Launch of Apple's new, high-spec Apple TV box said to be 'imminent'

Mike Wheatley

A whole bunch of Apple TV-related upgrades are reported to be on the radar, with some sources mentioning the possibility of an upgraded Apple TV box and others suggesting new features and platforms coming to the Apple TV app.


The new Apple TV box was leaked by well-known Apple tipster @choco_bit, who tweeted that a release of the new hardware could be “imminent” and that it will offer a serious performance upgrade versus the last model, which debuted in 2017.

That’s a long wait for a hardware upgrade and so a performance boost is surely due anyhow, but @choco_bit said the main reason Apple is doing this is because of Apple Arcade, the company’s new video game streaming service. Apple apparently wants to bring more top titles to the service, and for that to happen the Apple TV hardware will need better specs to be able to run them.

As such, the new Apple TV box will be powered by Apple’s newest A12Z Bionic chip, which debuted in the 2020 iPad Pro. They will also feature an enhanced version of the Apple A14 Bionic chip, which powers the 2020 iPad Air 4 device.

@choco_bit said that future titles on Apple Arcade would be able to rival the Nintendo Switch game Breath of Wild in terms of scale and graphics. There’s also an original Apple Arcade controller in the works too, @choco_bit said. At present, Apple Arcade gamers have to make do with third-party controllers or their Xbox One or PS4 controllers, if they have one.

Moving on, several sources have suggested the Apple TV app could soon appear on PlayStation and Xbox games consoles, including the existing PS4 and Xbox One, and also the new PS5 and Xbox Series X when they’re launched just before Christmas.

Windows Central was the first to report the Apple TV app has already been made available to a pool of early testers on Xbox consoles, basing its story on a tweet from a certified Xbox Ambassador. 9To5Mac later reported that Apple is also working with Sony to bring the app to PlayStation consoles too.

Details are scarce but it’s safe to assume the Apple TV app on PlayStation and Xbox should offer the same content as Apple TV does on other devices, including access to services such as iTunes and the Apple TV+ video streaming service.

Apple TV was first made available on on Apple devices only, but in recent months the company has made a big push onto other platforms, including Smart TVs sold by LG Electronics and Samsung.

Windows Central said the Apple TV app could land on Xbox consoles in time for the Xbox Series X launch on November 10.

One last update that’s already said to be rolling out is 4K streaming on YouTube for Apple TV 4K. Apple reportedly laid the groundwork for YouTube 4K with its latest tvOS 14 update, which was launched two weeks ago. However the feature wasn’t available at launch, as it required cooperation from YouTube too, FlatPanels HD said.

Starting last week, it seems that YouTube is now rolling out that support. FlatPanels HD said that some Apple TV 4K users have already seen the 4K option on hardware running tvOS 14 and later updates, with several of them posting evidence of this on Reddit.

However, it appears to be a gradual update, as not every user can access YouTube in 4K at this time. It’s also notable that High Dynamic Range on YouTube on Apple TV 4K is also not supported at this time.