The new Apple TV update is good for gamers, but new hardware would be better Apple TV 4K

It was an announcement-packed WWDC as always this year, but those of us looking for confirmation of a new Apple TV 4K model – recently rumored to be on the cusp of release – went away disappointed.

Apple TV only really gained some credibility in the gaming area with the launch of Apple Arcade last year – a monthly subscription service to games running on iOS. It’s mostly indie games and titles for mobile / iPad, but it does give Apple TV owners a better reason to be gaming on their streaming hardware.

There were a few new gaming-related features announced for existing Apple TV models, though, including a quick resume function for speedily popping back into your game sessions where you left off. It’s a feature already available on the PS4 and Xbox One, while the next-gen PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles are set to banish long loading times with their improved power and storage solutions – but it’s still a boon to see it on Apple TV at all.

We also got support for the Xbox Elite Series 2 (a high-end and highly customizable Xbox One controller) and Xbox Adaptive Controller (an accessible Xbox One controller designed for those with disabilities) – adding on from the support of the DualShock 4 and Xbox One gamepads introduced in tvOS 13.

It’s clear that Apple is making big gestures towards its own hardware as a place for all gamers, though the current processor sitting in the Apple TV 4K is holding things back somewhat.

Processing…

The current-gen Apple TV 4K launched back in 2017 and has been the flagship Apple TV model since. It’s certainly due an upgrade, and chatter around a new A12X Bionic processor – the chip used in the iPad Pro 12.9 and iPad Pro 11 tablets released in 2018 – had us excited that we’d get to replace the A10X Fusion chip used in the current-gen Apple TV 4K (and in 2017’s iPad Pro devices).

Specifically, Apple claims the eight-core A12X Bionic ups performance by 90% compared to the A10X Fusion, with “twice the graphics performance” too:

“Built on industry-leading seven-nanometer technology, the powerful eight-core A12X Bionic features four performance cores and four efficiency cores for up to 35 percent faster single-core performance and a new performance controller for simultaneous use of all eight cores for an up to 90 percent boost during multi-threaded tasks. A seven-core, Apple-designed GPU delivers up to twice the graphics performance.”

Signs so far point to a new hardware model still being on the horizon, so Apple TV-minded gamers may get the device they’re after – likely around September – but until then, there are plenty of non-Apple game consoles to be enjoying.

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