Announced at Apple’s recent ‘Wonderlust Event’, the iPhone 15 Pro’s gaming capabilities could bring about the end of the console wars
Apple has never really made an effort when it comes to gaming. Anyone with a Mac will testify that the machines can’t compete when stacked up against a gaming PC, or even the latest crop of consoles.
Apple’s mobile devices paint a bit of a different story. Since the launch of the App Store, people have been playing games on their iPhones; Apple even launched its own gaming subscription service, the underrated Apple Arcade, in 2019. In fact, mobile gaming is big business – according to a report by Market Research Future, the market was worth an estimated $114.96 billion.
Still, playing Candy Crush or Coin Master on your morning commute isn’t quite the same as loading up the latest Resident Evil on your PS5. But what if you could play Death Stranding or the latest Assassin's Creed on your way to work? Enter the iPhone 15 Pro.
Announced at Apple’s 2023 ‘Wonderlust Event’, the latest premium iPhone boasts all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a pocket device that costs over £1,000, including improvements to the camera. But, most intriguingly, Apple has confirmed that the phone will be able to play the latest ‘AAA’ games such as Resident Evil 4, Death Stranding and Ubisoft’s upcoming Assassin’s Creed: Mirage natively on the device. It’s all thanks to Apple’s fancy new A17 Pro chip, which powers the device.
“Now with hardware-accelerated ray tracing – which is 4x faster than software-based ray tracing – iPhone 15 Pro offers smoother graphics, as well as more immersive AR applications and gaming experiences,” Apple said in an announcement. “Phone 15 Pro brings true-to-life gaming to the palm of users’ hands.”
How exactly these games will perform on the device remains to be seen, but the fact running such demanding titles is even possible is an incredible feat of engineering, especially when you consider the gargantuan size of something like Sony’s PlayStation 5. It’s even more powerful than the Nintendo Switch (although rumours of the Switch 2 are beginning to circulate).
It hints towards a more aggressive approach from Apple when it comes to conquering the gaming market. While sales of smartphones are down globally, Apple still holds the dominant market share of mobile devices around the world, making porting big-budget games to iPhone an appealing proposition for game developers.
It also marks a growing market for portable gaming devices. Valve’s Steam Deck and Asus’s ROG Ally are leading the charge when it comes to portable PCs, while Sony and Microsoft are focused primarily on cloud gaming.
The fact that the new iPhone is not only capable of both, but also offers all the benefits of a smartphone, sets it apart from these competitors. As Xbox and PlayStation continue to fight it out, perhaps it’s the iPhone that might come out on top in the console wars.