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Last month a report surfaced that Apple could be bringing its Apple TV app to the Xbox, and while we have yet to receive any official confirmation of that from either Apple or Microsoft, a new announcement from Sony suggests that Apple is not only continuing its embrace and extend the strategy to bring its TV+ service to all of the leading game consoles, but that Sony might actually beat Microsoft to the punch.
According to an official post on the PlayStation blog, Apple TV+ will be joining the usual collection of other streaming services that will be landing on Sony’s new PS5 right out of the launch gate — a list that of course includes Netflix and YouTube as well as Disney+, Spotify, Crunchyroll and Twitch.
What’s particularly notable about this development, however, is that Apple TV+ is among the front runners to come to the PS5; while others like Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Peacock will eventually arrive on the console as well, they’re not going to be available at launch, so Apple TV+ is rolling out alongside some pretty heady company.
As the announcement notes, the Apple TV app will not only provide access to the Apple TV+ streaming service, but as with other platforms users will also be able to subscribe to Apple TV Channels, buy or rent movies and TV shows from the iTunes Store, and access past purchases.
Coming to PS4 Too
It’s not just the new PS5 that will be gaining the Apple TV app either. Sony notes that it will also be available on the PS4, and although it hasn’t shared a timeline for when that might happen, we’d expect it to be sooner rather than later.
That said, it sounds like the PS5 will still have some advantages, as Sony is looking to move it in the direction of being a more full-featured media console rather than merely a game console, acknowledging what has been at the root of the box since the PS3 became the de facto best Blu-ray player you could buy over a decade ago, thanks to Sony’s extremely frequent firmware updates to guarantee compatibility with the latest media.
With the PS5, however, Sony is going a big step further. Firstly, a new section in the user interface devoted to media entertainment will basically allowing the PS5 to be used in a media-centric or game-centric way, switching between both modes quickly.
Further, Sony is also offering a new Media Remote that will be targeted to those who want to use their PS5 as a prime time entertainment device, allowing for quick navigation of the media experience in a way similar to other digital set-top boxes, including powering up the PS5 console and even controlling volume and power on compatible TVs (presumably those with HDMI-CEC support).
Early images of the media remote simply showed four blank pads at the bottom, but from this week’s post we can now see that these will actually be dedicated buttons for calling up Disney+, Netflix, Spotify, and YouTube — although it probably shouldn’t come as a big surprise that there’s no Apple TV+ button.
In light of Spotify integration, it’s also perhaps conspicuous that the PS5 won’t be adding support for Apple Music, although it’s certainly possible this is something that could appear later on. Meanwhile, PS5 users will still be able to enjoy Apple’s new MTV-style Apple Music TV service.
While Apple Music came to Samsung Smart TVs earlier this year, that seems to be the exception rather than the rule when it comes to television platforms; Apple has been much more assertive in bringing Apple Music to smart speakers and even some very high-end cars.
The Apple TV app is expected to be available out of the box with the PS5 when it launches on November 12th.