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:

snow

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.

  • D Wo

    I'm coming across a few apps that just aren't working on my 3gs... I hope developers and apple iron out the issues.

    • arn

      which ones?

      arn

      • D Wo

        iCopter Classic - http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=301409454&mt=8

        I can get to the home screen but all of the options available to select are unresponsive

      • Little White Bear Studios

        TanZen Lite has a 3.0 graphics glitch when selecting shapes. The fix was submitted 19 days ago, so it will hopefully be approved soon. However, the full version of TanZen is fully 3.0 compatible.

  • D Wo

    I'm coming across a few apps that just aren't working on my 3gs... I hope developers and apple iron out the issues.

    • arn

      which ones?

      arn

      • D Wo

        iCopter Classic - http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=301409454&mt=8

        I can get to the home screen but all of the options available to select are unresponsive

      • Little White Bear Studios

        TanZen Lite has a 3.0 graphics glitch when selecting shapes. The fix was submitted 19 days ago, so it will hopefully be approved soon. However, the full version of TanZen is fully 3.0 compatible.

  • pante

    toki tori, circute strike.one, isotope are buggy.
    snake galaxy does not work.

    that's what i noticed... but it's a 3.0 issue i think.

    • aleceiffel

      great....circuit strike one is one of my favorite games right now and i have a 3gs on the way....who knows when...at&t sucks! but thats besides the point...i hope these bug fixes come quickly...

    • pante

      wait, snake galaxy works just fine, my bad.

    • ZZMitch

      Yeah, I am getting some pretty annoying lag problems with a iPod Touch 2G on 3.0 with isotope

      • pante

        oh, and vortex revolution does not even open... :)

    • http://hgrenade.com h.grenade

      The new 1.1 update to CS.One should be approved by Apple anyday now and that will let you choose the better physics update speed for the 3GS. Just choose Touch Gen 2 when it first launches or you can find it in the pause menu later on. It was built on 2.2.1 so it's still backwards compatible right now. Thats going to change soon we have some cool stuff in the works for the 1.2 update : )

      • aleceiffel

        oh good, i cant wait...

  • pante

    toki tori, circute strike.one, isotope are buggy.
    snake galaxy does not work.

    that's what i noticed... but it's a 3.0 issue i think.

    • aleceiffel

      great....circuit strike one is one of my favorite games right now and i have a 3gs on the way....who knows when...at&t sucks! but thats besides the point...i hope these bug fixes come quickly...

    • pante

      wait, snake galaxy works just fine, my bad.

    • ZZMitch

      Yeah, I am getting some pretty annoying lag problems with a iPod Touch 2G on 3.0 with isotope

      • pante

        oh, and vortex revolution does not even open... :)

    • http://hgrenade.com h.grenade

      The new 1.1 update to CS.One should be approved by Apple anyday now and that will let you choose the better physics update speed for the 3GS. Just choose Touch Gen 2 when it first launches or you can find it in the pause menu later on. It was built on 2.2.1 so it's still backwards compatible right now. Thats going to change soon we have some cool stuff in the works for the 1.2 update : )

      • aleceiffel

        oh good, i cant wait...

  • http://www.astrosaurus.com astrosaurus

    Wow, that's waaaaaay faster. Might have to get one after all.

  • http://www.astrosaurus.com astrosaurus

    Wow, that's waaaaaay faster. Might have to get one after all.

  • 5jusername

    i had a similar bug with my ipod touch 2g before with isteam. i was playing with it while it was plugged into my computer and some interference or something caused isteam to get all glitched up. the screen went completely white and suddenly there were also jagged black lines. when my ipod finished syncing, it went back to normal...i had a picture but it erasesd when i jailbroke it

  • 5jusername

    i had a similar bug with my ipod touch 2g before with isteam. i was playing with it while it was plugged into my computer and some interference or something caused isteam to get all glitched up. the screen went completely white and suddenly there were also jagged black lines. when my ipod finished syncing, it went back to normal...i had a picture but it erasesd when i jailbroke it

  • http://www.zero101.com Chris

    The 3Gs is definitely snappier... especially with 3D games. On my first-gen iPhone, Let's Golf stuttered quite a bit during the course fly-overs. On the 3Gs, it is incredibly smooth and never seems to hiccup.

