Apple did something very un-Apple-like for the debut of Apple TV. About 6 weeks before the Apple TV debuted, Apple held a lottery and sent some (many?) iOS developers a genuine 4th edition Apple TV for testing. For just a buck. This allowed developers to use a real TV and a real Siri Remote during development.
This may not seem like a big deal, since Apple provides simulators for iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and Apple TVs. But it was clear with the launch of the Apple Watch that not having a real device with a new user interaction model was a handicap to many developers.
The initial batch of Apple Watch apps were, well, let’s just say uneven. Now there were some technical reasons for that beyond developers’ control but, still, not having a Watch handicapped many an app.
Was the launch of Apple TV any different?