Apple Reveals Details of Apple TV+ & Arcade: Cost, Launch Dates, More

The long awaited Apple Arcade and Apple TV+ will launch this fall, but what are they? The technology giant seeks to compete with the likes of Netflix video and Steam gaming. After teasing the services since March, Apple finally revealed the release details at their 10th of September event, showing off flashy trailers for exclusive content. Read on to find out what these services are, how much they’ll cost, when they’ll release, and why you should be excited.

Related: Apple’s New Strategy: Services May Make Money, but They Won’t Create Fans

Apple TV+

What is it? A premium subscription service like Netflix that offers original Apple content through the Apple TV app. That's right, original content. Apple is getting into showbiz. Some of their content looks cool, too, such as a reboot of Amazing Stories by Stephen Spielberg, and a space race drama from the creators of Battlestar Galactica called For All Mankind.

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How much will it cost? $4.99 per month.

When will it launch? November 1 will see the release of select content, with new titles following every month.

Why are we excited? Buy an Apple device and you get a year’s subscription free. Nobody is thrilled at the idea of yet another streaming video subscription; but if Apple produces good content, they could attract viewers anyway, and the price is right. The year of free service to new users is a great hook to get started on. 

In a larger sense, the subscription television model has resulted in a stunning golden-age of episodic television, giving us Game of Thrones (HBO), Stranger Things (Netflix), Jack Ryan (Amazon), and countless more, for a combined price less than what we once paid for cable. So if one more streaming service produces one more stream of good content, maybe that’s $4.99 worth paying.

Apple Arcade

What is it? A unique subscription service built into the App store that gives subscribers unlimited access to a curated set of games for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. Something like Netflix but for video games: you pay a set fee per month in order to download and play any of the Apple Arcade games, with no further fees. 

How much will it cost? $4.99 per month. That’s it. No in-app purchases are allowed.

When will it launch? September 19 will see the new Arcade tab in the app store go live, offering access to 100 launch titles.

Why are we excited? The iPhone and iPad already sport nearly a million gaming apps, but far too many of those games make their money on microtransactions, nickel and diming players for more in-game items or just a little bit of an extra edge in play. Apple is gambling that folks will fork over $4.99 a month for a long list of good quality games that skip the hidden costs. Personally, I’m not sure it’s going to be the game changer Apple hopes, but I for one can get excited about the idea of sinking into a rich game that was designed without the constant incentive to advertise to me, putting the emphasis back on immersion, story, creative mechanics, and fun.

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Author Details

Cullen Thomas's picture

Author Details

Cullen Thomas

Cullen Thomas is a Writer and Producer at iPhone Life, creating tips and guides to help users unlock the full potential of their iOS and iPhone. In addition to writing countless tip-of-the-day articles and many detailed guides, Cullen has spent nine years as an instructor in media and communications at Maharishi University, lecturing on technical and artistic subjects ranging from camera and audio hardware to story-plotting to how to manage a film crew. Cullen answers questions daily about iPhones and iOS as part of the Ask an Editor insider service, and designs curriculum for iPhone Life’s online classes. As a frequent contributor to iPhone Life magazine and occasional guest on the iPhone Life podcast, Cullen likes to talk about security and privacy news, tech, gadgets, and apps, even if nobody asked.

Cullen holds a master’s degree in Cinematic Arts from the David Lynch School of Cinematic Arts. Cullen also holds two Bachelor’s degrees from Maharishi University, one in literature with an emphasis in writing and the other in Communications and Media. Cullen’s short fiction has been featured in anthologies from Amphibian Press and TANSTAAFL, and Cullen co-owns a game design company, Thoughtspike games, which builds thought-provoking puzzle games. Cullen is a sci-fi author, a coffee connoisseur, and an iPhone expert.