by Marco Bessey
Editor in Chief of TouchArcade, Eli Hodapp tweets during the unveiling of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus that the latter “will play games in higher resolution than next generation consoles.” The truth is, it really will. But can the iPhone 6 Plus also deliver the processing firepower to run triple A titles? Theoretically, yes it can.
While all the hype over the iPhone 6 and iOS8 is sizzling in Cupertino at the moment, let’s step back a bit and revisit WWDC. During that event, Apple senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi introduced “iOS 8 Metal” which is meant to provide “near bare to the metal access to the power of A8.” What does this mean? Simple: Metal lets developers target the power of that GPU far more directly than ever before.
For example, Metal allows for 10x faster draw calls, used to render all the objects in a scene in a 3D game. That means much faster, more responsive games with incredibly detailed environments.
iOS 8 gets a bump in game load time performance thanks to support for precompiled shaders. Shaders affect how an environment is lit and colored; they’re an incredibly important part of rendering a realistic and immersive gaming experience. Precompiling them enables them to load faster.
Apple has already rendered the point and shoot camera near-obsolete. Are video game consoles next?