    Can't wait to see what developers do with the new hardware!

  • http://www.zero101.com Chris

    The 3Gs is definitely snappier... especially with 3D games. On my first-gen iPhone, Let's Golf stuttered quite a bit during the course fly-overs. On the 3Gs, it is incredibly smooth and never seems to hiccup.

    Can't wait to see what developers do with the new hardware!

  • http://www.scifly2.com Josh Rosen

    I'll be getting access to a 3G S sometime tomorrow. I'm very interested to start testing my game engine on the device. It's an interesting problem now that the there are such heavy variations in the hardware. As a developer, it's difficult to decide what direction to take SciFly 2 in. It would be fun to add a bunch of 3G S features, but the user base will be so small it might simply not be worth it (for a small developer).

    • arn

      Yeah, the $99 iPhone's also going to keep that market strong. That said, I think whiz-bang 3d graphics are going to get you attention. So it's as much a marketing tool as it is for practicality.

    • spiffyone

      I say stick to what you're doing now.

      Maybe, after developing the game to final on the original iTouch/Phone hardware platform and releasing it, you can (and probably will) simply experiment with utilizing 3Gs specific features using the same engine even if you don't plan on releasing such a version. It would give you a head start which will prove beneficial if and when the new gen hardware (3Gs, and quite probably, the rumored iPod touch using 3Gs processors) has a more sizable install base (my guess? Within two years).

    • it's friday man

      Josh, there are some nice OS 3.0 features (not just 3G S) that you can take advantage of without compromising 2.x device functionality. The audio easter egg mentioned by William, below, is one such example.

      As arn says, flashy graphics and crowd pleasers sell - but don't let the smaller userbase put you off... I don't call 500,000+ pre-orders small myself, and the early bird gets the worm, as they say.

      • spiffyone

        Ah, but should he spend time (and therefore money) working on additional featurs that would only be used on 3Gs, which although having 500,000+ pre orders is completely dwarfed by the combined 40 million+ install base (and counting) of the original iTouch/Phone product line? Is it worth it at the current point in time?

        No. Not until the install base of the new hardware reaches a larger mass of consumers.

      • it's friday man

        No?

        Is that your business advice then?

        "Do I sell something to a diluted market or do a bit of extra work and sell to two markets, one of which is going to be hungry for product tailored to them, also doing work that I'd have to do anyway sooner or later in the future?"

        I think that's a "Up to you" rather than "yes" or "no".

        Speaking as someone in the same boat as him.

      • spiffyone

        No, that's my opinion on the matter. Did I need to put an "IMHO" in there for it to be clear to you, or are you capable of not reading into things for moment? The install base is small, much smaller than the current install base of the older hardware. The 500,000+ pre-orders do not necessarily represent gamers (as not all iPhone owners are game consumers, and, in fact, if you look at the numbers, you'd see that while a sizable percentage buy games, no all do). So as no one is truly sure where the market stands in regards to 3Gs specifically right now, and as he is an indie developer (and so time and money are critical, moreso than with larger firms), the risk/reward ratio skews more toward risk at this point in time. The risk, IMHO (see, just for you I make it clearer ;)) isn't something he should take right now. Later, when the install base is larger, and one is more assured as to the type of consumer base the 3Gs has (a sizable number of game consumers) he should let the experiments shine on the app store...IMO. There...I did it again, just for your benefit. I am nothing if not helpful ;)

      • arn

        The same could have been said about risk of developing for the app store in the first place. Waiting invokes risk as well... If the early devs had waited they would have done much worse even though the installed base back in July was much smaller.

        Bigger risk leads to greater rewards. I guarantee that the first impressive 3g S specific game will be covered here and bought by a ton of people just because. The same reason why people bought super monkey ball.

        arn

      • spiffyone

        Very true arn, but who were among those taking the earliest risks in regards to the app store?

        The larger developers, or the larger indie devs. Those with some amount of safety net to fall back on should things not go as planned.

        Josh is a single indie developer from my understanding. He may work with a relatively small team...I don't recall exactly (I think he's one his own). So the risk is much greater for someone in his position.

