The battle of the streaming services looks to continue from now until the end of time, or at least that’s what it feels like, as we get new weekly announcements about one corporate giant streaming service or another. Today, it was back to being Apple‘s turn, as there was another one of those buzz-worthy Apple keynote presentations to announce new products. Apple used that opportunity to share more information about both its Apple TV+ streaming service and its gaming network, Apple Arcade.
The last one of these keynotes was in June when some information about the streaming service and gaming network was shared. Lots of talent was trotted out to talk about the upcoming series and movie plans, although no date or price was set for either at that time.
It was announced today that Apple TV+ will debut on November 1 at a price of $4.99 a month with a 7-day free trial, and it will be available on the Apple TV app for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and of course, Apple TV. There currently isn’t an Apple TV app for the Mac OS but that will be available with the upcoming OS X Catalina upgrade. One can also subscribe to watch on tv.apple.com in most web browsers regardless of make or model of computer. Anyone who buys an Apple product starting today will receive a year of Apple TV+, a nearly $60 value, for free.
Gamers won’t have to wait as long for Apple Arcade, as that will launch for iOS on September 19 with a slew of games at the price of $4.99 a month for unlimited access. While the subscription service will offer hundreds of new and exclusive games across all Apple platforms including iOS, iPad, Apple TV and Mac, it will only be available on the 19th as part of the new iOS 13 for iPhone and IPod. iPad and Apple TV users will have to wait until Sept. 30 for updates to those systems, while Mac users will also have to wait for the OS X Catalina upgrade in October.
Some of the games of note include:
Steven Universe: Unleash the Light is an original Cartoon Network game, co-written by Rebecca Sugar, where players pick their favorite characters, choose which Gems are in their party, unlock awesome new abilities and equip alternate costumes in the ultimate mobile role-playing game (RPG).
And the post-apocalyptic road trip adventure, Overland:
Overland, from Finji, is a post-apocalyptic road trip adventure where players fight dangerous creatures, rescue stranded travelers and scavenge for supplies to survive.
Plus the rest…
Ballistic Baseball, from Gameloft, is an action-packed arcade baseball game that captures the intense battle between pitcher and batter in live head-to-head multiplayer matches.
ChuChu Rocket! Universe explodes as Sega launches the beloved ChuChus into a universe of strange and wonderful planets with over 100 mind-bending puzzles.
In Exit the Gungeon from Devolver, players must escape a collapsing hell dungeon as increasingly perilous obstacles and opponents stand in their way.
PAC-MAN PARTY ROYALE, from Bandai Namco, is a brand-new arcade experience featuring a four-player Battle Mode where the last PAC-MAN standing wins.
In Projection: First Light from Blowfish, players follow the adventures of Greta, a girl living in a mythological shadow puppet world as she embarks on a journey of self-enlightenment, helped by legendary heroes from ancient cultures along the way.
In Rayman Mini from Ubisoft, Rayman has been reduced to the size of an ant! Players use insects, mushrooms and plants to run through the world as quickly as possible or try over and over again to achieve the perfect score.
In Shantae and the Seven Sirens from WayForward, players explore a vast sunken city and battle the Seven Sirens in the Half-Genie’s most thrilling adventure yet.
Skate City, from Snowman, brings the heart and soul of street skating to life with multi-touch controls as city streets become the ultimate skater playground.
In Sneaky Sasquatch from RAC7, players live the life of a Sasquatch and do regular, everyday Sasquatch stuff like sneaking around in disguise, raiding coolers and picnic baskets, playing golf and more.
Super Impossible Road, from Rogue Games, is a futuristic, high-speed racing game where players master hairpin turns on courses that twist and coil over beautiful galactic backdrops.
The Bradwell Conspiracy, from Bossa, is a beautifully stylized conspiracy adventure thriller with a humorous twist.
In The Enchanted World From Noodlecake, players help a young fairy piece together a magical world torn apart by dark forces.
Various Daylife, from Square Enix, is a brand-new RPG from the creators of Bravely Default and Octopath Traveler. In the year 211 of the Imperial Era, players explore a newly-discovered continent while living life to the fullest in the city of Erebia.
The announcement from Apple also confirmed what will be available to watch on Apple TV+ from Day 1 of launch, including the sci-fi drama See, starring Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard, which is “set 600 years in the future after a virus has decimated humankind and rendered the remaining population blind. When all humanity has lost the sense of sight, humans must adapt and find new ways to survive.” That seems to be the most sci-fi genre of the initial line-up, although we do know that Steven Spielberg is involved with relaunching Amazing Stories on the new streaming service sometime in the future.
The previously-mentioned drama The Morning Show, starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell, set in the world of morning news, was already known to be ready for the launch with a trailer released a few weeks back. At that time, it was thought that the service would cost $9.99 a month, but obviously, the number crunchers at Apple figured out a way to cut that monthly cost, possibly to compete with Disney+, which announced a $6.99 a month price point less than a week later.
Battlestar Galactica creator Ronald D. Moore‘s new show For All Mankind will also be on Apple TV+ plus at launch, exploring “what would have happened if the global space race never ended and the space program remained the cultural centerpiece of America’s hopes and dreams.”
I also figured that the Emily Dickinson drama Dickinson, starring Hailee Steinfeld — currently in talks to play Kate Bishop on the competing Disney+’s Hawkeye — should be ready for launch, because an episode of it is premiering at this weekend’s Tribeca TV Festival.
Other original series and movies planned for launch include:
- Helpsters, a new children’s series from the makers of Sesame Street, stars Cody and a team of vibrant monsters who love to help solve problems. It all starts with a plan.
- Snoopy in Space, a new original from Peanuts Worldwide and DHX Media, takes viewers on a journey with Snoopy as he follows his dreams to become an astronaut. Together, Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the Peanuts crew take command of the International Space Station and explore the moon and beyond.
- Ghostwriter, a reinvention of the beloved original series, follows four kids who are brought together by a mysterious ghost in a neighborhood bookstore, and must team up to release fictional characters from works of literature.
- The Elephant Queen, an acclaimed documentary film and cinematic love letter to a species on the verge of extinction, follows a majestic matriarch elephant and her herd on an epic journey of life, loss and homecoming, and also…
“Oprah Winfrey joins the world’s most compelling authors in conversation as she builds a vibrant, global book club community and other projects to connect with people around the world and share meaningful ways to create positive change.”
You can read about some of the other series and films that will added to the Apple TV+ app each month over at Apple.
I’m not a huge gamer, but as of now, Apple Arcade seems like a much better deal of what you’re getting for the price. If you consider how much a single XBox or Playstation game costs, and then compare it to how much you’re getting at launch with unlimited access for $4.99 a month? That seems like Apple’s better be at bringing in more money beyond its hardware products.