The iPhone 5 Might Be The Best Smartphone For Gamers

Today, Apple announced the iPhone 5. Once again, it's thinner and more powerful than its predecessors. Mobile gaming just got that much better.

One of the biggest complaints about playing games on Apple's iPhones has been how cramped the screen feels. The iPhone 5's taller screen translates into more room in which to draw a gorgeous gameworld. Furthermore — and this is of paramount importance for gamers — there will be more space for touch-controls. Combined with the improved responsiveness of the new touchscreen, this latest hardware refresh means that the finicky imprecision plaguing iOS gaming could become a thing of the past.

Apple's new A6 chip should be good news for gamers, too, giving them more processing power for experiences that you used to only be able to find on hi-def displays. And, speaking of displays, the iPhone 5 screen comes closer to matching the 16x9 standard that gamers have come to expect, which will probably make the next wave of games feel as big and bold as they're used to.

This latest hardware refresh means that the finicky imprecision plaguing iOS gaming could become a thing of the past..

The faster speeds of a LTE connection — dependent on carrier — could enable synchronous, real-time multiplayer on the iPhone. During a demo of EA's Real Racing 3, mention was made of a "time-shifted head to head" feature in Game Center. Combine that with the ability to play with people on Apple's desktop and laptop platforms and you have a pocketable device that's one step closer to matching yet another feature on game consoles.

Better speakers on the iPhone 5 can add to the immersion you get from a gaming experience. Heck, games like Bastionwhere the music and the gravelly narration hold much of the appeal — depend on decent sound quality. So, the five magnet transducers in the handset's sound system will be welcomed by game designers and players, too.

However, consumers won't be getting a significant bump in memory storage with the iPhone 5. As more games approach Xbox 360-levels of quality in terms of graphics and other features, they'll take up more room on smartphones. Avengers Initiative is a console-quality iOS game. Not surprisingly, it's also a Hulk-sized piece of data that takes up a big chunk of memory. Games like Infinity Blade and others built on Epic's Unreal Engine can weigh in at more than 1 GB. It's a major bummer that you won't be getting more space for your cash, especially since memory has gotten so inexpensive.

Maybe you're not sold on using a phone as a dedicated gaming platform. That's OK. But, the new features and improved hardware in Apple's handhelds — along with the sheer number of people who will probably flock to buy them — will attract more game-makers, some of whom will deliver unique creations that will rival the creativity, challenge, and flat-out fun of their console and PC siblings. If those games exploit the best possibilities of the iPhone 5, Apple will be one step closer to having a device gamers could come to grudgingly respect.


    Im just going to leave this here

      I'm pretty sure you have to buy the iPhone with a contract in America, so that is $199 plus a contract, where $799 is outright in Australia. I could be wrong but that is how it was a couple of years back

        You're still paying more than an American would.

        Bring on the Nokia Lumia 920 - It's windows phones time!

          I'm still a year away from a new phone but I hope Windows Phone has its act together by then. I'm really starting to warm to the connected Microsoft account life of Windows 8 now that I've switched over to the final version full time.

            As long as windows 8 phone is compatible with win7 desktop im pretty much sold, havent had a windows mobile since CE... or a nokia since a 3310.... but gotta say im extremely impressed so far

          Umm, not exactly. iPhones are $0 on most $50-60 plans. And even if you go with Telstra on the lowest optimised spend, you're still only forking out a total of $168 over a 24 month period for a 16gb handset

          actually apple is very good with regional pricing here. Outright things cost pretty much exactly the same as the US counterpart.

          PS dont forget that you have to add tax to the US prices depending on your county.

          But dont compare prices on a plan to outright. Only an idiot would believe that.

            Then look at the iPod Touch:

            Sure there's only a $30 different on the base model, and a difference of $40 on the 64gb, but it's still noticeable. Apple don't like Australia, but we are a very small market to them.

        On a two-year contract in the US, 16GB for $US199, 32GB from $US299, 64GB for $US399.

        Apple’s recommended RETAIL PRICES for Australia will be $799 for the 16GB model, $899 for the 32GB model and $999 for the 64GB model.

        So we'll have to wait and see what the contracted versions will be.

          Even so, I just bought a 32GB Galaxy S3 for $599. I'm not really seeing $300 worth of extra phone in the iPhone 5 so far...

      I'll just let you know first that I'm getting a Lumia 920.

      US Carrier subsidize their phones, it would be $199 upfront but you're required to be on a 24-month contract. This is nothing new, Australia most definitely has the better end of the bargain considering we have carriers that offer $0 contract fee on 24-month plans that offer iPhones.

    Android all the way.

    I love Apple computers, I've been using them since I was in primary school, but I just can't stand their reluctance to add simple features like expandable memory or more open source apps, or their DRM policies. Urgh.

    Buttons or GTFO.

