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WWDC showed off Apple’s gaming ambitions, but I’m still waiting for the new Apple TV

Published Jun 10th, 2024 9:03PM EDT

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Apple has been slowly but surely digging its heels into the gaming industry. After dominating the mobile gaming industry since the App Store launched on the iPhone, the company has become known as the iPhone gaming company rather than a serious one — even though mobile gaming is enormous.

The short of it is that most serious gamers don’t see Apple as an actual gaming company where you would want to play your AAA games. That’s reserved for the PC, Xbox, and PlayStation among others. However, Apple continues to try and make its way into the conversation and this year’s WWDC was no different.

As part of the keynote for macOS Sequoia, the company announced that Personalized Spatial Audio was now coming to games and that Game Mode was launching on iPhone and also getting improvements on the Mac.

Personalized Spatial Audio puts players in the middle of the action like never before, while significantly reduced audio latency with AirPods Pro (2nd generation) provides even better responsiveness. Improvements to Game Mode unlock smoother frame rates, and advanced power management features boost performance across the Mac lineup.

A ton of games are coming to the Mac.

The company also announced a ton of titles coming to the Mac, including games from Blizzard, Ubisoft, and Capcom.

Developers are delivering an amazing host of new titles to Mac. Ubisoft will release Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown and Assassin’s Creed Shadows, and Capcom will offer even more exciting titles from the popular RESIDENT EVIL series, including RESIDENT EVIL 7 biohazard and RESIDENT EVIL 2. The next major expansion of World of Warcraft: The War Within is coming later this year. Also on the way are Frostpunk 2, Palworld, Sniper Elite 4, and RoboCop: Rogue City, all leveraging powerful software technologies like MetalFX Upscaling to accelerate performance and deliver high-quality visuals across the Mac lineup. And Control Ultimate Edition and Wuthering Waves are coming soon, taking advantage of the latest M3 family of chips to deliver breathtaking visuals with ray tracing.

This is all great news, especially since a ton of these titles will be able to be played across the Mac, iPad, and iPhone. It’s been awesome to see games like Death Stranding available to download and play on all three devices so, no matter where you are or what device you are using, you’ll have access to your game.

The Apple TV is the last level

However, despite all of this, I’m still not bought into buying my AAA video games through Apple. As a console gamer, I’m too used to playing video games on my TV. So, if Apple wants to convince me to switch from Xbox or PlayStation to Apple as the place to play my games, it’s going to have to release the gaming-focused Apple TV 4K.

I feel like this is the obvious next step for the Apple TV anyway. The streaming box hasn’t made much of a change for itself ever since it made the jump to 4K and it hasn’t really needed to. It’s already the most capable and fastest streaming device on the market. While it certainly plays games already, those games are more mobile-friendly games from either the App Store of old or Apple Arcade, Apple’s game subscription service. However, it’s not yet powerful enough to run a AAA game like Assassin’s Creed or Death Stranding.

Gaming on iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max.
Gaming on iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max. Image source: Apple inc.

What we’re likely to get is an Apple TV 4K packed with an M-Series processor in order to be able to power AAA games on the big screen with the resolution and performance needed for those games. While it would also likely come with a price bump, this would finally close the loop and bring us the ability to play our AAA games across our iPhone, iPad, Mac, and now Apple TV.

If Apple can do that, I’ll seriously consider starting to buy my games through the App Store. Right now, buying a game on Xbox or PlayStation leaves you generally only able to play games on those consoles. Buying a game and being able to play across a phone, tablet, computer, and television would be such a leap forward, especially since most of us are just hoping for an Xbox or PlayStation handheld.

Apple smart home
The Apple TV 4K. Image source: Apple

Plus, most of us already have an iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV if we’re already dialed into the Apple ecosystem. Apple can really leverage that walled garden in this case. I wouldn’t mind saving hundreds of dollars on a console to play my games on a device I already own.

Of course, I wouldn’t even consider switching if doing so meant I couldn’t play my multiplayer games with my friends, so Apple is going to need to figure that out as well. Despite those kinds of hurdles, the company is making progress to really make a dent in the gaming universe, and I’m starting to get interested.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.