Mainstream consumers may be drawn to the iPhone 4S because of its Siri personal assistant. But gamers will want to pick up the iPhone 4S for its ability to play games. The new smartphone from Apple has the ability to run games that are much better-looking than those on the iPhone 4.
That's because the iPhone 4S has the A5 microprocessor, the same one used in the iPad 2 that launched earlier this year. The A5 central processing unit (CPU) is two times more powerful than the iPhone 4's A4 chip, and the iPhone 4S's graphics run seven times faster.
As a result, the iPhone 4S is going to be a very powerful game platform. That's important since it will compete against two new portable gaming systems, the Nintendo 3DS that launched earlier this year and the Sony PlayStation Vita which arrives early next year. Gamers are sure to notice that some of the titles are starting to look as good as console games from the not-so-distant past.
Here's a rundown on some of the games that will shine on the iPhone 4S.
The most anticipated game will be Infinity Blade II (pictured at top), which has been optimized for the A5. The game, from Epic Games' Chair Entertainment division, was highlighted at Apple's press conference for the launch of the iPhone 4S. The game looks pretty awesome and it will sell millions of copies if it does as well as the original game, which launched in 2010. Mike Capps, president of Epic Games, says the quality of this game is pretty close to console quality.
In the original game, you could use your fingers to simulate sword strokes across the screen. Your warrior takes on increasingly tough swordmasters and beasts before reaching the evil boss. If you lose, you start over and appear doomed to run the same gauntlet for all eternity. The touchscreen-based game play should be awesome again on the iPhone 4S. And this new version has also been enhanced to let users created hundreds of customizable weapons. The Infinity Blade II game debuts on Dec. 1.
Real Racing 2 is one of the cool racing games from developer Firemint, which was recently acquired by Electronic Arts. This game is easier to handle than a lot of early mobile racing games.
You can tweak the controls on the game so that they are easier to handle. The game has 40 miles of tracks and 15 locations. It has 16-player online races, with eight players able to play in the same room via Wi-Fi. The game comes with 30 different cars and has a career mode with more than 10 hours of game play. You can play it from five different camera angles.
One nice feature of Real Racing: You can play it on a high-definition TV via AirPlay, which is one of the cool features of Apple's new iPhone operating system, iOS5: It lets you control the game on your iPhone and see it on your TV set.
Shadowgun from Madfinger Games uses the Unity game development platform, the browser-based technology that is the main rival to Epic's game platform. Shadowgun features some very cool 3D graphics in a third-person shooter game. The sci-fi game features some nice explosions, cool shadows and lighting, and decent voice acting.
In the game, you play a professional bounty hunter named John Slade in the year 2350. Your mission is to hunt down Edgar Simon, a geneticist who is tucked away in a mountain fortress and protected by a personal army of mutants, cyborgs and genetically-enhanced people. As you fight, you can take cover and use a variety of weapons to take on enemies. It has some technical flaws, though, so the company recently put out a new version.
Game publisher NaturalMotion has launched a realistic horse simulation game called My Horse that should look very cool on the iPhone 4S. The game, developed by MunkyFun, looks like one of the most sophisticated to date in terms of the quality of its graphics for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
The game users realistic animation and physics technology to create some of the best-looking horses you'll ever see in a game for children. The motions of the horses are physically accurate and you won't see dumb-looking repetitive movements. Ideal for kids, the game lets you take care of a unique horse, groom it, ride it, and enter it into tournaments. You can wash and feed your horse as if it were a real thing, and you can pay real money for virtual goods in case you want to buy fancy reins or better food for your horse.
Galaxy on Fire 2 HD from Fishlabs has such high-end graphics that it will run only on the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4S. In the game, you play the role of a daredevil space adventurer and mercenary. You are catapulted to the other end of the galaxy as a result of a hyperdrive accident and have to take on an armada of alien space ships. You have to arm your ship with weapons such as lasers or auto-cannon and take on the bad guys.
The game has more than 20 star systems and dozens of planets, a bunch of alien races, dozens of customizable spaceships and 100 3D space stations. You can trade around a bunch of commodities.
The sound is of your guns is riveting and the music is dramatic. You'll see lots of cool views of space nebulae and explosions of enemy ships as you boldly go where no iPhone game has gone before.