The next Apple TV box could get a serious performance upgrade

Apple TV 4K
(Image credit: Future)

We've not had a new Apple TV box since 2017, but it appears that a new model could be imminent – and the rumors are that it's going to come packing quite the performance upgrade when it finally does break cover.

Apple tipster @choco_bit has revealed on Twitter that new Apple TV models will come featuring the Apple A12Z Bionic chip (currently powering the 2020 iPad Pros) and an enhanced version of the Apple A14 Bionic chip (currently powering the 2020 iPad Air 4).

The reason for this significant boost in processor power is Apple Arcade: Apple is apparently keen to push more flagship games out to the service, and when that does happen the Apple TV is going to need higher-specced internals in order to run them.

As also pointed out by @choco_bit – a relatively new source of leaks, but one with a growing reputation – some games coming to Apple Arcade will require the A13 Bionic chip or higher in order to run (that's the processor inside the iPhone 11).

A new controller too

The same online tipster suggests that future titles on the Apple Arcade platform could rival Nintendo's Breath of the Wild in terms of graphics and scale. As the Nintendo Switch has been a hugely popular portable console, it would be no surprise if Apple decided to try and follow its lead.

A new controller is in the works too, apparently – you can buy third-party gamepads for the Apple TV, or even use your Xbox One or PS4 controllers, but at the moment there isn't an official option from Apple (unless you count the Siri Remote).

As far back as May we heard that a new Apple TV model was ready to go, although leaks from other sources have suggested that an updated box with new processors isn't going to be launched until 2021. When it does appear it might come with 6GB of RAM, double the amount in the current box.

While we wait for the Apple TV hardware to get updated, Apple has now rolled out the tvOS 14 update to existing boxes: the software upgrade brings with it a quick resume feature for games, as well as improvements to picture-in-picture and HomeKit support.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.