Guitar Hero Live has launched for the new Apple TV today, allowing users play the latest entry in the music game series on their television screen without the need of a dedicated game console. However, in an unexpected move, users must have the guitar controller in order to play. This is opposed to the iPhone/iPad version of the game, which lets users play a free two-song trial without requiring any kind of peripheral.
The reason for the surprise over Guitar Hero Live‘s requirement is because Apple’s own policy for games on the Apple TV states that developers are not allowed to require the use of a MFi controller. As was stated in the weeks following the new Apple TV’s reveal, all games are supposed to be playable with just the Siri Remote.
It’s been suggested that Activision, the publisher behind Guitar Hero Live, might be skating by on a technicality, as the game’s guitar controller is not an actual “MFi game controller,” like Apple’s policy states, but rather a custom peripheral that won’t work with any app/game except Guitar Hero.
To better understand why users could find this very frustrating, the full version of Guitar Hero Live for the iPhone/iPad can be unlocked via an in-app purchase of $50. To play the game on their Apple TV, they must buy a $99 bundle that includes the guitar controller as well as the full game for both iOS and tvOS.