Big Screen Gaming: Apple TV vs. Desktop

Between Apple TV and a desktop, which one is the better experience? Some would say that a bigger screen is better than a small monitor, but is it really a case? 

For one, Apple TV is not exactly a TV, so the screen size still relies on your actual television unit. It is a device that you connect to your television. Today, we will take a look at the pros and cons of playing on these two devices.

1. Device Accessibility

To access Apple TV, you must first subscribe to Apple Arcade. Once you have a subscription, launch the Apple Arcade app from the TV, and then you can choose the games to play. 

If you see a controller icon for the game, then it means you need a controller, which you need to buy separately. The other option is to stream what is on your Apple device, like a phone, to the TV. You use the mobile device as a controller, and the video will play o the TV. 

From here, we can immediately see that there are accessibility issues. If the game you want is not on the Apple Arcade, there is no way you can install it on the Apple TV. You also cannot access sites like if you want to wager or bet online.  

With a desktop, you can access various games. You have the option to buy a disc and install it or buy the game online from online sellers like Stream. If you want to play on a website, just launch a  browser, and you should be good to go. 

Another benefit of desktop gaming is you can plug the desktop into the TV with HDMI cables and use the TV as your main monitor. As far as accessibility goes, desktop wins.

2. Game Availability

With Apple Arcade, you get to choose from only 200+ games. It may sound a lot, but it is not. These games are for all genres of gaming already. With a desktop, you have a lot of options. So much so that you can get lost with the choices. 

Game developers, especially those that make Triple-A games, rarely make mobile versions of their titles. It is not because they do not want to, but because mobile phones cannot support heavy games. The technology is not there.

Desktops, however, come in all sorts of processors and GPUs—the core of what makes gaming work. It is why many game developers prefer to design and publish games for desktops. Most of the games you will find on Apple TV are arcades and casual ones.

On the one hand, Apple Arcade gives you a lot of games to play for a small subscription. On average, Apple Arcade charges $5 per month. At this rate, you have access to the 200+ games on the shelves. 

Unlike contemporary mobile games, there are no ads on the games in Apple Arcade. With desktop games, you have to buy each game. 

If you are a casual gamer, then Apple TV is what you want. You can play all the games you want for only $5 per month. If you want Triple-A games, there is no other way but desktop gaming. 

3. Game Portability

You can remove the Apple TV device from your television unit and then bring it with you. If you want to visit a friend and play in his house, you can do so. Just connect the Apple TV device to his TV and complete the set-up. 

You cannot do this with a desktop. It is not an ideal thing to do. The CPU alone is heavy. On top of that, the computer monitor is fragile. The last thing you want is to break something. As far as portability goes, Apple TV wins this one.

If you want high-quality games and portability at the same time, your other option is a laptop. Instead of buying a desktop, settle for a powerful laptop. However, prepare to shell out a big sum of money, at least $2,000, for a good gaming rig. 

4. Gaming Experience

One of the most important things about gaming is resolution. Today, most PC monitors come with 4K resolution. The same thing goes with their GPUs. 4K resolution is what gives a vivid experience to the gamer. 

There are also mobile devices that can process 4K. However, you have one challenge: battery life. If you use your device to stream on your TV, make sure you plug it in. Also, not all Apple devices have 4K. If you have an old model, you will not get the same video clarity. 

Another issue you want to address is sound. With a desktop, you can buy high-end speakers. However, if you play via mobile, you need to buy speakers and connect them via Bluetooth. 

The thing is here is that many gaming desktop rigs already come equipped with high-end speakers. You do not need to buy a new set. Mobile devices, however, have limitations. 


There is no right or wrong answer here: each gamer has his quirks. If you want to play as many games as possible for a small price, go for Apple TV. Choose it if you want to play on the big screen, and you do not mind paying for controllers and peripherals. 

However, desktop gaming brings better experiences. You also have more options as far as game titles are concerned. You can play at high-resolution and choose Triple-A games. However, you cannot bring your desktop with you. 

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