Apple Arcade’s cheap price will attract even non-gamers

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Apple Arcade
Apple Arcade will allow the same games to be played on iPhone, Mac, iPad or TVs.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s upcoming gaming service might be more affordable than many expect — way less than Google’s rival service. Apple Arcade could cost just $4.99 a month, according to an unconfirmed report.

Cupertino execs revealed most of the details of its upcoming gaming service in spring, but kept quiet about price. Apple Arcade will be an “all-you-can-eat” subscription service for iOS, iPadOS and Mac. The subscription will offer 100-plus new and exclusive games that will “raise the bar” on the gaming experience, according to Apple. Companies on board include Lego, Sega, ustwo games, Snowman and many more.

After paying the monthly subscription, players won’t face in-app purchases or additional fees.

Right now, Apple employees are getting a preview of Apple Arcade, which could launch in mid-September with the public introduction of iOS 13 and iPad OS 13.

Apple Arcade could be surprisingly affordable

Buried in an API used by the iOS App Store is a promotional message that says an Arcade subscription will cost $4.99 a month, according to 9to5mac. Apple apparently will offer a one-month free trial of the service.

If true, that price would prove much lower than previous predictions. HSBC analysts estimated Apple Arcade will cost $12.99 a month. Google’s Stadia Pro service will cost $9.99 a month when it debuts in November.

It’s possible Apple really will make its gaming service quite affordable. However, it’s also possible the reference in the iOS beta is incorrect or even deliberately deceptive.