Why Apple Arcade Could Be the Future 'Big Thing' In Mobile Gaming

Viswamitra Jayavant - Aug 06, 2019


Why Apple Arcade Could Be the Future 'Big Thing' In Mobile Gaming

Apple's Arcade service is the company's entry into the new cloud gaming service industry, and it could potentially be just what mobile gamers are looking for.

When it was announced during Apple’s Special Event in March, Apple Arcade was one of the several new services that Apple planned to offer to its users. The goal of the Arcade was to create a selected, carefully curated library of games in the thousands that exist in the App Store. Apple Arcade could potentially be one of the best ideas Apple had ever thought up in their effort to grow their service business.

Apple Arcade: A Rundown

Apple-arcade
Apple Arcade is one of the several new services that Apple planned to offer to its users

Apple Arcade is going to be Apple’s most useful tool that drives its goal of bringing quality gaming to all of their devices, the iPhones, iPads, Macs, and of course, Apple TVs. Set up on top of the extremely rich and vibrant app ecosystem of the App Store, Apple has got plenty of opportunities to select out the gems of the ecosystem and bringing them to interested players and subscribers.

However, even though the service has just begun to take shape at Apple when it launches this Fall, the company will not be the only player on the market.

In fact, Apple’s primary competitors, Google and Microsoft, are already well on their way in fielding their own spins on cloud streaming. Google, with its Google Stadia project and Microsoft’s xCloud share the same objective with Apple Arcade in giving players the chance to enjoy console-grade games right on their smartphones.

To pitch the game even less in Apple Arcade’s favor, its competitions all have very intimate relationships with many of the biggest and most popular game developers in the world. Going first, in this case, is Microsoft, who has been part of the gaming industry for a long time with its Xbox consoles. Next is Stadia, though new, the company’s rapidly expanding its reach. And last, you have Apple trying to catch up.

Microsoft-Apple-arcade
Microsoft has been part of the gaming industry for a long time with its Xbox

The prospect doesn’t look promising for Apple at all, but there’s one key thing that Apple has against all of its competitors. The fact that the U.S. internet speed is quite spotty.

Connectivity Is A Weakness

Both Stadia and xCloud stream games and data back and forth between their servers and the users’ devices. Of course, if you want this to be a pleasant experience, you must have a very stable and speedy Internet connection. This is not something feasible for a big portion of the population, and it is downright a luxury. Apple Arcade, however, doesn’t require blazing fast Internet speed.

Apple described Arcade as a library of over 100 exclusive games. Meaning users will have to download these games directly onto their devices instead of having to stream them. This not only kills off any potential lags because of the faulty Internet, but it will also allow users to play offline without needing to be constantly connected. 

Stadia was launched November 14th last year, and Google admitted that to stream a game at 720p, users will need a connection of at least 10 Mbps, and 35 Mbps if they want to play in 4K. This is the speed that is beyond the realm of practicality for most people.

Google-Stadia-Apple-Arcade
Stadia was introduced November 14th last year

According to Akamai Technologies, their surveys found out that only a fifth of American households has access to 25 Mbps connection. The FCC also followed up with a report that as much as 24 million households don’t have access to speed faster than 25 Mbps.

Apple Arcade works in any types of connection, the only thing that matter is the lower the speed, the more it would take for a game to download. But once the process is done and over with, users can pick up any of their Apple devices and start gaming. That’s not something that can be said for Stadia or xCloud users.

Promising Future

If you own an iPhone - even though it is the most popular smartphone in the U.S, you won’t be able to game at all on Stadia (At least for the moment). Early adopters of the service will only be able to play on a Pixel 3 phone, a laptop loaded with Google Chrome or via a $53 Chromecast Ultra connected to a screen.

A third of the market share in the U.S. smartphone market is owned by Apple, and a quarter of the world’s sales in tablets belongs to the iPad. By cutting Apple’s devices out of the fold, Google willingly sacrificed a large chunk of users both domestic and abroad. Meanwhile, Apple will find this extremely advantageous when they rolled out lag-free gaming service to users.

Gettyimages 1132776858 Compressed

Apple attempts at services are received with quite lukewarm interests. In spite of that, there are a lot of potentials to be seen in Apple Arcade, especially when you take into account what its competitors are offering. Possibly in the future, when it comes to mobile gaming, you might think Apple Arcade’ first just like how a lot of people think ‘iPhone’ when someone mentions smartphones.

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