With the impressive specs on the just-announced iPhone 4, a gamer like myself can't help but--excitedly!--imagine what the system will be capable of from a game graphics standpoint.
This sort of iPhone game anticipation might sound familiar. But in case you missed the announcement of the latest smartphone earlier this week, let's look at some of the enhanced features of the iPhone 4 and how they could affect games going forward. The three immediately significant game-centric advances:
The A4 processor (the same used in the iPad) Its 960x640 resolution and IPS (In-Plane Switching) screen The Gyroscope, which coupled with the accelerometer, gives the iPhone 4 full-motion, six-axis control
The A4 processor Although the iPhone 4 and iPad share the same A4 processor, it hasn't been confirmed yet whether they share the same clock speeds. The A4 in the iPad runs at 1GHz, versus a significantly slower 600MHz in the iPhone 3GS and 412MHz in the 2G and 3G. The PowerVR SGX535 (found in 3GS and iPad), which handles the graphics, runs at 150MHz on the 3GS and 250MHz in the iPad. The PowerVR MBX-Lite, which powers the graphics in the 2G and 3G, is thought to run at about 60MHz.
Assuming the iPhone 4's A4 shares the same specs as the iPad's, we could begin to see developers take advantage of the extra horsepower by building game characters and environments with more polygons, and/or simply displaying more characters onscreen in general, as well as more realistic lighting effects. Higher-resolution textures should also be possible--at least higher than what's capable on the 2G and 3G, given their CPU's 128MB memory, compared with the 256MB in the 3GS and iPhone 4.
Also, with the 3GS' and iPhone 4's support for the open-source graphics library OpenGL ES 2.0, we should see game engines pushed even further, with much more impressive effects and more realistic looking characters and environments than what's currently possible. We could see games that far exceed what's been capable on the iPhone or any handheld device so far. … Read more