The iPhone 3G S launched today, and we've managed to pick up our new iPhone 3G S devices and play through a few games to see if we noticed any differences. The most obvious immediate difference is the quicker launch times of many apps. It may not be the most relevant to gaming itself, but is the easiest to demonstrate on video:
A more dramatic difference in this user posted video of Peggle:
2nd Generation iPod Touch owners have already benefited from a faster processor and have enjoyed comparably faster launch times for some time now. In our additional testing, the 2nd iPod Touch was much closer (but still behind) the iPhone 3G S in launch times.
In other more casual testing, most 2D games felt about the same on both iPhone devices -- which would be expected. The most notable improvements were seen in 3D games such as Real Racing and Star Defense where the animations seemed significantly smoother. The findings, again, were most notable between the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3G S. The differences between the iPhone 3G S and 2nd iPod Touch were far less apparent. iLounge has posted a video comparing launch times and in-game play between the 2nd Gen iPod Touch and iPhone 3G S.
We did run across one strange hardware-specific bug in Snowboard TnT. On the iPhone 3G S, the graphics were clearly wrong (left, below). On the right are the usual graphics as seen on the iPhone 3G and iPod Touch. All devices were running iPhone firmware 3.0 so it was a hardware specific issue with this game:
It seems to have been the exception so far, as all the other games we've tested have been working as expected.
As we have more time playing games on the various devices, we'll be able to give you a better feel for the differences between devices. The most dramatic differences are yet to come as developers further utilize the new iPhone 3G S graphics chip which allows for more advanced 3D techniques.