Apple just kicked off its WWDC developer conference a couple of minutes ago, and the company announced some big news for tvOS, the software platforms that powers the company’s Apple TV devices. Indeed, the next major update to tvOS will introduce support for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 controllers, which are the two most popular Bluetooth controllers in the market.
Until now, tvOS only supported controllers that are part of Apple’s Made for iPhone (MFi) program. Gaming on the Apple TV never really took over the years because the set top boxes don’t ship with a built-in controller, and many tvOS games are also optimized for the Apple TV remote and not MFi controllers. This could all change with Apple TV owners now being able to connect Xbox One and PS4 controllers via Bluetooth.
This wasn’t mentioned during Apple’s WWDC opening keynote, but iOS 13 will also bring support for the Xbox One Wireless controller on iPhones and iPads later this year.
ICYMI: @Apple announced at WWDC today that Xbox Controllers with Bluetooth will be supported on the next versions of tvOS and iOS. Thrilled to bring the award-winning controller to more gamers later this year. 🎮📺📱
— 🅻🅰🆁🆁🆈 ☁ 🅷🆁🆈🅱 (@majornelson) June 3, 2019
Apple is also gearing up to launch its Arcade game subscription service later this Fall, which will be available on tvOS, iOS, and macOS. Obviously, Apple really needed to support the most popular wireless controllers on its Apple TV if it ever wants to be taken seriously as a gaming company, and we’re glad the company finally did it. That’s still a bit late, and we reported last year that Microsoft had to remove Minecraft on the Apple TV due to low usage.
Updated June 4: Microsoft has since confirmed that iOS13 will also bring support for the Xbox Wireless controller on iOS devices, and we’ve updated our post to reflect that.