Apple TV hardware may be radically upgraded in the coming months, according to a reports including a new tweet from leaker Fudge. The expectation is that the processor will be improved way more than a TV streaming box has any need for, which can only mean one thing: it’s for games.
It may even come in two versions, one with a processor that’s the company’s latest, the A14 chip, or a variant of it, making it as powerful as the latest iPad Air or the upcoming iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro.
Arcade, Apple’s subscription gaming service, is aiming high, according to the tweet. Citing the game Breath of the Wild, Fudge claims an ambition to rival titles of that quality and says that a lot of money is being poured into Arcade to achieve that.
Fudge later went on to clarify in a subsequent tweet that they weren’t saying Apple was going to make its own competitor title to Breath of the Wild, rather that the advanced graphics, long, immersive stories on a larger scale was what Apple is going for. As they put it, “AAA titles. Basically, more reasons to join and play”.
For gamers especially, that’s pretty exciting. Actually, for non-gamers, too, as Apple will doubtless find other ways to make use of all that processing power to ensure a fast, responsive interface across the device.
Fudge also claims that a new controller is coming. Since the current Siri remote control is unpopular with some users thanks to a sometimes-tricky touch-sensitive panel, there will be many who are excited at a replacement remote with a different design.
They’ll be disappointed, however, because when asked specifically, “When you say ‘controller’ do you mean a game controller or the remote control?”, Fudge replied, “Game”.
While this doesn’t rule out the possibility of a new remote control at the same time, which had been rumored separately earlier in the year, it seems that that focus here is on gaming alone.
Some games, the tweet says, will need a processor that’s A13 or faster, which in the current Apple line-up refers to just these products: iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max and iPhone SE 2020 with A13 Bionic, iPad Pro with A12Z Bionic, and the just-announced iPad Air which comes with the A14 Bionic processor, almost certainly to be found on the next iPhones which are expected imminently.
Note that the tweet refers to A12Z/X Apple TV, “A14X-like” Apple TV. That’s two versions, not one. So, perhaps one is the deluxe Apple TV with A14 chip or similar promised, geared to gamers? It might, though this is only a guess, have the new games controller bundled and the price could include a year’s Arcade subscription. That would be cool.
Although an updated Apple TV had been predicted to launch earlier in the year, this has yet to materialize. Bloomberg recently reported that an Apple TV upgrade was coming, and also believed the faster processor was for gaming. “However, that device might not ship until next year, according to people familiar with its development.”
Well, that’s a shame, though I note that the prediction doesn’t rule this year out, at least not quite.