Two significant things happened today in the world of Apple TV gaming.
The first was the news that Beach Buggy Racing 2: Island Adventure is headed to Apple TV in one week’s time. That was definitely a win/win with no downside, and came as a complete surprise.
The second was the announcement of an updated Apple TV 4K, packing in more horsepower under the hood, and another step in the endlessly fascinating evolution of Apple’s weird little gaming console that many would have you believe is not really a gaming console.
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Two and a half weeks ago, Apple Arcade, and thus Apple TV, received a Christmas tree’s worth of extremely high quality console-worthy titles – Fantasian, Wonderbox (those doors!), World of Demons, NBA 2K21 Arcade Edition, Clap Hanz Golf, The Oregon Trail, Star Trek: Legends… did I miss any?
It was a huge weekend, and while the categorisation and nomenclature had me a little confused at the time, what it added up to was a bunch of really good games, with some paving laid down for some classics to potentially hit the service. Leo’s Fortune is already on the way, and I’d love to speculate wildly about the possibility for other App Store classics to get the Arcade (and Apple TV) treatment – GRID Autosport? – but we’ll leave that for another time.
That weekend’s release of games made a great case for the Apple TV as a gaming console, and today Apple made another one by putting the A12 chip into its little black box and sending it off to market. This upgraded version of Apple TV 4K can be ordered as of April 30, with availability in the second half of May in select countries.
A more powerful box will of course mean current games will stand a better chance of living their best lives, and future games can reach for more, with developers being less constrained by the limitations of outdated hardware.
The upper limit of a 64GB hard drive option in the new Apple TV 4K is a little concerning, as those latest releases noted above are all starting to carry more bulk in the GB department.
Also, the lack of any mention of Apple Arcade in the services section towards the beginning of today’s event was surprising, as was the lack of any notable mention of gaming at all during the unveiling of the new Apple TV 4K.
What does it all mean?
Well, given that today saw the release of a new model Apple TV, that alone means that Apple is clearly not intending to let the black box devolve into nothing but an app. So that’s a good thing for fans of gaming on the platform. And while the hard drive is very much on the lean side, more power brings a certain amount of future proofing.
As usual, at this time of year, sites like ATVG start wondering what WWDC will bring. Was this just a tease?
Apple TV gaming doesn’t appear to be going away. It now even has its own exclusive parallel universe version of Final Fantasy (for the record, Fantasian is the best Final Fantasy game since IX).
This platform is just so… unpredictable, and weird.
Is that why I’m hooked?
If you’re new to The Apple TV Gaming Blog (ATVG), or just new to Apple TV gaming in general, or both, then the best place to get acquainted is our Best Apple TV Games of 2020 article. You’ll find a great collection of games to play, and a bunch of useful links to our previous site content. Welcome aboard. Enjoy the ride.