An Apple TV games console would be a dream come true for Arcade fans – iMore
The Apple TV has long languished as Apple’s most-overlooked product. A serviceable smart box, it hits the right notes when it comes to pulling together iTunes movie purchases and streaming services. But it could be so much more, and gaming could be the key.
While the iPhone gets software overhauls and refreshed internals every year, Macs get Apple’s own silicon to fuel their work days, and iPads get regular refreshes alongside handy Pencil and Magic Keyboard accessories, the Apple TV always feels like an afterthought. Take WWDC 2022, for instance: every other Apple platform got a giant software update showcase, while the tvOS platform that Apple TV is built upon didn’t even get a mention.
For a little while there, the Apple TV looked to be rising on Apple’s priority list. After a four-year gap between the 2017 and 2021 Apple TV 4K models, the 2021 edition saw a hefty upgrade that introduced the A12 Bionic processor, HDMI 2.1 support, and refresh rates of up to 60FPS. With Apple Arcade and Apple TV+ picking up steam at that point, it seemed like it was the Apple TV box’s time to shine.
The Apple TV always feels like an afterthought.
But the reality proved different. Even by 2021, the A12 Bionic was more than two years old and starting to show its age. More demanding Apple Arcade titles now have to scale down their performance profiles to meet the hardware’s limitations, and new AAA titles like Diablo Immortal, as found on iPad and iPhone, fail to materialize in Apple TV form. Expanded controller support over Bluetooth helped give the illusion of a more console-like experience but relied on third-party hardware from the likes of Xbox and PlayStation. And the console’s operating system software and storage capacities limited the potential of the box compared to what a modern gamer would expect, too — from cloud gaming and live streaming to the ability to store a larger chunk of the growing library of Arcade games on the Apple TV.
A new Apple TV in 2022?
But could change be on the horizon? According to noted Apple insider Mark Gurman, a new Apple TV is on the way, with a faster chip and more RAM, primed for gaming:
In his Power On newsletter, Gurman says, “The new Apple TV, code-named J255, is in development with an A14 chip and an additional gigabyte of RAM. That compares with the A12 chip announced as part of the 2021 Apple TV last year and could be useful for additional gaming capabilities rolling out in tvOS 16.”
So what could this look like? While Apple may have been burned by its earlier home console attempt, 1996’s Apple Pippin, the groundwork for a successful console has now been laid.
With Apple Arcade, Apple has established a vibrant and ever-growing library of unique and exclusive titles. Its all-you-can-eat, five-bucks-a-month proposition is at a pocket-money subscribe-and-forget subscription price point that encourages exploration by even the most casual gamer, and its multi-platform support is a crucial element that even Sony’s recent PlayStation Plus revamp can’t match. Whether you’ve got an iPhone, an iPad, a Mac, or an Apple TV box, you get the same access to all the same games, wherever you go, with robust cloud syncing across iCloud and Game Center.