Apple could launch a gaming-focused Apple TV next year

Mike Wheatley

The next iteration of the Apple TV box will have more of a focus on video games, come with an smart remote that’s easier to find when lost, and a more powerful processor, according to a report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.


As Gurman notes, the Apple TV box is in urgent need of an upgrade with its most recent edition being more than three years old. The product is facing intense competition from rival devices that have launched various new capabilities and systems, while Apple’s has only seen a few superficial changes like the addition of 4K inputs since it was first released in 2015.

In addition, the Apple TV is also much more expensive than similar products. The latest 4K Apple TV costs $180 in the U.S., while Amazon’s FireTV Stick can be had for just $50, the same price as Google’s new Chromecast dongle.

With that in mind, Gurman says Apple is planning to release an upgraded edition of the Apple TV sometimes next year, complete with a new remote control that has Find My iPhone capabilities, so users can quickly locate it when it’s lost.

The big focus will be on gaming though. For one thing, Apple could introduce a dedicated gaming controller for the Apple TV, though it’s not clear what that would look like. In addition, the Apple TV will also have a much more powerful processor, Gurman said.

Another Apple tipster known as “Fudge” on Twitter said earlier this year that Apple has already tested some new Apple TV models running variants of the A12 and A14 chips used in its latest mobile devices. It’s not yet clear which chip Apple has settled on, or if it plans to sell two different Apple TVs, or use some other kind of chip. Fudge said at the time Apple hopes to bring “console-quality” games to the Apple Arcade service that probably wouldn’t be able to work with older versions of the Apple TV.

Currently, it’s possible to play Apple Arcade games on the Apple TV, but the scope of those games is limited due to the older hardware it runs.

Assuming that Apple does introduce a beefier processor, it would be able to support much more demanding games on Apple Arcade. That would incentivise developers to create more compelling games for the service, and better titles would of course help Apple to compete with Amazon, Google and Roku.

Gurman said the new Apple TV will also come with two storage capacity options, at 64GB and 128GB, compared to the existing 32GB and 64GB choices available with the current model.

Most of these features have been rumoured for some time already, and with the Apple TV 4K being so old now, it’s odds-on that we’ll see a new Apple TV arrive in 2021.