Apple events tend to sneak up on me, pouncing one morning when I naively check the world of Twitter and am thrown into technological anarchy. This year it wasn’t the new iPhone 6S that clogged the Twitter-sphere, it was the new Apple TV.
Despite the new gaming feature comprising a fairly minute part of the new TV, it seems to be the only thing people were listening to. Since its unveiling yesterday, several online publications have dedicated pages to what this feature means for gaming: how the new controllers will work, when we will start seeing more third party content built for the Apple TV, some even going as far as questioning whether Apple TV is a threat to Xbox 1 and PS4. While it’s useful to be asking these questions, I was shocked to find that only a handful were asking the same questions about the new features of the iPhone 6S.
The Apple TV administers yet another screen to play the same games you’ve been playing on your iPhone, iPod, and iPad for years. iPhone 6S allows you new ways of experiencing games as a whole through its complex new hardware. Who’s the real winner here?
The iPhone’s 3D touch technology literally adds a whole other dimension to mobile gaming. For those who have been on Apple / social media / world hiatus for the last few days, the new iPhone will recognise the amount of pressure exerted onto the screen and react accordingly, providing a new level of functionality. Vast creative possibilities abound; mobile games will be given a whole new plane for control – a new set of controls based only on how hard you press the screen.
First person shooters, action, and survival horror games can react to players frantically tapping the screen during tricky situations; perhaps speed up reload time, maybe the character’s actions become more frantic, the point of view becomes blurred or the view disoriented. Racing games can devote more attention to player skill in actually manoeuvring a vehicle and controlling speed through sensitivity to certain pressures. Sports games can benefit in the same way, maybe the character exerts more energy when the screen is pushed hard. Maybe a gentle tap makes a platform character jump lower than a more forceful one.
The endless potential that 3D touch technology can bring to mobile gaming is still waiting for the industry’s recognition. Hopefully once developers start working with the new dimension they’ll produce content and experiences that reflect this tactile new mobile edge.