      Amen to that! Will be interesting to see if/when Sony releases an follow-up to the Xperia Play - now tha's an gamers' phone. I reckon if Sony built an Playstation Vita Phone, it will solve their sales woes!

      I don't care how shiny the graphics are on your one-button running game, I'll be bored with it after 30 seconds.

    Gaming monster? It's like having a Ferrari without wheels. All that horse power doesn't mean shit when you don't have decent games or physical buttons to play with.

      Exactly. Lack of power wasn't a problem to start with - it never will be when you're releasing a new piece of hardware every 12 months. The problem is the controls, and this does absolutely nothing to fix that. What we have here is a device that will play the best looking game of Angry Birds you've ever seen in your life.

      I bought a Samsung Galaxy S3 about 2 weeks ago. It's a great phone, I absolutely love it, but I tried playing Super Mario World on it using the touchscreen controls ( in the Super GNES emulator) and it was still shit. Until they get physical gaming controls in there (and it's already been done with the XPeria play, it just needs to be done on a better phone) then I can't see myself getting much deeper into phone gaming than Game Dev Story.

      Agreed. There is only a handful of games that are good on touch screens. And they're not generally resource hungry.

      On screen controls are an abomination.

    I do love the subtle irony of there being a Galaxy S3 ad campaign at the top of Kotaku today : - )

      Haha yea I caught that too, I'll be getting my SGS3 in the next couple weeks, can't wait!

    Fair enough, games can look nice/work better etc but no one seems to mention how an app like a game could chew through battery??? I'd rather keep my battery for music and phone calls/SMS and occassional app usage (like fb/twitter).
    Also, I prefer real buttons rather than virtual buttons.

    I'm sorry but a phone without physical controls can not be the best smartphone for gamers. If you are a hardcore gamer, you need physical controls.

    *Hugs his Xperia Play*

    Holding out for iPhone 6

      Holding out for iPhone 12

        Holding out for a hero

          Holding out for a life, Ohh wait I have one. Dont need to join the iPhone sheep to think you actually have a life

        Holding out for iPhone 0

      holding onto my 5 year old brick phone

    Hey guys, did you read the article title "The iPhone 5 Might Be The Best Smartphone For Gamers".

    What phone will run games like Real Racing 3/Infinity Blade better?

    I mean it's pretty awesome that Android can have emulators and stuff and I'm sure jailbroken iphones can do the same. But you can't really say the iphone sucks for games when it's in the context of smartphone gaming.

      B***h please, Ocarina of Time > Infinity Blade II

    Odd... I see a samsung S3 add on the page, but the article looks like an Apple sponsored piece.... "The iPhone 5 is the bestest phone evver 'cause Apple!!!111!!!"
    Funny how it has a few upgrades making it almost on par with devices like the S3 (not quite as feature equipped) and the acticle on Kotaku is "The iPhone 5 Might Be The Best Smartphone For Gamers ".
    I would seriously like to know at this point... is Kotaku sponsored by Apple, was this article in particular sponsored by Apple and how much does it cost to buy an article?
    Also, how is it better than the S3?

      Yes, I own an iphone and will probably buy the next one.
      No, I'm not a fanboy.

      Isn't the general consensus that IOS gets more games?
      I haven't seen mobile/tablet games that look better than Inifinity Blade 2 & Real Racing 3, is there some on android that look better? Visuals aren't everything anyway... my default games are jetpack joyride/peggle/fieldrunners 2 (isn't on android) and a few others. So I'm not trying to graphics bash but it's certainly a factor.

      It's hard to compare the A6 chip to whatever dual/quad core chip the S3 has so I can't check tech specs. Even still, those aren't always a proper measure of a devices/platforms success. It's safe to say though, whatever the A6 chip is doing it must be pretty decent and should have the headroom for some cool new apps/games.

      If you dropped the love of your device for a minute and had a look at the merits of what other companies are bringing to the table, tech news might be an exciting ride. I for one have owned a bunch of iphones but can't wait to see what Samsung and the Nokia/Win 8 teams keep coming up with.

        I had (and still have) an iPhone 4... I don't use it. I use a S2, as I got fed up with the complete lack of controll I had over my own device. Now days I do also dislike apple as a company, but that's beside the point.
        My main issue with articles like this is that its pushing an expensive device and helping propagate the aple app store.
        The galaxy S3 has more features, and is cheaper, yes there are more games on the apple app store, but there is no lack of titles on android, and we should be encouraging game companies to look at building for android in addition to iphone.
        Feature wise the S3 is probably the better phone for gamers, though the Best title would probably have to go the the xperia Play for the controls (even though it is realisticly massively under powered.... It would be awesome if sony released a revised version).

        There are more games for PC than any other platform, it doesn't make it the best gaming platform.

    There is also the unknown gaming quality coming to Windows 8 devices. With things like DirectX native support Havok engine, and more coming, with the ease of porting to Windows 8 PCs and Tablets.. Game changer I think.

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