A lot has changed within Apple over the past ten years, but one of the most notable differences is how virtually everything about their upcoming conferences is slowly leaked out in advance. I guess this is a consequence of both their monolithic stature in the technology sector and world at large, as well as an ironic after-effect of how devices such as the iPhone have opened up how connected and informed the general public is in the present day. Anyway, you've likely read an abundance of speculative posts over the past few days, but one in particular has piqued the interest of the iOS gamer within. On the eve of Apple's big iPhone 8 reveal event tomorrow, analysis of firmware files has suggested a 4K Apple TV with the same internals as the recent iPad Pro models is set to debut soon, in a direct attempt to compete with the likes of the Nintendo Switch.

While the Apple TV was a great concept, the lack of developer support and slightly underwhelming specifications means the company's vision of the device challenging the big boys in the console gaming market did not become a reality. However, if the rumors of the A10X Fusion chip alongside 3GB of RAM are true, the Apple TV will be capable of running the most demanding iOS titles with ease. There currently are not any games that truly pushes the new iPad Pro tablets to their limits, and so in terms of both current capabilities and future proofing, an Apple TV with such capable innards would be a huge step in the right direction. If Apple can capitalise on the synergy and ease of use that the Switch has underlined so well with its handheld/console hybrid design through utilising the capabilities this new powerful Apple TV could emulate, the initial lofty dreams of the device staking a claim in the console market could draw ever closer.

Of course, these are just rumors, and the A10X Fusion chip may just be to facilitate the 4K video playback features that the latest Apple TV will need to function effectively with the latest range of iPhones. There is also the requirement for far more substantial support for the Apple TV, irrespective of however menacing the specs may be - it's impossible to gauge from firmware files whether Apple will put more effort into this direction, but with iOS 11 promising to shake up the very fabric of the App Store (for better or for worse), the future of iOS gaming could be even brighter. Be sure to keep an eye on TouchArcade tomorrow for breaking Apple hardware news, and for more introspective looks into how the upcoming devices could have an impact on mobile gaming as we know it.

[via @stroughtonsmith]

  • baconcow

    Why does this story say it will have the A10X Fusion when the Tweet states the A10 Fusion. This is not the chip from the iPad Pro. This is the chip from the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

  • baconcow

    This story should include his Tweeted addition that he meant the A10X since it states 3 cores. The Tweet shown here states A10.

    • http://www.twitter.com/robfunnell3 Rob Funnell

      Click on it and you can see his reply. Had the dilemma over the details vs the quick addition for which one I embedded :'(

  • dancj

    Now Apple has blown the previous generation, in not sure there's anything that could make the Apple TV a major player at this point.

    • http://wizodd.tumblr.com Wizard of Odyssey

      That's so depressingly true. They would need a partnership with a big games company, and I don't see that happening.

  • curtisrshideler

    If this let's me play Infinity Blade 3 (and similar mobile-only titles, even FFXVPE) on my huge TV, I'd probably spring for one of these before getting a Switch.

    • kjpmacdonald

      This is a good point. Apple could/could have easily worked on pushing more universal versions of existing games

    • nomstar

      I can't recommend the Switch enough, it has completely replaced the portable gaming I used to do on my phone and ipad. The only thing I use my ipad for these days is to play some Hearthstone every now and then, usually just when I'm dropping the kids off at the pool.

  • kjpmacdonald

    To be honest, the last generation of TV was surprisingly good. Real Racing and Oceanhorn run great. NBA2k16 ran on it and was pretty good, better than AirPlaying 2K17.

    I'd say the biggest reason they haven't grown is that there are so few appealing games moreso than the hardware limitations.

    • DanCJ

      Maybe if Apple had included a controller as standard and then got some high profile console developers to put some big games on the device, it would have made the difference - but they always plugged it as a media streamer first and a gaming device second.

  • G.R.

    The problem is who is this for? The App Store is full of half assed time wasters and very few console like experiences. The console gamers will get a real console with games developers actually put time into and the other people are content with their time wasters on their phone or iPad. It's a cool concept I guess but the content isn't there to justify getting one of these.

    • crazychimp

      This

  • Doby Gillis

    For all their exclusive titles, and all the promotion they do about what iphones, ipads etc can do gaming wise, their interest in gaming never rises above the level of a slogan.

    Apple really had a chance to innovate the gaming market and to turn it on its ear, and we all thought they would do so..any day now. Any day now turned into maybe next update. When they implemented metal, I thought, well here it comes, finally.

    I haven't been iOS user in many years, but I still have an interest in what Apple does, and the fact they let gaming slip through their fingers is just sad.

  • bhy_kim

    The answer is nothing.

  • Duane Locsin

    Nothing wrong with Apple hardware, bringing to the console market 600,00+ F2P/P4F/FREEMIUM worth of sh&t games is and millions of non gamers.

    "The entry for gaming has been lowered"......but then so has the quality.

    As a mobile gamer I think the App Store being flooded with factually, objectively loads of non games is ireedemable at this point, and if Apple thinks any of that will impress console gamers, then Apple may as well just call the Apple TV - Pippin II.

    The hard rule of the game is games first (good games appropriate for the market), hardware secondary.

    I appreciate Apple hardware, but as a gamer (that also play a lot on my iPad) I am not impressed and I see no demonstration from Apple that will make me leave the pc/console space in the living room.