Some exclusive Apple Arcade games can actually be played on consoles

Apple Arcade
(Image credit: Apple)

When Apple got to the stage at WWDC 2019 and then its September iPhone 11 product event to show off Apple Arcade, one of the main draws to the subscription gaming platform was that the games would be exclusive to it. However, it turns out that's not actually true.

One of the main games shown off was Sayonara: Wild Hearts, but as detailed in the description on its launch trailer, the game is set to launch on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch as well as Apple Arcade.

Sayonara: Wild Hearts will release on all three platforms simultaneously (on the same day Apple Arcade launches), so not only is it not an exclusive, it's not even a timed exclusive. You'll be able to play it day one on a variety of platforms.

On Apple's press release announcing Apple Arcade's launch date, it makes mention of the 'over 100 new, exclusive games', so the initial pitch to customers clearly suggests you wouldn't be able to play games on other platforms, which is clearly not the case.

What Apple could have meant is that Apple Arcade games won't be available on other mobile platforms, and currently it seems that they won't be available to play on Android smartphones. But this could have been made a lot clearer, to avoid misleading customers who may have been tempted to purchase an Apple Arcade subscription.

It's also likely that some of the games are exclusives, and many of the releases haven't been detailed in enough information for us to know if they'll be out on other platforms or not.

The exclusivity of all the games on Apple Arcade was a major part of the sales pitch, as exclusivity is an important part of a game platform or service – that's why Epic Games Store is doing well, yet we're dubious about Google Stadia since it has too few exclusives announced.

TechRadar has reached out to Apple for comment on this story, and will update with any extra comment when we hear back.

Now that people are starting to notice Apple Arcade's exclusive games aren't actually exclusive, it may put people off paying money for the service.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.