Apple is bringing support for the Sony PS4 DualShock 4 wireless controller and the Xbox One S controller to its Apple TV hardware. That means you'll no longer have to rely on the Siri remote to play games like Shadowgun Legends, Tiny Wings TV, Asphalt 8: Airborne, Inside, Sonic The Hedgehog, and more.
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The ability to pair your console controller with the Apple TV will ship as part of the next major operating system for the hardware, dubbed tvOS 13. Provided Apple sticks with its typical launch schedule, the update will land in September.
The feature, which requires a fourth or fifth generation Apple TV, should make the forthcoming Apple Arcade game streaming service much, much more appealing. The ability to play with a bona fide console controller – that you likely already own, or can ask friends to bring round for multi-player spats on the TV – should ensure the subscription service appeals to more than just casual gamers.
Apple Arcade was announced back in March alongside the new Apple TV+ and Apple News+ subscription services. The games subscription service features over 100 new and exclusive titles, including original releases from renowned creators Hironobu Sakaguchi, Ken Wong, Will Wright and dozens more. Apple Arcade lets players access any game from its handpicked collection of titles – with a guarantee than all of the 100 games have no ads, ad tracking or additional purchases.
Apple Arcade launches sometime in autumn 2019 in more than 150 countries from a new tab on the App Store across iOS, macOS and tvOS.
Gaming aside, tvOS 13 also includes new 4K HDR screensavers. Filmed in collaboration with the BBC Natural History Unit – the team behind “Blue Planet,” these new high-resolution videos were shot at the depths of oceans around the world to showcase creatures and scenes whenever you've walked away from the TV.
tvOS 134 also brings a new Apple TV Control Centre that makes it easy to switch between family members, so everyone gets their own personalised recommendations around TV shows, movies, and music. So, Apple TV won't fill your recommendations with thrilling new instalments of Peppa Pig each and every time your little one gets their paws on the remote. Apple Music takes advantage of this new multi-user support too, so everyone can easily play their personalised playlists and recommendations brought over from their own Mac or iPhone (or both).
In the new Control Centre, users can quickly access the song that is currently playing. In addition, users can now follow along to lyrics timed in sync with the track – perfect for an impromptu karaoke session.
The overhauled Control Centre interface also provides users with quick access to key Apple TV features, including system sleep and audio options.
tvOS 13 will be available as a free software update for Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD sometime in autumn. Provided that Apple sticks with the same launch schedule it has used in previous years, we'll likely see tvOS 13 drop around the same time as iOS 13 and watchOS 6.