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Apple Arcade launches on Sept. 19, features 100 exclusive games

Apple has long teased a serious entry into the video game space; this despite owning the App Store, which hosts hundreds of thousands of games. The problem with the App Store, though, has been discoverability. That's the nut Apple hopes to crack with Apple Arcade, its $4.99 per month subscription service that launches Sept. 19.

By all indications, Apple Arcade hopes to be to iPhones, iPads and Apple TV what Xbox Game Pass is to Xbox One and PC. Apple Arcade wants to curate a collection of 100 games — exclusive, according to Apple — so that those on Apple devices don't have to chance their hard-earned cash on a game that may or may not be good. Instead, they can pay the $4.99 subscription fee and have access to an entire library, offering them the freedom to try whatever tickles their fancy.

And Apple Arcade is set to work just like Xbox Game Pass does, too. This isn't a game streaming service like Stadia; those subscribing to Apple Arcade download their games for online or offline play. And as long as they're a subscriber, they can play the Apple Arcade games they have installed.

Some of those games, by the way, are not bad! A new game from The Chinese Room called Little OrpheusShantae 5 from WayForward. A few LEGO titles. A new entry in the Frogger series from Konami. Apple at least had the sense to make sure Apple Arcade didn't just become a collection of games that have been ported everywhere else. If anything in the catalog interests you, you're either paying Apple $5 a month to play it, or you are presumably waiting for the game to leave the Apple Arcade service, and who knows how long that'll take.

We're eager to see how the Apple crowd takes to Arcade when it arrives on Sept. 19. We know there are a lot of gamers in the Apple ecosystem. But are they those kinds of gamers? The kind willing to sign up for a $5 monthly subscription instead of spending a buck or two here and there? We'll find out next week.