The iPhone 6: Good News for Gamers?

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
| The video game industry has gone from a mole hill to a mountain in no time flat, Chris DiMarco is your Sherpa as you endeavor to scale Mount “Everquest”

The iPhone 6: Good News for Gamers?

It's easy to look at the arrival of any new gaming platform and wonder if it will be, ultimately, good news for gamers or not. Certainly, before the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 ultimately made appearances, the question was often asked, is this a good thing for gamers or not? While frequent answers of “not” prompted quite a bit of change in Microsoft's camp, it's not always quite so obvious. The iPhone 6, only recently unveiled, seems to be prompting a bit of doubt as to just whether the iPhone 6 will prove to be fish, fowl or good red meat for the players.

Already, several games have been announced for the device by some reports, including titles like “FIFA Ultimate Team,” “Peggle Blast,” and “SimCity BuildIt.” That's good news by any stretch, and word out of developers is that the new, expanded screen space will provide some extra value in and of itself. One battle title known as “Vainglory” showed off some of the power that the iPhone 6 could bring to the field, with 60 frames per second showing off 1.3 million polygons at a clip, which is not half bad by most any standard, particularly for a smartphone. Indeed, some have looked to the Apple Watch as a second screen option, which in turn provides some new potential opportunities for use and control.

But not all the news is positive around this release; while there are new games to come, there's the issue of the older games, the stuff that's currently available. While much of these will still be around, some of them—thanks to the new screen sizes—may ultimately be rendered unplayable. The expanded screen size could ultimately result in no longer being able to hold the phone in one hand, and from there, use the thumb to reach any point of a screen. In portrait mode, therefore, the device essentially can't be held in one hand, and the Android charts show there are nearly no games favoring portrait mode in the top 50...yet many in the iOS charts. If portrait mode is no longer a one handed option, those charts may ultimately change.

That's a proposition that can mean a lot of change, both in future development and in development that's already been accomplished. How many of these games can be easily adapted to the new form factor? For those that can't, will they simply fade away? While there are plenty of new games coming out, will game makers be able to keep up with the changes? There are clearly a lot of questions that need to be answered here, and it's for that reason that's very hard to tell if the new iPhone will be ultimately good for gamers or not at all good.

I figure the end result here will likely prove mostly good. While some games will likely, unavoidably, be lost due to the changes, there are likely to be plenty of new games to step up and take the reins. That means some exciting new experiences taking advantage of the new power in the form factor. We could be in for some very exciting pieces to come, but only time will tell just what the end result of all this actually turns out to be.

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