What’s going on with the Apple TV? The 4K model was released in 2017 and Apple hasn’t spoken a word of it since then. Three years later and it’s almost Mac Pro old in its upgrade cycle. At Digital Trends, Simon Cohen asks if we’re at the end of the line for the black box that only has 2% share of the streaming device market. So what’s in store for the Apple TV?
Charlotte wrote that the extension of Apple TV+ is all about Apple One, but that can be extended to the TV itself as the physical embodiment of the Apple One bundle.
Apple clearly wants to upsell people to its highest tier, the Premier, because that’s the one that gives you every Apple service. Buy the new box and you can use it to watch Apple TV+, listen to Apple Music, workout with Fitness+, and game with Apple Arcade. It’s the best device for these services with a possible exception for listening to Apple Music on the go.
There is one service in particular that can help sell the bundle when you combine it with an Apple TV, and I’m not talking about Apple TV+. Instead, look to Apple Arcade. The Apple TV is already seen as a conduit for TV+. Gaming should drive the next upgrade. What would they do otherwise, sell an Apple TV 5K?
Apple TV Gaming
I wrote about a patent in 2018 that hinted at an Apple TV gaming system, and I wonder if we’ll see the fruits of that labor soon. I’m not saying that Apple should turn the box into a dedicated game console, but Apple Arcade has the most room for improvement out of the company’s services.
First, Apple should release its own game controller. There are a handful of third-party controllers that work with Apple TV already, but you can’t go wrong with a first-party controller. Next, if we get AirPods Studio then they should have microphones built into them like current AirPods. Boom, gamer headset. Or, sell a separate AirPods Studio Gaming Edition with a real headset mic. Just like buying a MacBook gives you options to add more RAM or storage, when buying an Apple TV the options could be the game controller and headset.
Finally, improve Apple Arcade itself. Arcade games aren’t on the level of Skyrim or Call of Duty but Apple can work with what they’ve got. Make Game Center better, too. No one thinks of the Apple TV as a gaming device but they might with dedicated marketing and powerful hardware.
So when will we see new hardware? In August, Mark Gurman wrote that the next Apple TV will have a faster processor for improved gaming and a new remote control. However, it may not ship until next year because “The company is working on a feature for the new remote similar to Find My iPhone that would make the TV accessory easier to find.”