Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Why Apple's 64-Bit iPhone Won't Change the Mobile Game

Apple is perhaps the greatest company in the history of the world when it comes to making people think they make revolutionary products when in fact they rarely do. Of course, by making people think this way, their products do become revolutionary as a result, but that is a different topic for a different day. Since the reveal of the new iPhone 5S there have been countless headlines featuring the words "64-bit" and "iPhone". "A 64-bit chip in my new iPhone, that's the same chip I have in my desktop computer!", says the uninformed consumer. The uninformed consumer that games then assumes that the power of the next iPhone will be extraordinary and revolutionize mobile game. Please, don't humor me.

The key to understanding the present is looking at the past. Why did desktop and laptop computers make the switch from 32-bit to 64-bit chips? Aside from the obvious answer, that being that a 64-bit chip is generally more powerful, the bigger reason was that 32-bit chips only support 2GB of RAM. Computers of today often have up to 8GB of RAM, making the necessity for 64-bit processors obvious. So that means the new iPhone 5S must have more than 2GB of RAM right? Wrong.

So did everyone just fall for a big Apple marketing scam again? Seems like it, but the lack of a need for a 64-bit chip is not the primary reason this will not revolutionize mobile gaming. The primary reason is the same reason games look way better at the end of a console's lifespan than they do at the beginning. As of now, developers have nothing to do with this grand new hardware. If every other phone out there, even the other iPhones, still have 32-bit processors, developers will optimize their games for those phones since all together they have a much larger install base than the iPhone 5S by itself. If no games actually take advantage of Apple's new hardware, what is the point? In fact, Apple somewhat shot themselves in the foot with the iPhone 5C because now it will take even longer for developers to start optimizing games for 64-bit chips due to the fact that the 5S will have a smaller install base than most new Apple iPhones.

I said mobile gaming is the future on this very website not too long ago. I still stand by that. That does not mean it will be an immediate leap from casual puzzle games to massive 3D open worlds. Apple's 64-bit iPhone 5S is a sign of what's to come, but nothing game changing as of now.


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I was in the wrong i'm sorry :) #1D suck......

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