Apple has recently released a new hardware platform that promises a serious increase in processing power, including a graphics processor that has the potential to make the games we play incredibly feature-rich and realistic. This hardware, paired with Apple’s latest graphics API Metal, will completely change the way iOS games will look and feel in the future.
Apple has presented the Metal API at the WWDC2014, and it has introduced it into the new operating system released together with its latest iPhone. With this new API, it promised iOS game developers to get “closer to metal” – meaning a more direct use of the powerful hardware crammed into the new iDevices’ slim bodies. Several game development companies have already announced their support for Apple’s new API: companies like Electronic Arts, Disney, Ubisoft, Rebellion and Super Evil MegaCorp (the developer behind the game showcased at the Apple keynote this september).
So how will Metal change the gaming experience on the new iPhone? Well, according to what Apple has promised, it will offer gamers a much more console-like feeling, with smoother graphics and much faster gameplay. It will reduce the number of translation bottlenecks between the games and the graphics hardware of the iDevices. The API is the translation tool that handles communication between the software (the game) and the hardware, so making this translation simpler means that the games can function better and faster, and make better use of the processing capacity of the device.
A better API is the main difference between games running on consoles and PCs. In case of a console, the developer only needs to work with a certain hardware configuration, and the API needs to “speak” with its specific hardware only. In case of a PC game, the situation is very different – the game needs to run on any hardware configuration between the minimum and the best one available on the market, meaning that a PC API has to communicate with a series of CPUs, GPUs, controllers, keyboards and mice in order to work.
So, just how much faster is the new processor and GPU released with the new iPhone? Well, according to the official data, the new A8 processor is 25% faster than its predecessor, A7, while the graphics core included into the hardware is 50% faster. This means much faster mobile play, no matter if you visit Casino la vida for the latest casino games or you download and install a shooter, racer or MMO. Metal, along with the new, larger screen the iPhone 6 comes with, will allow Apple to become once again the leading mobile gaming platform, taking this position back from its competitor, Android.