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New graphics tech bringing console-quality eye-candy to iOS 8

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Graphics on Apple’s iPads and iPhones are about to look even better thanks to a new technology Apple unveiled yesterday called Metal, that will make more efficient use of the hardware powering those contraptions, according to IGN. Apple has apparently been working with big-name studios and developers (Epic Games, Electronic Arts, Crytek and Unity) to ensure modern game engines run smoothly on their smart-things.

Far Advanced

Work is so far advanced that Apple was able to run an Unreal Engine 4 demo live on stage last night – on an iPad. They also showed off EA’s Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare running on the tablet, although IGN says there was no official announcement of the PC-and-console game coming to iOS 8.

Apple software engineer VP Craig Federighi said that Metal will replace OpenGL as the mechanism whereby developers get access to the iPad and iPhone’s hardware. He also said it would offer “near bare-to-the-metal access to the power of A7 “, which should allow developers greater technical freedom to find ways to maximise their games’ performance on iOS 8.

At the end of the day, what does that mean for you? Console-quality graphics on your iPad and iPhone for starters, running at very playable frame rates and in-game graphics that are more complex – and therefore more beautiful – than we’re used to seeing.

UE Games Look Amazing

To clarify that further, Unreal Engine 3 has powered visually-striking games like Batman: Arkham City, Bioshock Infinite and Mirror’s Edge, and Unreal Engine 4 is even more advanced. As such, it’s not unfair to expect games that look at least as good as, if not better than, these three on current-gen and future iPads and iPhones.

The future of gaming on iOS 8 is looking pretty good, then. It’s not even far-fetched to think that an iPad hooked up to your TV and paired with a Bluetooth controller could some day replace existing game consoles entirely, without any visual compromise.

[Source, Image – IGN.com]

Deon du Plessis

Deon du Plessis

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.

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