TV is also a new gaming platform. While casual games will no doubt work well, Apple’s A8 processor has some impressive graphical capabilities, and along with other Apple app dev tools, game developers can produce some luscious games that start creeping toward the experience of dedicated consoles like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Apple hasn’t produced its own dedicated game controller yet, but it supports third-party controllers like the SteelSeries Nimbus Wireless Controller.

So, 32GB or 64GB? If you or your household plays a lot of games — and might appreciate big world graphically rich games — go with the 64GB model.

All-in-all, if you’re an iPhone, iPad, or Mac owner already interested in the Apple ecosystem, the Apple TV is your next must-make purchase. If not, check it out. You might be pleasantly surprised.

About the author

Chris Maxcer

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I've been writing about the tech industry since the birth of the email newsletter, and I still remember the clacking Mac keyboards from high school -- Apple's seed-planting strategy at work. I'm a big fan of elegant gear and sublime tech, but there's something to be said for turning it all off -- or most of it -- to go outside. Online I like to call out cool stuff on Wicked Cool Bite, share Apple-focused opinions on TechNewsWorld, and blog with my buddies at Man Makes Fire. For something different, check out If They Mistake the Moon for the Sun. To catch me, take a "firstnamelastname" guess at the url of this site.