New Apple TV model could be just what Arcade gaming service needs

The Apple TV Plus and Apple Arcade subscription services are almost upon us, and the company might be planning to launch new Apple TV hardware to celebrate, if rumours on social media are anything to go by.

According to the Twitter account @never_released, a new model with the codename AppleTV11,1 / J305AP will boost the set-top box’s processing power courtesy of an A12 Bionic SoC.

That’s the same processor sitting within the 2018 iPhone models, so would represent a big upgrade over the existing Apple TV 4K model, which offers the A10X Fusion chip and was designed for the 2017 iPad Pro models.

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Such a power bump would likely be geared towards the forthcoming Apple Arcade gaming subscription service, which will give iOS and tvOS users access to hundreds of exclusive games for a monthly fee that’s yet to be determined.

Given many of these games will be developed with powerful iPhone, iPad and Mac devices in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the company boost the processing prowess of its set-top box too.

Apple has long-harboured ambitions of making the Apple TV set-top box a gaming platform beyond its abilities as a streaming device. The Siri remote has Wiimote-like motion sensors and the Apple TV itself is compatible with Bluetooth game controllers. However, until now tvOS gaming has struggled to take off.

It’s very unlikely the Apple TV Plus steaming service would require any additional power; quite the opposite, in fact. Contrarily, it has been rumoured Apple would release a more affordable Apple TV device that would encourage adoption and boost Apple TV Plus sales.

Whether Apple would drop there price and significantly boost the power, is unclear. A more likely solution might be a substantial price drop for the existing models in the range to tempt users into subscribing to TV Plus.

Today’s report, timed as such, also raises the possibility of the device being announced during the iPhone launch event next Tuesday.

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