The reveal of the iPhone 3GS at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference this week was exciting some, soul-crushing for others. For example, if you bought a 3G in the past year or so, upgrading to a 3GS, with its improved processor and graphics chip, will set you back several hundred dollars (at least if you’re buying through AT&T). Video support, and improved camera and faster load times are probably not worth the expense (though that’s really up to you), but what games will you be missing out on?
We spoke to Neil Young, co-founder of ngmoco, one of the leading game publishers on the iPhone. You may know them from their work on “Rolando”, “Topple” and, most recently, “Star Defense.” The question: Will they be making iPhone 3GS-exclusive games?
“I don’t think so. I think we’ll continue to build games for the 3 classes of devices that are out there: The classic iPhone and the iPhone 3G in one category (from a performance standpoint), the iPod Touch in another category, and the 3GS in another category. Obivously they all share the same operating system and have some slight differences in hardware, but we’ll build our software to span across those three [categories].”
Young goes on to explain how their games would scale depending on your platform, specifically on ngmoco’s upcoming FPS, “LiveFire” (which launches this summer):
“We’re scaling the imagery based on the performance of the device, so if you’ve got a 3GS, the game’s going to look better and run at a great framerate. And if you’re on an iPhone 3G, the game will look a little bit different, but the framerate will be the same, ’cause obviously performance and speed are actually an important part of a cool first person shooter gameplay experience.”
So it sounds like we’re almost getting into PC performance territory, where you can play the game at minimum specs, but the software will run better on a high end set-up. Damn you, Moore’s Law.