40Tech is pleased to present a guest post by Simon.
Although Apple’s new iPhone did not electrify either the media or the stock market quite so much as Apple might have hoped, it has certainly proved popular with their most vital audience: the consumers, who have made it the most successful iPhone launch ever, with 4 million sales already. It’s achieved worldwide success, including unprecedented penetration in the Chinese market.
Many people probably picked up the 4S for the Siri Personal Assistant, or the much-improved 8Mp camera, or just because it’s fun to have the very latest high-end phone. Hopefully they will sooner or later appreciate the true power of this new handset, which goes far beyond what we’ve come to expect in smartphones, particularly in several areas crucial to gaming: notably processor power, graphics chip, and the possibilities unlocked by the iCloud and AirPlay services.
The A5 processor in the Apple 4S is the same one used in the iPad 2. Yes, that means the latest iPhone is more powerful than the original iPad – a frankly staggering achievement, allowing game developers to create some seriously resource-intense games for the 4S.
The graphics chip is also state-of-the-art, allowing for shading, lighting, and movement graphics that are at least as good as most gaming consoles. Infinity Blade II, the sequel to earlier the hit iPhone game, will probably be the first big release to really show off the new graphical capabilities. It won’t be the last, though – expect movie-quality graphics in a number of new 4S games next year.
Gaming in the iCloud
The iCloud has some great possibilities for gaming. Cloud computing in general has a variety of potential security issues, not yet fully explored or studied, but even if you’re wary of storing your work documents in the cloud, you can certainly save your computer games there. Cloud gaming allows you to start a game on your iPad, and continue it on your iPhone if you don’t have the iPad with you, without any hassle.
Not just a player; an AirPlayer
AirPlay lets you use your iPhone as a controller, moving the visible action from your phone’s 4.3 inch screen to your (suitably compatible) TV screen, and the audio to your surround sound system. Combine this with the iCloud possibilities, whereby you can seamlessly move the action from one device to another since your saved games are stored in the cloud, and some intriguing options open up for game developers. Fancy developing a game character in solo play on the iPhone and then bringing it along to a group gaming session via AirPlay? With the right game – not yet developed – it should be a possibility. Group games via AirPlay, using your iPhone as a controller and your TV screen to show off the action, are already available.
Cheap as chips (potato, not digital)
The very cheap price of most iOS games is a huge boon, too – look out for Diddly next year (free download) for a fiendishly competitive trivia game you can play on your AirPlay compatible TV. Hundreds of one-man indie developers and small teams are working on new titles, often inspired by classic 80s and 90s games, with prices from nothing to just £1-2.
Simon writes on behalf of Best Mobile Contracts, the UK’s leading mobile phone comparison website.