But as a natural skeptic, I had two simple questions: how well will they actually play on the device itself? And more curiously, how would the iPhone 15 Pro perform when you plugged it into an external display to play? Thanks to YouTuber Vincent Zhong, we have our answer.
The Village people
In Zhong’s review, he plays Resident Evil Village on the 15 Pro both on-device using a detachable game controller (looks like a GameSir X2), and on an external display with the PS5’s DualSense pad. The former, I assumed to perform decently. Apple’s not going to green light something to back up its gaming credentials, only to have the game not perform well. But I was most intrigued by the latter.
You see, there are workarounds to make games like this work on such a small device. That includes bringing the resolution down (because you don’t need 4K on an up to 6.7-inch panel), and Apple’s DLSS-esque MetalFX Upscaling. But how do these look when you blow them up to a big display?
In short, based on what we see in Zhong’s video (start at 13:48), much better than I ever expected. Sure, there are compromises — the game’s resolution is locked at 1560 x 720, and in his own words, the “screen mirroring effect” doesn’t match what you get on the phone. But with a steady framerate locked at 30FPS, this is a far better gameplay experience than anticipated when you want to quickly plug your iPhone into a display.
Could this be the time that Apple finally starts to give a damn about gaming? I’ll reserve that judgement for seeing how many developers jump on board, and make the most of Metal to bring their titles to iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
But based on Zhong’s gameplay, on both the phone itself and a bigger screen, I’m confident that Apple is heading in a really good direction to bring some serious gameplay credentials to its devices. The only thing left to test now would be if you can get low latency results by using AirPlay to a TV, but that’s something to follow up on in my own upcoming review…
As for my MacBook, I can only pray that this leap forward for the iPhone spells good fortune for gaming on this device too — especially when you take into account what the A17 Pro says for the exciting possibilities of M3.
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Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.