Magical Transformation: Bringing Disney Infinity to Apple TV

December 4, 2015 , ,

From the Disney Insider


The Disney Infinity universe is, by design, always expanding. So much of the experience of playing the game is based on the limitless possibilities of the players’ imaginations. And this year, with its latest iteration (3.0), it’s making huge leaps beyond its initial format, establishing an exclusive presence on the Disney Cruise Line, and within the Parks as part of the seasonal Star Wars celebration at both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World.

And now, Disney Infinity is available on Apple TV.

As part of the launch of the new, more-powerful Apple TV platform, Disney Infinity 3.0 will allow fans of the series to play the game outside of traditional video game platforms. This has been done before, of course, with Disney Infinity 2.0’s mobile app, but not in such a huge way. This is the entire Disney Infinity experience, handily stored on the same device where you catch up on Quantico.

We sat down with Kevin Vlaming, a brand manager for Disney Infinity, to talk about the transition from a console platform to a fully digital experience (but with the same interactivity, featuring gorgeous figures and super fun gameplay). Vlaming told us about transitioning the game to Apple TV, the interface for this new version, and how complete this Disney Infinity experience really is.

Can you talk about bringing Disney Infinity to the Apple TV platform?

It was a really exciting opportunity for us. We got to work with Apple and the new hardware. We had some experience previously with [Apple] bringing Disney Infinity 2.0 to iOS. We made a big investment and it only ran on the high-end devices—the iPhone 5, 6, and iPad Air. So we had this experience in our bag. Then when we got this experience to work on the Apple TV version; it was very exciting. We could bring all of our play sets to the platform as well, which we had never been able to do for any of our mobile products.

Can you describe the interface for Apple TV?

It works with the base; it works with all the characters. If you’ve invested in 1.0, 2.0, or 3.0, we support all of that content. The base is unique because it’s a black base and it works with Bluetooth for the Apple TV. So you can place the base anywhere in your house, which is actually pretty cool. It’s convenient there. It still requires power, so it has to be near a wall socket, so it’s not completely wireless, but it gives you that flexibility. But it all works in the same way the other platforms do.

So you buy the base and the toys, and download the game on Apple TV?

Yeah, so if you buy your Apple TV and you’re still in your pajamas, you just go and download the Disney Infinity 3.0 app, and you’ll be able to play the trench run from Star Wars. It’s called “The Battle of Yavin” and you don’t have to do anything else. There are some in-app purchases. But what you want to do is go to the Apple Store and buy the starter kit, which comes with the new base; it comes with two characters, Asoka and Anakin, and the “Twilight of the Republic” playset. It also comes with the Nimbus Steel Series controller. It’s specifically designed to work with the Apple TV and supports any game you play on Apple TV. And it’s a great experience to play Disney Infinity 3.0 with that Nimbus controller.

Is there anything specific to the Apple TV version?

There’s no specific content related to the Apple TV version, but there are some unique features that came out of the platform itself. The base is one of them, because we knew we had to be Bluetooth. We also have a thing called cloud saving, whereas, on the other platforms, you might have a file sharing system. This is similar, in that you log in with your Disney ID but what’s cool about it is all the Disney ID stuff is stored in the cloud. So, for me, I’m working here and playing the game at work and when I log in at home and I’m playing the game again, it’s seamless and it’s at the same spot when I left work. A lot of people are going to have multiple Apple TVs so if you want to go over to a friend’s and log in with your Disney ID, it’s going to be right there. Apple TV is always connected online, so you’ll always be connected to Disney Infinity TV, those get streamed right away to you. You’ll be able to get all the community content for Toy Box. It’s the full experience, and plus, with the uniqueness of the platform, there is certain online functionality we’ll always assume will be there, which makes it very seamless.

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