During this week’s iPhone 15 keynote, Apple focused quite a bit on the gaming prowess of its new A17 Pro chip. In a new interview with Taylor Lyles at IGN, a trio of Apple executives offer more details on the company’s plans to turn the iPhone 15 into the world’s “best game console.”
The iPhone 15 Pro is powered by the all-new A17 Pro chip, which focuses heavily on improvements to the GPU performance. The new “pro-class” GPU offers a new 6-core design that Apple says not only improves performance but also energy efficiency. You can expect up to 20% faster GPU performance, along with hardware-accelerated ray tracing for the first time.
To go more in-depth on the iPhone 15 Pro’s focus on gaming, IGN sat down with Jeremy Sandmel, Apple’s Senior Director of GPU Software, Tim Millet, VP of Platform Architecture, and Kaiann Drance, VP of Worldwide iPhone Product Marketing.
In the interview, Millet emphasized that Apple’s goal isn’t necessarily to compete directly with specific consoles like the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series S. Instead, its focus is on building a platform and tools that appeal directly to gam developers:
“I think we’re focused on the developers and the titles in the games. Less on trying to compete with consoles. I think console is just a convenient way for us to talk about the classic games and the types of games that the developers that we’re targeting, the ones who have been successful in deploying there. We’ve done our best to try to deliver that same toolbox to the developers and we’re working hard with them.”
In response to the possibility of iPhone 15 Pro overheating and failing to sustain performance in high-intensity games, Drance explained:
“This is part of the benefit of us designing for a specific iPhone model. So at a system level, we’re able to work across teams to understand how the performance that we’re enabling, how it’s going to manifest in the actual gameplay, and whether we are going to be able to not only hit those wonderful frame rates and peak performance and graphics that Jeremy talked about, but also whether we’re going to be able to sustain them. I know that we do a lot on the SoC side, we do a lot on the software side to make sure that this is enabled to be a great experience.”
Millet added that some of it also falls on the developer to strike that perfect balance between performance, quality, and more:
The display itself has a really amazing scaling technology built in. The GPU can do scaling. So with features like ray tracing and mesh shading and this really advanced compute architecture, the developer has access to all of these algorithms to figure out what’s the best balance of compute and quality and performance and frame rate and resolution. And then we bring it all together in the software and at the system level. We make sure that there is a sustainable, high performance, long battery life, comfortable to hold experience for somebody to play these amazing games. So we designed the whole thing to make the gaming experience great, including making sure the performance and battery life is sustainable. We believe we have succeeded in doing that
Sandmel notes the old saying that “the best game console is the one you have with you.” But that’s not what Apple’s targeting this time around. Instead, Sandmel believes that the iPhone is “going to be the best game console,” with no exceptions.
In addition to the interview itself, it’s worth pointing out Apple’s decision to specifically give an interview to IGN. It’s an example of the company moving outside of its normal marketing circles in an attempt to reach a new audience with a particular interest in gaming.
The full interview at IGN is well worth a read for more details on why Apple is so ambitious about its push into gaming with the iPhone 15 Pro and the A17 Pro chip.
We’ve seen Apple try multiple times to gain its footing in the world of gaming, but will the iPhone 15 Pro and the new A17 Pro lead to better results than before? Let us know what you think down in the comments.
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