  • http://www.scifly2.com Josh Rosen

    I'll be getting access to a 3G S sometime tomorrow. I'm very interested to start testing my game engine on the device. It's an interesting problem now that the there are such heavy variations in the hardware. As a developer, it's difficult to decide what direction to take SciFly 2 in. It would be fun to add a bunch of 3G S features, but the user base will be so small it might simply not be worth it (for a small developer).

    • arn

      Yeah, the $99 iPhone's also going to keep that market strong. That said, I think whiz-bang 3d graphics are going to get you attention. So it's as much a marketing tool as it is for practicality.

    • spiffyone

      I say stick to what you're doing now.

      Maybe, after developing the game to final on the original iTouch/Phone hardware platform and releasing it, you can (and probably will) simply experiment with utilizing 3Gs specific features using the same engine even if you don't plan on releasing such a version. It would give you a head start which will prove beneficial if and when the new gen hardware (3Gs, and quite probably, the rumored iPod touch using 3Gs processors) has a more sizable install base (my guess? Within two years).

    • it's friday man

      Josh, there are some nice OS 3.0 features (not just 3G S) that you can take advantage of without compromising 2.x device functionality. The audio easter egg mentioned by William, below, is one such example.

      As arn says, flashy graphics and crowd pleasers sell - but don't let the smaller userbase put you off... I don't call 500,000+ pre-orders small myself, and the early bird gets the worm, as they say.

      • spiffyone

        Ah, but should he spend time (and therefore money) working on additional featurs that would only be used on 3Gs, which although having 500,000+ pre orders is completely dwarfed by the combined 40 million+ install base (and counting) of the original iTouch/Phone product line? Is it worth it at the current point in time?

        No. Not until the install base of the new hardware reaches a larger mass of consumers.

      • it's friday man

        No?

        Is that your business advice then?

        "Do I sell something to a diluted market or do a bit of extra work and sell to two markets, one of which is going to be hungry for product tailored to them, also doing work that I'd have to do anyway sooner or later in the future?"

        I think that's a "Up to you" rather than "yes" or "no".

        Speaking as someone in the same boat as him.

      • spiffyone

        No, that's my opinion on the matter. Did I need to put an "IMHO" in there for it to be clear to you, or are you capable of not reading into things for moment? The install base is small, much smaller than the current install base of the older hardware. The 500,000+ pre-orders do not necessarily represent gamers (as not all iPhone owners are game consumers, and, in fact, if you look at the numbers, you'd see that while a sizable percentage buy games, no all do). So as no one is truly sure where the market stands in regards to 3Gs specifically right now, and as he is an indie developer (and so time and money are critical, moreso than with larger firms), the risk/reward ratio skews more toward risk at this point in time. The risk, IMHO (see, just for you I make it clearer ;)) isn't something he should take right now. Later, when the install base is larger, and one is more assured as to the type of consumer base the 3Gs has (a sizable number of game consumers) he should let the experiments shine on the app store...IMO. There...I did it again, just for your benefit. I am nothing if not helpful ;)

      • arn

        The same could have been said about risk of developing for the app store in the first place. Waiting invokes risk as well... If the early devs had waited they would have done much worse even though the installed base back in July was much smaller.

        Bigger risk leads to greater rewards. I guarantee that the first impressive 3g S specific game will be covered here and bought by a ton of people just because. The same reason why people bought super monkey ball.

        arn

      • spiffyone

        Very true arn, but who were among those taking the earliest risks in regards to the app store?

        The larger developers, or the larger indie devs. Those with some amount of safety net to fall back on should things not go as planned.

        Josh is a single indie developer from my understanding. He may work with a relatively small team...I don't recall exactly (I think he's one his own). So the risk is much greater for someone in his position.

  • william

    I have noticed that on my 3GS, Need For Speed, is way faster, smoother, higher frame rates BUT what was unexpected was that their are addition sounds fx on the 3GS and not the 3G (road noise, crashes, nitro boost, tires squeal when drifting).... a very nice added touch I didn't expect!!

    • it's friday man

      OS 3.0 audio was improved to allow multiple compressed audio files played back at once (opposed to only one mp3/ACC at a time in 2.x)...

      • william

        I thought that might be the case, but my 3G is running 3.0.

  • william

    I have noticed that on my 3GS, Need For Speed, is way faster, smoother, higher frame rates BUT what was unexpected was that their are addition sounds fx on the 3GS and not the 3G (road noise, crashes, nitro boost, tires squeal when drifting).... a very nice added touch I didn't expect!!

