Apple announced its gaming-focused subscription service Apple Arcade back in March, revealing some of the details about the kind of gaming experience it wants to offer its customers. At the time, however, Apple hasn’t told the audience how much the service will cost and when it’ll launch. But with a few weeks to go until Apple’s mid-September iPhone 11 event, Apple Arcade is already in testing with Apple employees.
There’s no better time to launch Apple Arcade than alongside new iOS hardware such as the new iPhone 11 phones that will be available in stores by the end of next month. The same probably goes for the Apple TV+ streaming service that, although we have no new developments on that front.
What we do have is a description of how Apple Arcade works, as well as a few screenshots that 9to5Mac got to see before the upcoming press event.
The internal early access program for Apple Arcade allows employees to sign up for the service for $0.49 a months after the one-month free trial. Moreover, the testing program notes that it’ll end with the launch of iOS 13. That should happen after the iPhone 11 event, which is usually how Apple handles new iOS releases. iOS 13 will also come preloaded on the iPhone 11 phones.
That price, however, isn’t likely to be what regular users see when Apple Arcade launches on iPhone, macOS and Apple TV. But that free trial month will be offered, according to the report:
After the subscription is confirmed and the trial starts, a new page shows up with featured games. To download a game, it’s as easy as clicking the “Get” button, just like downloading a free app or game from the App Store. The game’s product highlights a big artwork with a small section for the game’s title and tagline, with the download button easily accessible. Scrolling down reveals a bar with information such as the age rating, category, and size of the game, the rest of the page is similar to any regular App Store product page.
The screenshots above were taken on a Mac, with the early testing program taking place on the Mac App Store in this instance. The same setup process and game library will probably be available on iOS devices.
Apple is widely expected to unveil the iPhone 11 series on September 10th, although the company is yet to confirm the rumored launch date.