A few days ago, we spoke about some of the highlights of the Apple September event. One such highlight was Apple’s entrance to the world of cloud gaming. Simply called Apple Arcade, the premise is simple: for a low price of $4.99, iOS users would get access to over 100 new and exclusive games. Apple Arcade is also live. That is if you’re an iOS 13 beta tester.
Apple Arcade is actually supposed to launch on the 19th of September. But a number of people on the public beta of iOS 13 have reported that the service is up and running for them. Subscriptions appear to be processing along with Apple’s one-month free trial as well. Currently, around 50 titles are available and can be downloaded and played immediately.
So rather than it being an accident or a leak, it appears that Apple is actually aware of the situation. They’ve also no made a comment about it yet.
Similar to how Google Stadia operates, Apple Arcade also works across iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV, and Mac computers. So you can play a game on one device, and pick up where you left off on another device with no interruptions. The interesting this about Apple Arcade is the fact that all game add-ons and updates are covered in the subscription fee. This means you don’t have to spend again on DLCs and additional content for your favorite games. There are also no ads and the subscription also covers up to six family members which you can control.
Speaking of control, Apple’s tvOS will have support for third-party controllers. These include the PS4’s DualShock and Xbox One S controllers. In addition, iOS 13 will also support these controllers. So by extension, Apple Arcade will also have support for these controllers. This means that Apple has one-upped Google Stadia where the latter requires you to purchase a separate controller.
How do I sign up for Apple Arcade?
Well, that’s a fairly straightforward process. You first need to head over to Apple’s public beta software page and sign in. Once you sign in, click on the iOS tab and follow the prompts to add your iOS device to the beta program. Once you’ve installed the iOS beta, head to the Apple App Store, and click the Arcade tab.
If your device is ready to sign up for Apple Arcade, then you will have the option to sign up for it. If it is not available, then you will have to wait until the 19th of September, just like everyone else. Also, do remember that signing up for the iOS 13 Beta may require you to wipe your device. If so, then you might lose all your data. Also, as it’s a beta, there may be a few bugs that need to be ironed out. But since iOS 13 officially launches on the 19th as well, you’re actually better off just waiting for the official release.
In terms of the games themselves, Apple Arcade will feature games from companies such as Cartoon Network, Konami, Lego, Sega and a few others. Apple would also be getting into the game development business and contribute to the development cost of games that are coming to Apple Arcade.
Google Stadia vs Apple Arcade: Which one should I pick?
Well, that’s not a decision for us to make. Each service has its pros and cons. For example, while Google Stadia can run on pretty much anything that has an internet connection and Google Chrome browser, it also requires you to pay for both the subscription as well as the price of the individual game itself. On the other hand, while Apple Arcade is just $4.99 per month it has 100 exclusive games to start.
But Google Stadia, on the other hand, promises both a mix of exclusive titles as well as general games too. Then there’s also the fact that you need an Apple device for Apple Arcade whereas Google Stadia can run on just about anything.
So all in all, both Apple Arcade and Google Stadia give us new ways to kick back and enjoy some games with friends and family. As for how well each service performs, well, we’ll just have to wait and see. Apple Arcade launched on September 19th, whereas Google Stadia launches in November for the Founders Edition and 2020 for the free edition.