SMARTPHONE FLOGGER Apple's Iphone 4S is upon us, so we put it to the test to see how good it is for gaming.
In theory the latest manifestation of the Iphone is significantly better on the performance front compared to the Iphone 4. It has a dual-core processor rather than a single-core chip.
So far it's only possible to test the gaming performance with games already available for the Iphone 4. With some games there is no obvious difference, such as Angry Birds and Tetris, which run perfectly well on both handsets. The difference comes when you play more graphically demanding 3D games.
We ran games such as Real Racing 2 and Metal Storm to see what the Iphone 4S was capable of doing. To put it simply the performance is flawless. No matter what game we played or how much action was occurring on-screen at once, we could find no trace of lag or a drop in frame rate.
Apple claims the graphics improvement is up to seven times that of the Iphone 4. When you read the small print it reveals that the test involved pre-production hardware and pre-release software. The firm said, "Performance tests were conducted using specific units; actual results may vary."
In our opinion, the performance is not seven times better, but it is better. Real Racing 2 has enhanced visuals that prove the performance is better on the Iphone 4S. The same game occasionally lagged and just didn't run as smoothly on the Iphone 4.
The proof is in the pudding, after all, and the proof will be fully revealed when games designed especially for the Iphone 4S are released. This will show what the upgraded hardware is truly capable of doing.
Infinity Blade II is set to launch on 1 December and was demonstrated running on an Iphone 4S at the launch of the Iphone 4S. The first Infinity Blade was visually stunning, but the follow up takes it to a new level. Although we've not played the game ourselves, it looks truly astounding with a significant step up on the level of detail in-game.
The maker, Epics Games, claims that the game uses graphics techniques that aren't found even on high end gaming consoles. Infinity Blade II will be an IOS exclusive.
However, there's also a danger involved with having such a capable gaming system. We're hoping that the increase in processor and graphics performance doesn't lead to developers and publishers simply porting PC and console games to the Iphone where they're not designed to be, although some titles might work well. We'd rather that they spend time creating new, intriguing and creative games specifically for the Iphone platform, such as the Infinity Blade series. µ