Home / Technology / Apple Arcade runs on large screens with Apple TV, but it's not a Nintendo Switch

Apple Arcade runs on large screens with Apple TV, but it's not a Nintendo Switch


Apple Arcade works on a TV through Apple TV, but does not replace your Xbox, PlayStation, or Switch.

Sarah Tew / CNET

One of Apple's Big Appeals for Apple Arcade is the ability to play games wherever you are. A $ 4.99 per month subscription opens a Play Library that you can play on your iPhone on the train, on your iPad in bed, on your MacBook in the coffee shop or on your couch at home with Apple TV .

The pitch is somewhat reminiscent of the original (not Lite ) Nintendo Switch which allows you to play the same games at home or on TV. While Switch uses the same hardware for both, arcade games can be played on mobile devices (iPhone and iPad) and home devices (Apple TV) with the ability to start on one screen and continue on another.

After playing around with the mobile versions Of the games I was curious to see how they translated to the screen. Recently, I spent a few days testing a variety of arcade titles on an Apple TV 4K and a 55-inch 4K TV mainly with the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One ] controls. In short, Apple Arcade does not work as well in the living room as it does on the go, though it's promising.


Currently running:

Apple Arcade is changing video games for $ 5 a month


The good


Similar to the iPhone, arcade games appear on the Apple TV in addition to other apps. [19659003] Sarah Tew / CNET

I suspect that many, if not all, of Arcade's original titles were first developed for the millions of potential iPhone and iPad players, not for the much smaller numbers of people who own an Apple TV. In my experience, they generally play great on mobile devices.

In some cases, these games also work on television. Especially racing games like Sonic Racing and Super Impossible Road looked great on the Apple TV 4K, and I enjoyed playing them with an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 controller.

Pairing these controllers with the Apple TV is also incredibly easy. Go to Settings and then Bluetooth. A quick guide is provided to help you pair each type of controller. For the Xbox One, this means you have the main Xbox button and the Connect button at the top, or the Share button and the PlayStation button on the PS4 remote. You can also pair other MFi-certified controllers, also called "made for iPhone".

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Sarah Tew / CNET

Apple's software automatically assigns the right joysticks and buttons for each game, with the controls in the game adapting to suit your device. You can even use the Xbox or PlayStation controllers to navigate the normal Apple TV interface. You can also connect Xbox or PlayStation controllers to an iPhone or iPad .

Of course you can also use Apple's own Apple TV remote for games, but this experience was not played particularly well in the games I. For example, in the Super Impossible Road, controlling the ball with the Apple TV remote control was much more difficult than using an Xbox One controller. Same for Sonic Racing.

The load times were mostly pretty fast as well as the download times.

The Evil

Although Apple Arcade has a lot to offer on Apple TV, those hoping for the new update will be disappointed if they turn Apple TV into a miniature Xbox, PlayStation, or Switch.

During my few days of testing, I encountered a number of strange problems. While profiles are a nice new TVOS feature Apple TV had problems recognizing that my profile – a guardian, but not the family member organization I own – had access to Apple Arcade.


Profiles on Apple TV are a nice addition, but they've caused me some complications with Arcade. [19659003] Sarah Tew / CNET

There were no such issues when using an iPhone XS Max and an iPhone XR. On Apple TV, I had to sign in with the organizer account to gain access. The system required you to buy another Apple Arcade subscription directly from my "Guardian" account to play, even though both accounts are part of it. "Family Sharing."

I also had problems getting game continuity up and running, which could be related to the odd account problems I had.

Downloading games itself occasionally slowed the speed of Apple TV 4K while the game was downloaded and installed.

And while the PlayStation 4 controller immediately shut down when Apple TV went into sleep mode, the Xbox One remote went back into "search mode" so I sometimes had to pair it with Apple TV again.

It is unclear what caused these problems. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

Still to be edited: Games

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