New versions of operating systems are usually about slick interfaces and improved performance, but that’s not what Apple was flogging about macOS Catalina upon its release Monday.
One of the hot new additions in the OS is Apple Arcade, a game subscription service featuring a batch of new, exclusive games.
Also bolstering macOS Catalina’s entertainment chops are new versions of Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV apps.
The company paved the way for emphasis on services over other features at its annual shindig for developers in June.
“It mirrors what we saw at the WWDC where these products were announced,” said Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research, a consumer technology advisory firm in New York City.
Arcade, available for a monthly subscription fee of US$4.99, could be an attractive offering for Mac users. “It’s a big shot in the arm for Mac games, which hasn’t been a traditional strength of the platform,” Ankit told technbizz.
Games in Arcade can be played across devices, so a game started on a Mac can be continued later on an iPhone or iPad.
On a Mac, games can be played with a keyboard and mouse, or even with some popular game controllers — like Xbox Wireless Controllers with Bluetooth, and PlayStation DualShock 4.
Subscribers to arcade get a full version of every game, including all updates and expansions, without any ads or additional in-game purchases. Games can be downloaded from the Mac App Store’s brand-new Arcade tab.
The service is launching with a 30-day free trial, and a single subscription includes access for up to six family members. The full catalog of 100 games will be available in the weeks ahead, with more games to come every month.