So much for Apple Arcade on my Apple TV — Xbox is coming to Fire TV

Xbox Cloud Gaming running on an Amazon Fire TV Stick
(Image credit: Amazon)

I'm definitely a more traditional gamer. I've been playing on Xbox since the original launched and have more recently also dove into the worlds of PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch. Okay, so I guess I'm more of a traditional CONSOLE gamer.

With that in mind, I've been really excited to see what Apple has been doing lately with gaming. From launching AAA titles like Assassin's Creed and Death Stranding on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac to bringing its Apple Arcade service to Apple TV, the company has been more into gaming than it's ever been.

However, playing Apple Arcade on Apple TV isn't anything like playing a AAA game on my Xbox Series X. Apple Arcade is certainly packed with plenty of games, but all of the games are more casual in both graphics and complexity. You're not going to find anything like Call of Duty running on an Apple TV right now.

Goodbye Apple TV, hello Fire TV

While my Xbox Series X is hooked up to the television in my living room, I wasn't about to buy a Series S to hook up to my bedroom TV. So, I've been playing Apple Arcade on my Apple TV.

That's probably about to change. Xbox has announced that it is partnering up with Amazon to launch the Xbox Cloud Gaming app on the $49.99 Fire TV Stick 4K and the $59.99 Fire TV Stick 4k Max in July. Now, if you have a compatible Fire TV Stick, a Bluetooth controller, and an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription ($16.99 per month), you can stream your games to any television hooked up with a decent enough internet connection — no console required.

Xbox Cloud Gaming running on an Amazon Fire TV Stick

(Image credit: Xbox)

As someone who has been a Game Pass subscriber for years now and who held off dropping hundreds of dollars to hook up a Series S to my bedroom TV, this is the announcement I've been waiting for. I was jealous when Xbox Cloud Gaming to select Samsung TVs...because I have Sony TVs, and I know Sony isn't about to put Xbox on its TVs directly (cough, PlayStation).

Knowing that all I have to do now is to buy a $50 streaming stick and pop it into the back of my bedroom to access all of the games in Xbox Cloud Gaming while I'm relaxing in bed? You've sold me, Xbox. Apple Arcade on my Apple TV is about to gather a heck of a lot of dust.

Of course, all of this hinges on Xbox Cloud Gaming running on the Fire TV Sticks well. If it's buggy or laggy, I'll be returning the Fire TV and going back to waiting for a solution that works. However, I've tried Cloud Gaming on my laptop and phone before and have been pretty happy with the performance, so I have a feeling this one is going to stick...see what I did there?

A future Apple TV 4K could make this more interesting

While AAA gaming hasn't come to the Apple TV yet and set up Xbox to steal me away, there is a pretty good reason. Right now, AAA games running on Apple devices currently require the performance of the  A17 Pro currently powering the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max or an M-Series processor currently powering the latest Macs, iPad Airs, and iPad Pros.

The hardware and interface for Apple TV 4K in 2022.

(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future)

Apple could always release a new generation of the Apple TV 4K that is powerful enough to bring AAA games to the set-top box. That said, rumors of such a thing are incredibly scarce and Apple basically forgot tvOS existed at WWDC 2024 this year, so things aren't looking promising right now.

So, I think I'm going to have to make my way over to Amazon to buy a Fire TV and enjoy my games through Xbox Cloud Gaming for now. Apple Arcade games will have to stick to my iPhone which, honestly, is where most of them belong anyway.

Fire TV Stick 4K | $49 $39 off at Amazon

Fire TV Stick 4K | $49 $39 off at Amazon

Get a Fire TV Stick 4K for just $40, now featuring support for Xbox Cloud Gaming, so you can stream any GamePass title without any additional hardware. 

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Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.