Apple plans new gaming-focused Apple TV box in 2021

The current Apple TV 4K, released on September 22, 2017, lets users watch movies and shows in amazing 4K HDR and with Dolby Atmos sound. It’s powered by an Apple A10X Fusion processor that first appeared on June 16, 2017 inside the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and the second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Now, a new report says that Apple plans a revamped, gaming-focused Apple TV set-top box for release in 2021.

Apple TV 4K front (top) and rear (bottom)
Apple TV 4K front (top) and rear (bottom)

Mark Gurman for Bloomberg:

The product is facing intense competition. Rivals have introduced a litany of new systems while Apple has only made minor changes to the Apple TV since 2015. Those changes include adding 4K output and years of mostly incremental annual software updates.

Apple TV buyers get access to exclusive services like the new Fitness+, the Arcade gaming service, Apple Music and Apple Podcasts and their iCloud photo libraries.

For next year, Apple is planning an upgraded box with a stronger gaming focus, an updated remote and a new processor.

MacDailyNews Take: Since the Apple TV 4K got the current processor of the day, we’d expect the next-gen Apple TV box to get at least an A14 Bionic processor in 2021 which should nicely future-proof it!

17 Comments

  1. Is Apple going head-to-head with Microsoft and Sony? It could happen. It WILL need an innovative new controller though – currently nothing Apple makes is suitable for hardcore gaming. I have an idea how this could work, but we’ll see what Apple does.

  2. M$ doesn’t make any money out of the consoles and I don’t know if Sony makes much either. The money is in the titles and will Apple make any money if the developers are all third-party?

    1. The success of Nintendo’s Wii shows that you don’t need to have the most powerful hardware in order to win at game consoles. If Apple has some fun new innovation in store, they could get it working on hardware that is less expensive than the current M1 Macs, and then sell the resulting machines at a profit.
      What innovation? Well if I knew it wouldn’t be new! But I can still fantasize: Imagine a display kiosk that pretended to be a mirror, but if you looked into it too long, it turned you into a random video game character. (I don’t know what game this would be, but it would sure attract attention in the mall.)
      Or something to do with their augmented reality – the game involves placing real objects on a table in front of your TV. The player moves the objects around while looking at the “reflection” on the screen.
      Or perhaps they have a solution to typing text efficiently on a game controller.

    2. Apple will make money the same way as other console makers.

      Sony and MS takes 30% cut of the revenue in their respective game stores.

      Apple already takes the same cut of App Store revenue, so it’s all in place already.

  3. I’ve got a three month’s free subscription (new iPad) and I’m not taking it up because most of the games are just for children whereas their opposition caters for customers across the board. Sorry Apple your selection of games is way below par.

    1. I disagree. Oceanhorn is very good. I like the Shantae series – while cute, it is also quite spicy. If you just can’t cope with cute, try Beyond a Steel Sky, or Creaks. There is no such thing as a game selection where you will like everything.

  4. Obviously, Apple’s obvious blunder is the lack fist class controller for appleTV.
    Obviously, if Apple introduced a dedicated gaming processor derived from M1, with emphasis on GPU (obviously), leapfrogging Xbox and Playstation, the games would come to the platform very quickly.
    Obviously, the stretch goal would be to run Cyberpunk smoothly.

  5. As long as they have a good remote and not the piece of **** one it ships with now, I’ll get it. A silicon cover helps improve the current design, but it is still horrible and one of the worst things Apple has designed. The device is fine, I only have issues with the remote control.
    The Apple TV 2/3 remote was pretty good. Limited, but easy to use, identifiable buttons (even in the dark), you can tell which side is up, and it looked good.

    Exit soapbox…

  6. Why don’t they become the shopping frontend for home delivery companies(the future). Lots of folks like me that cares about games only when grandkids visit…not often due to virus.

  7. I’m not sure Apple needs a game console now that the M1 processor and future Apple Silicon processors are going to be in their computers. It seems rather likely second- and third-generation Apple Silicon will likely have the power to turn any Mac into a mid-range, triple-A gaming computer. I think Apple will have the economies of scale going for it when it comes to processors. I’ve heard Apple is buying out most of TSMC’s production capacity for 5nm and 3nm processor nodes. That’s just bonkers.

    The only game I ever play is Gran Turismo on PS consoles, so I don’t really follow games, in general. I basically buy a PS console just to play whatever version of Gran Turismo runs on that console. Hundreds of hours each year just playing Gran Turismo might seem to be a waste of time, but that’s what I enjoy doing. I definitely won’t be buying any Mac just to play games on. I’ll buy a PS5 to run Gran Turismo 7 when both are readily available and that will be it for the next few years.

    1. The console makers aren’t going to like you, @macnificentseven48. They need you to buy lots of games for them to make a profit, because they sell the hardware (usually) at a loss. That is why they also don’t like people doing non-game things with game consoles.

  8. As long as we have access to real titles and not the neutered Apple arcade crap.

    The LiDAR scanner used in the iPhone12ProMax and iPad Pro might make for a great virtual controller.

  9. The right processor is not A14 but M1. You need maxed out GPU power to really enter the gaming market.

    M1 performance is superior to last gen and quite close to the new gen consoles. Not faster but (unlike Nintendo) in the ballpark. Apple can build the cheapest console with it without making it a loss leader (not iPhone level, but Apple TV level margins—the HW has never been a profit machine in it self.)

    Then just support PS/xBox controllers (as Apple already does), there are a lot of those lying around. If you have none, buy the one you want. I’d rather sell PS controllers in Apple Store than make my own. Controllers are not a business opportunity for Apple.

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