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iOS 4.3 Beta Hints at Apple TV Gaming

Code in the iOS 4.3 beta 3 firmware hints that the Apple TV may soon support online gaming, according to an Engadget source.

Several references have been found pertaining to “ATVGames” and “ATVThunder” that point to a controller of some sort, leaderboards (think Game Center), a way to schedule games (multiplayer?), and a store front (think App Store, iTunes). We’re particularly intrigued by two strings — “com.apple.AppleTV.play.live.thunder” and “.play.archive.thunder” — but what those actually mean in the grand scheme of things is ultimately ambiguous.

Additionally, the source found two codenames: Sedona and Flagstaff.

Based on references to director, episode, season, and the like, we reckon Sedona is all about video merchandising and streaming, something tightly integrated into the traditional iTunes experience. As for Flagstaff, aside from a nod to Account Types and Merchants (i.e. iTunes merchandising), there’s really nothing else to say.

Their tipster found several other interesting mentions including feature_remote_screensavers.

Also in the report, using a Harmony Remote Alex Hisrbrunner inadvertently discovered this touch like iOS behavior on the AppleTV 2 that allows you to select an item (it starts to wiggle) and move it around using the direction buttons on the remote.

Check it out in the video below…

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