    • it's friday man

      OS 3.0 audio was improved to allow multiple compressed audio files played back at once (opposed to only one mp3/ACC at a time in 2.x)...

      • william

        I thought that might be the case, but my 3G is running 3.0.

  • snowy2004

    Must say (looking at the iLounge vid), the Touch G2 seems to be holding up pretty well against the 3GS.

    • areg

      very true, tried to start real racing with the linked vieo and started exaclty the same speed as the 3gs

  • snowy2004

    Must say (looking at the iLounge vid), the Touch G2 seems to be holding up pretty well against the 3GS.

    • areg

      very true, tried to start real racing with the linked vieo and started exaclty the same speed as the 3gs

  • http://www.squarezerostudio.com Jose

    Just tested Katamari, which was unplayable on my 1 gen iPhone. It's freaking fantastic on the 3GS -- frankly, I can't distinguish it from the PSP version.

    Results with Pandemonium and Pirate Wing (both playable, but a fairly rough on the 1st gen) have been great as well. Also, it could be just me, but it seems like virtual controls are working much better as well.

    All in all, couldn't be happier...

  • http://www.squarezerostudio.com Jose

    Just tested Katamari, which was unplayable on my 1 gen iPhone. It's freaking fantastic on the 3GS -- frankly, I can't distinguish it from the PSP version.

    Results with Pandemonium and Pirate Wing (both playable, but a fairly rough on the 1st gen) have been great as well. Also, it could be just me, but it seems like virtual controls are working much better as well.

    All in all, couldn't be happier...

  • Cameron

    I just bought a 32 gig iPod Touch second gen like two months...it was the fastest iDevice for a short while...I feel so obsolete now...:(

  • Cameron

    I just bought a 32 gig iPod Touch second gen like two months...it was the fastest iDevice for a short while...I feel so obsolete now...:(

  • Adams Immersive

    I just console myself by thinking how happy I'll be with my 64GB iPhone next year.

  • Adams Immersive

    I just console myself by thinking how happy I'll be with my 64GB iPhone next year.

  • HHG

    HOLY COW!!!! THIS PHONE ROCKS!!! Unfortunately 40 Million out there don't have it.. DOH!!!

  • HHG

    HOLY COW!!!! THIS PHONE ROCKS!!! Unfortunately 40 Million out there don't have it.. DOH!!!

  • Sticktron

    Got a 3G-S today, took all day for them to add it to my account because Rogers' systems were slammed.

    Damn is this thing fast! Everything is just so snappy now, it's incredible.

  • Sticktron

    Got a 3G-S today, took all day for them to add it to my account because Rogers' systems were slammed.

    Damn is this thing fast! Everything is just so snappy now, it's incredible.

  • Aaron

    Are there any news about a new iPod Touch 3G?

  • Aaron

    Are there any news about a new iPod Touch 3G?

  • Member

    iPhone 3G vs iPhone 3G S 3D Graphics AirCoaster 3D
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9F8jivXUzOk

  • Member

    iPhone 3G vs iPhone 3G S 3D Graphics AirCoaster 3D
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9F8jivXUzOk

  • http://www.zodttd.com ZodTTD

    The iPhone 3GS is definitely powerful. Here's a video of a build of gpSPhone (gba emulator) I have on the iPhone 3GS (codesigned under XCode for 3.0) running Pokemon Emerald:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YlCl5tKi4Y

    The iPhone 3G barely would reach 60 FPS, and the iPhone 3GS is reaching a whopping 225 FPS+!

    • arn

      ZodTTD - Did you ever try it on a 2nd Gen iPod Touch?

      arn

      • http://www.zodttd.com ZodTTD

        I don't have a 2nd gen iPod Touch to test with, and sadly I've only heard reports of "it's faster than the 1st gen" in terms of user feedback. Seemed only slightly faster, not enough to make a leap in playability. The 2nd gen iPod Touch wasn't nearly as fast as the iPhone 3GS.

      • arn

        I mean the 2nd Gen Touch doesn't meet the 3GS, but it's significantly faster than the 3G.

