tvOS app binary size raised to 4 GB →

Apple Developer Relations:

The size limit of a tvOS app bundle has increased from 200 MB to 4 GB, so you can include more media in your submission and provide a complete, rich user experience upon installation. Also, tvOS apps can use On-Demand Resources to host up to 20 GB of additional content on the App Store.

This could be a big deal for games on the AppleTV. Developers had to really work to get games working at the old 200 MB limit; and since the AppleTV gaming market was so small, most simply didn’t bother.

With this change, some of the more in-depth1 iOS games can be brought over to the AppleTV much more easily, so I hope this serves as a catalyst to get more good iOS games ported to tvOS. I am really hoping for Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy IX.

Also, having up to 20 GB of On-Demand Resources almost puts tvOS games in the same playing field as AAA games on PS4 and Xbox One (in terms of size). This should lead to better games.

However, I am a little worried that this will end up being too little, too late. When tvOS launched, gaming was held back mainly by two policy decisions: the 200 MB binary limit and the inability by developers to require a game controller for a game2. Both of those policies have been fixed, but I’m not sure that it will matter at this point.

The best case scenario that I can think of would be for Apple to release new AppleTV hardware with an A10 chip this March at the supposed iPad event and to release an Apple-branded game controller with it. Bonus points if the game controller is included in the purchase.

Apple turned iOS into a large gaming ecosystem seemingly by accident. That same success won’t happen on tvOS: it will require investment from Apple. In the last six months, they have removed some hurdles and roadblocks. I hope that signals more to come soon.

I don’t think that there is anything to this, but it is interesting that this news dropped on the same night as the Nintendo Switch keynote.

  1. i.e. large. 
  2. They could support game controllers, but the games also had to work with the standard tvOS remote. The tvOS remote leaves a lot to be desired as a game controller.