Apple is poised to shake the foundations of the gaming industry with its latest release, the iPhone 15 Pro series. With iOS App Store game sales already accounting for billions in consumer spending, the tech giant is now setting its sights on challenging gaming stalwarts such as Sony’s PlayStation, Microsoft’s Xbox, and Nintendo’s Switch.
At the heart of this audacious move lies the A17 Pro chip, a technological marvel that powers both the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. Boasting a 20% increase in graphics processing speed, Apple claims the chip can handle console-quality games. Unlike previous assertions, this claim appears to be more than mere hyperbole.
Capcom is slated to unveil “Resident Evil Village” and the remake of “Resident Evil 4” for the iPhone 15 Pro line later this year, while Kojima Productions has announced plans to bring the enigmatic “Death Stranding” to Apple’s flagship phones. Additionally, Ubisoft is set to debut its highly anticipated “Assassin’s Creed Mirage” on the 15 Pro and Pro Max next year. These versions are not watered down; Apple asserts that they run the full-fledged titles natively.
However, Apple faces formidable challenges in its quest to rival the established console giants. The critical question looms: will game developers and publishers commit to producing high-end console titles for the iPhone?
The strategic emphasis on gaming in the iPhone 15 Pro series is not arbitrary. Apple aims to bolster sales among gamers in vital markets, especially China, where mobile gaming already commands a massive audience and Android-powered competitors dominate.
Although Apple may not be the first name associated with the gaming industry, it has compelling arguments to be considered a major player. In 2022, consumers spent a staggering $83.1 billion on iOS apps, with a staggering $49.3 billion dedicated to games, according to Data.AI. This figure dwarfs Nintendo’s 2022 full-year sales of $10.8 billion.
Nonetheless, the dominance in numbers disguises the fact that most games sold on iOS lack the graphical sophistication of those available on modern consoles. While Apple may excel with games like Candy Crush, true console-quality games like “Resident Evil Village” and “Death Stranding” represent a different league altogether.
Martin Yang, Oppenheimer’s senior analyst of emerging technologies and services, sees a potential shift in this landscape. “Now that iPhone can run the games that typically appeal to really serious hardcore gamers, and if iPhone can run those games natively, then there will be a very large audience that are willing to sometimes purchase the game twice; once on PC and console, and then other times on Apple,” Yang stated.
For Apple to truly challenge the PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch, it must entice a greater number of developers and publishers to create high-end games tailored for the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. However, IDC’s research director of gaming and VR, Lewis Ward, highlights the low incentive for developers to invest significant resources in this endeavor.
According to Wedbush’s managing director Michael Pachter, if publishers do decide to release high-end games for the iPhone 15 Pro series, they are likely to be remakes or modern ports from consoles, rather than games designed specifically for smartphones.
The move to tout the iPhone 15 Pro series as portable gaming consoles is a strategic maneuver to capture the attention of existing Android gamers, particularly in Asian markets where mobile gaming is a cultural phenomenon.
As Android remains the dominant mobile operating system worldwide, Apple’s campaign to lure Android consumers, particularly in China, could redefine the mobile gaming landscape. The powerful chipsets of the new iPhone models form the cornerstone of the bid of Apple to establish itself as a force to be reckoned with in the gaming industry.
The verdict awaits as the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max make their debut on store shelves on September 22, promising a potential revolution in the mobile gaming experience.
Source: Yahoo Finance