The Apple TV 4K hasn’t been updated for more than three and a half years, which is an eternity in technology. But 9to5Mac reports that the new tvOS 14.5 beta references support for 120Hz refresh rates — a capability that no currently available Apple TV models have — which could indicate Apple is working on a new version of its set-top box.
While it’s not clear what Apple may use a 120Hz refresh rate for in a new Apple TV, one of the more intriguing possibilities is for smoother gaming, like what’s offered with 120Hz support on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Apple has been showing increased interest in gaming as of late, so it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if the new Apple TV had more gaming-focused features.
For example, Apple just added a bunch of new games to its Apple Arcade gaming subscription service, which lets you play games on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV and carry your progress across platforms. And the iOS 14.5, macOS 11.3, and tvOS 14.5 betas also all include support for the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller and the Xbox Series X controller — presumably, that support will carry over to the final software releases.
The rumored 120Hz support for Apple TV would also line up with a Bloomberg report from December, which said Apple was working on a new Apple TV for sometime this year with a “stronger gaming focus.” (That report also said the new set-top box would have a redesigned remote, which will hopefully be easier to use.) While we don’t know exactly when Apple will announce this rumored device, or if it will announce it at all, if you’re in the market for a new Apple TV, you might want to wait just a bit.