Gaming on the TV with the Apple Ecosystem
Apple's ecosystem is pretty impressive. You have your computer, which (if it's newer) allows you to share your screen via AirPlay to the Apple TV. You have your iPad 2 and later, where you can do the same thing. AirPlay Mirroring has been very useful in our home, as we use it to display apps on the TV for the kids, instead of trying to gather them all around our shoulders (inevitably their heads get in the way).
But as I was playing Disney Super Speedway for the kids, I realized that this near console-quality game (at least the consoles I remember as a kid) could easily be a multiplayer game. And put it up on the TV and it's almost like a console game in and of itself. Except you would only see my view, and not that of all the others. Apple is so close to having a console game system, they are just missing that one element of sharing the game.
Now, this isn't the same with all games, though I can only think of one exception (someone please post any exceptions of which you are aware!), and that's Scrabble. With Scrabble, the iPad can be the game board, and you can play on your own iPhone or iPod Touch. Put that up on the TV via AirPlay, and you have everyone playing their own part of the game, while the game itself is played out in it's entirety on the TV. Imagine if you could do that with a race game, or bowling, or an RPG?
So, how would you do it? The neat thing is that you would have a lot of little consoles that already run their own games, so you have, essentially, a distributed game processing system. All you would need to do is gather the results of those games and share it at one point. That one point, for now, would be an iPad app, and that could be displayed on the TV using the Apple TV.
For an RPG real-time strategy game, perhaps you use the iPad display as your map to view where you are navigating and keep track of allies (a la Warcraft or Starcraft). That would give you more room on your personal "console" for the actual game. It would also give spectators something to follow, other than looking over your shoulder.
For a race game, it would display the full race, while everyone else gets the view of their individual vehicle. Sports games could be the same as well, each person playing a position and they see the game from that perspective, while the main display shows the results of the whole game.
There's lots of ways this could be used, specifically for gaming, so long as you have apps that work in that capacity. But, should you have to use an iPad, then AirPlay Mirror it to the Apple TV? What's to stop the Apple TV to have that app installed directly? Right now, it's space and the fact that it's closed, but get the app installed directly, and everyone just plugs in, you have a pretty killer console experience.
What do you think? Do you think it would be possible? Am I completely off my trolley here, and need to be slapped down? let me know!