    • Rev

      Zod, please test psx emu on 3GS and post results

      • http://www.zodttd.com ZodTTD

        Will do. Though I may need a jailbreak in order to get some of the functionality needed to have it perform at it's peak (due to a coding technique called a dynarec).

  • http://www.zodttd.com ZodTTD

    The iPhone 3GS is definitely powerful. Here's a video of a build of gpSPhone (gba emulator) I have on the iPhone 3GS (codesigned under XCode for 3.0) running Pokemon Emerald:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YlCl5tKi4Y

    The iPhone 3G barely would reach 60 FPS, and the iPhone 3GS is reaching a whopping 225 FPS+!

    • arn

      ZodTTD - Did you ever try it on a 2nd Gen iPod Touch?

      arn

      • http://www.zodttd.com ZodTTD

        I don't have a 2nd gen iPod Touch to test with, and sadly I've only heard reports of "it's faster than the 1st gen" in terms of user feedback. Seemed only slightly faster, not enough to make a leap in playability. The 2nd gen iPod Touch wasn't nearly as fast as the iPhone 3GS.

      • arn

        I mean the 2nd Gen Touch doesn't meet the 3GS, but it's significantly faster than the 3G.

    • Rev

      Zod, please test psx emu on 3GS and post results

      • http://www.zodttd.com ZodTTD

        Will do. Though I may need a jailbreak in order to get some of the functionality needed to have it perform at it's peak (due to a coding technique called a dynarec).

  • Sticktron

    Seriously, this hardware is unbelieveable. I've just been playing some 2XL and Terminator and it is a whole new experience. Everything is sooo fluid, this is PSP quality now, amazing. You can tell I'm enthused, even typing is more enjoyable :)

  • Sticktron

    Seriously, this hardware is unbelieveable. I've just been playing some 2XL and Terminator and it is a whole new experience. Everything is sooo fluid, this is PSP quality now, amazing. You can tell I'm enthused, even typing is more enjoyable :)

  • NeoTrunks

    The difference is night and day. My only other iDevice was the original Edge iPhone. The change in speed reminds me of when I moved from my G4 Mac Mini to my C2D iMac at 2.4 GHz and 3GB of memory.

  • NeoTrunks

    The difference is night and day. My only other iDevice was the original Edge iPhone. The change in speed reminds me of when I moved from my G4 Mac Mini to my C2D iMac at 2.4 GHz and 3GB of memory.

  • http://www.fftrealm.com Noah

    I took some photographs using both the 3G and the 3G S and posted it on my blog. In the words of Neo, the difference is night and day: http://noahk17.blogspot.com/2009/06/my-iphone-photo-comparison.html

  • http://www.fftrealm.com Noah

    I took some photographs using both the 3G and the 3G S and posted it on my blog. In the words of Neo, the difference is night and day: http://noahk17.blogspot.com/2009/06/my-iphone-photo-comparison.html

  • http://picasaweb.google.com/silviantrius diabolus

    Sorry but these Tests were just STUPID!!

    I have 76 Apps onmy iPhone 3G.

    And Real Racing starts at my iPhone 3G faster, then on this iPhone 3GS in your test!!!!

    Yes!!!

    And every test I've seen on youtube is stupid!!

    My iPhone 3G loads games MUCH faster then in these videos.

    Is it just a ADVERTISMENT of new iPhone 3GS or what???

    Sorry people, but if you want I can upload my 3G videos and you will see that the speed of that is MUCH better then in those tests!!!!

  • http://picasaweb.google.com/silviantrius diabolus

    Sorry but these Tests were just STUPID!!

    I have 76 Apps onmy iPhone 3G.

    And Real Racing starts at my iPhone 3G faster, then on this iPhone 3GS in your test!!!!

    Yes!!!

    And every test I've seen on youtube is stupid!!

    My iPhone 3G loads games MUCH faster then in these videos.

    Is it just a ADVERTISMENT of new iPhone 3GS or what???

    Sorry people, but if you want I can upload my 3G videos and you will see that the speed of that is MUCH better then in those tests!!!!

  • http://www.bollywoodtag.com Griselda Anast

    Awesome entry I just Love it, Keep posting more like this!

  • http://www.bollywoodtag.com Griselda Anast

    Awesome entry I just Love it, Keep posting more like this!

  • Anonymous

    hkgg