The iPhone 5 could potentially be a big step up for mobile gaming. But lots of video game enthusiasts still think of the mobile landscape as a backwater to be snickered at. You might think that Firemonkeys executive producer Rob Murray — who makes the Real Racing series for Apple’s iDevices — would be offended to hear that. But he understands the scepticism of those who don’t think that mobile is the wave of the future.
This past Wednesday, Murray took Real Racing 3 on stage as the premier example of what the iPhone 5 could accomplish in terms of gaming. It’s a great looking game, one that approaches the visual quality of what current consoles can pump out. But he knows that’s not enough from some people. “I think they’re looking from today backwards instead of where it’s going,” Murray said of naysayers when I spoke to him yesterday. “There are going to be new genres, new interpretations. Like how our interpretation of racing is different from the old console interpretation of racing. There’s so much new ground here [in mobile gaming] and people haven’t seen it play out yet.”
Murray knows that people who identify as hardcore gamers need to be convinced that an iPhone can be as valid as an Xbox 360. “We were one of the first ones to bring that console-level experience to the phone,” he offered. “No one’s seen these kinds of experiences on a regular basis yet so I think it’s quite fair to scoff. I think it’s reasonable. People have seen these experiences on console and they haven’t seen them on iOS yet. So, they’ve got all these questions about ‘How’re you gonna do this or that with a touchscreen?'”
Consoles and PCs have been gaming devices for a while and have been able to prove what they can accomplish. The key point for both gamers and developers is to think about pushing the envelope, Murray says. “I think when you analyse the power in this device and you project what you could do — this instead of what people are doing — that’s when you get excited and you can see that this is an awesome gaming device.”