Gaming With The iPhone 4S (And Proof Siri Can’t Understand A Proper Scottish Accent)

Gaming With The iPhone 4S (And Proof Siri Can’t Understand A Proper Scottish Accent)

“What is Ubisoft?” I ask Siri. The only reason I ask that question is I have an package from Ubisoft on my desk. And I have no imagination.

“Would you like to do a websearch for ‘You Be Soft’,” replies Siri.

“Try talking in a proper Scottish accent,” says Tracey, Kotaku Australia’s Associate Editor. “Go full Scottish.”

I see this as a challenge. I must rise to it.

“Do ye ken ra best bit fur me tae go an’ git ah boatle ae Buckie?” I said, as quickly and as Scottishly as possible. (English translation: ‘Do you know the best place for a gentleman like myself to find a nice bottle of red wine?”)

“Would you like to do a websearch for ‘campestris from your melbourne hockey’?” asks Siri.

I get the impression this isn’t getting anyone anywhere fast. I decide to play some games instead.

Being the owner of an iPhone 3GS, which is getting a bit long in the tooth, the iPhone 4S was a big leap forward for me. Siri is a complete bust as far as I’m concerned — a gimmick that gets a bit stale after 10 minutes asking it dirty questions — but as someone who plays games every single day on his iPhone, I was interested in the higher resolution, and increased processing power of this new model.

I wasn’t disappointed – although you could argue I’m not hard to please. The retina display on the iPhone 4S is the precise same as the preceding model, but for someone like myself – who’s hardly spent much time with the iPhone 4 – it feels like a grand leap forward. Things feel smoother, they feel faster. Those who already have an iPhone 4, however, may struggle to see a difference.

To be fair, the majority of my iPhone gaming is spent playing games like Doodle Jump, Tiny Wings or Collision Effect. These are not hardware-intensive games, hardly games that require the added grunt of the iPhone 4S. What is affected however, and this is where I perceived a noticeable difference, is the loading times, which are much quicker, particularly when it comes to more beefy games like Infinity Blade.

So should you upgrade? Well, I most likely will, since I don’t have an iPhone 4, but those that do have a far trickier decision on their hands. I’m going to say it probably isn’t worth the hassle – especially if your primary purpose for upgrading is games.

But just to make sure, maybe I’ll ask Siri, to see what she thinks.

“Siri, should I upgrade to an iPhone 4S for games?” I ask.

“Sorry,” comes the reply. “I don’t understand ‘should I upgrade to the iPhone for S4 teens.'”

Thanks to Vodafone for providing an iPhone 4S for us to check out.


  • Siri seems like a fun gimmick for a while, but unless they offer full support for a wide range of accents (including slang support), I don’t see it really catching on.

    • While Siri herself may not catch on, I’m impressed with the future implications of this technology.

      Who knows, maybe in 10 years, voice recognition houses will be the norm.

  • Kotaku isnt seriously considering this a gaming platform are they?

    Is this going to turn into App reviews and the usual apple crap that plagues engadget?

    • Nah, not at all. The iPhone 4S has just come out, and I thought people might be interested.

      The iPhone is a gaming platform though. Whether you like it or not.

    • I consider it a gaming platform. I play 15 hours a week on consoles so i consider myself a ‘gamer’, but i also commute 3+ hours a day on public transport to and from work so this IS a gaming platform for me. I spend more time on this device playing games than with any other task (internet, phone calls, messaging) so i consider it a gaming platform for sure. Casual pick up and play stuff sure, but there are heaps of games and some really good ones too!

      1000 Heroz, drawrace2, collision effect, scribblenaughts remix, game dev story, PvZ, tiny wings to name a few.

      • I’m in the same boat, long commutes each way, my iPhone is my portable gaming platform of choice. I also have a DS and occasionally play something on that but mostly just my phone.

        Scribblenauts is on iPhone?? How did I miss that? Gotta go… 🙂

    • Yeah, this 1337ist (see what I did there?) shit is ridiculous.

      World of Goo, for example, on the iPhone is a good game.

      It’s good for anyone, gamer or not. I understand that it’s not Call of Duty 14 or whatever but it’s such a crock of elitest shit to go hating on the system because it’s not a traditional gaming system, it just makes you look like a hipster-style turd “That’s not real gaming! I invented gaming back in the 90’s before it was cool!”.

    • Kotaku is website about games. iPhone is a platform. You can play games on it. It is a gaming platform.

      What about this are you not grasping?

      • But its too mainstream!
        Kotaku should boycott the whole platform because some people buy them just as phones.

        I don’t care if some of the software would be interesting to an open minded gamer, it offends my sense of self worth as a nerd to see a story about something that’s not a dedicated gaming platform!

  • I have a four, it the games available on the iphone arent worth buying one for. Even when there is a decent game, the controls are unusable (see doom or duke 3d, or nova, for example). I will play”games” like cut the rope or timy wings on it, but for actual, deep, worthwhile games, I will pay the extra for a 3ds or Vita (cant wait for that one! I loved my psp. Rest in Peace)

  • “campestris from your melbourne hockey”


    Although, interesting to see there might be some localisation to the voice recognition. It seemed to want to pick up Melbourne easily from that.

  • My girlfriend is Scottish. Apparently, she has more of a ‘posh’ Edinburgh accent. In addition to this, to help people understand her better she was sent to elocution lessons as a wee gurl. Eitherway, I love her accent. Hehe.

  • See I consider the iOS devices a gaming platform, the entire reason I want an Ipad is to play the Days of Wonder board games that have been ported to it – SmallWorld and Ticket to Ride.

  • i think asking for ‘you be soft’ isn’t toooo bad.
    It’s like asking your friend who doesn’t know of gaming devs.
    ‘search for “You be soft?” if you want me to..’

  • To be fair, no one can understand a true Scottish accent. I haven’t understood a word my father in law has said in ten years of marriage.

  • “Being the owner of an iPhone 3GS, which is getting a bit long in the tooth, the iPhone 4S was a big leap forward for me. …as someone who plays games every single day on his iPhone, I was interested in the higher resolution, and increased processing power of this new model”

    My god this is me in a nutshell…

  • Like Kinect voice support, the only thing Siri knows is “American”. If you do not have an American accent, the gimmick is useless.

    Proof that once against Americans believe that they are the only people in the world

    • As an American I can attest that most voice-activated tech, even when it’s geared straight at us, doesn’t work accurately 80% of the time. Too bad people will beleive anything an ad campaign tells them 😛

      People from Kentucky will have just as much luck as people from the Ukraine when trying to talk to Siri, methinks.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!