sep_2013_event_invite-1We're less than a day away from Apple's keynote, where we're essentially guaranteed new iPhones. Everyone who follows the rumor mill already knows that we're likely looking at two models: A speed-boosted iPhone 5 dubbed the iPhone 5S and a plastic-backed iPhone 5C which is expected to be a lesser-specced phone to help Apple gain some traction in lower-cost markets.

We've reached out to a few developers regarding what they hope to see under the hood of the new iPhone, and the sentiment seems pretty similar across the board: While the notion of a 64bit mobile processor and potential support for OpenGL ES 3.0 are interesting, the exciting part for iOS game developers is that the release of new devices means that the market is getting that much closer to being able to slide the minimum hardware requirements up another notch.

For instance, the newest iPhones and iPads are actually very well specced under the hood, but when you set out to develop a game or app you want to cast as wide of a net as possible when it comes to device support. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to specifically focus on games that can only run on the newest hardware when there are still so many iPhone 4's in the wild that you'd be turning your backs on.

So, as iPhone 4 owners slowly retire their phones and either opt for an iPhone 5 or an iPhone 5S, games could get better on your existing iPhone 5 without even needing to buy anything new. We saw this in a big way when the iPhone 3G more or less rotated out, as developers could build games fully leaning on the new OpenGL capabilities of the iPhone 3GS with a nice performance overhead if you were running those same games on the iPhone 4.

Of course, this all potentially goes out the window if Apple skimps on the power of the iPhone 5C. If Apple cuts too many corners to make the iPhone 5C as cheap as possible, it could have the opposite effect as developers are still forced to include support for older hardware instead of moving forward. The guts of the 5C are a huge wildcard right now.

This morning's news of the PlayStation Vita TV throws an interesting wrench into the "What's going to happen to the Apple TV?" question- As now we have a company with arguably just as much brand recognition as Apple, and arguably more when it comes to audio/visual/gaming hardware, building a set top box that at least at first blush totally outclasses the Apple TV in every way that isn't "Buying and viewing iTunes content."

Where I'm thinking things will get interesting is in the world of iOS 7 game controllers. We've posted about them a lot and I've got my money on there being some huge reveal tomorrow. All of the usual suspects that normally would be talking about these sorts of things are being awfully quiet, and arguably, too quiet, for something cool to not be announced tomorrow.

Apple typically shows a game or two during their keynotes, so, maybe we'll see a sick demo of iOS 7 game controls that incorporates the Apple TV? I just hope we get some surprises, as the rumor mill is getting a little too effective, making these keynotes almost vaguely boring as Tim Cook goes through all the things we already knew from the endless leaks that spring up closer and closer to release.

Do you guys think we're going to see anything outside of the obvious?

  • cobbyco

    Statistics BS
    iPhone 5C
    iPhone 5S
    iPod nano software upgrade
    iPod touch 6th gen (5th gen 16gb still sold)
    Something about MFi controllers
    Recap of iOS 7
    Apple TV software upgrade
    Done.

    • cobbyco

      A bit more in-depth:
      iPhone 5C - A6 with 5MP rear camera and FaceTime HD camera. Looks just like the leaks. C = Colour.
      iPhone 5S - 64 bit A7 with 1GB RAM (same as before), 12MP rear camera with dual flash and FaceTime HD camera. Fingerprint scanner on home button. 2 new colours (white & champagne and black and graphite). S = Security.
      iPod touch 6th Gen - A6 with 1GB RAM (iPhone 5), 8MP rear camera and FaceTime HD camera. Fingerprint scanner on home button. New black and silver option (same as 5th gen 16gb). 5th gen 16gb still sold at current price. No 16gb 6th gen until summer 2014.

      • Drizzt79

        Someone's done a lot of thinking about this!

  • pillzhereish

    I expect the iPhone "5S" so I can finally retire my 3GS and play Bad Piggies without getting through a whole minute of loading screen :)
    Also, RR3 and 2K Drive and the whole lot of games requiring more than 256MB of memory ;)

    • marc0313

      2K Drive is shit, from what I can see.

  • Christopher Wiley

    If all this talk of iOS controllers comes to fruition, expect Apple to re-tackle other media with or without AppleTV.

    Imagine sitting on your couch, using your iPhone to flip channels on live TV when you decide to load up the next episode of Breaking Bad on Netflix. Then, imagine tweeting about it while you watch. After the episode, you switch over to Junk Jack X and meet up with your buddies in the sprawling 2-D recreation of NYC you've created.

    Or that could all be bullshit and there will just be a bunch of plastic peripherals that Bluetooth-connect for racing games until your dog eats them.

    • Rejera

      The first scenario is already possible just not on an apple device. All the awesome options you described are all functions of the Wii U...

      • D-Vader

        The Wii U also comes with ugly looks, awkward controllers, and only a few decent games.

      • darkcheetah

        Least it has controllers...

  • Blodia

    Pippin II!

  • Wizard_Mike

    I agree that the iOS 7 game controllers could be a game changer (pun intended, heh).

    I already look at my iPad as a gaming console, in addition to all the other stuff it does. Adding a controller to the mix that is part of the standard SDK might push such a sentiment closer to the mainstream.

    I remember how cool my psONE (the little tiny one) with attached LCD screen was. Everyone that played on it loved it. If that thing was cool back then, I can't imagine how cool an iPad with standard controllers will be.

    The only thing I worry about is that devs will still be forced to make "non-controller" versions of their games. The Wii suffered a lot because it was rough for third parties to put their games onto it. Not because it couldn't hold up in the hardware department, because that stuff is easily adjusted, but because they had to figure out how to make their game work on the wacky controller. The Wii had the classic controller pro, which had everything any game would need, but developers weren't allowed to make a game as "Classic Controller Pro Required." They still had to finagle their game controls onto a wiimote and nunchuck, which mostly lead to the game never making it to the Wii.

    I can potentially see a veritable storm of games hitting the iOS market with the advent of a standard iOS controller. Not just new stuff, but collections of older games, too. But if developers aren't allowed to simply port their game over and are still forced to develop a touchscreen UI and virtual controls, then I imagine they won't even bother. If they are allowed to just straight port their games over to iOS as "controller required" games, though... hooboy, that's gonna be a good time.

  • xzeldax3

    I really hope a fingerprint scanner isn't included because the amount of chopped off thumbs alongside iPhone thefts will rise greatly.

    • Karzay

      If they do include it, it will mostly likely be optional. Your thumbs will be safe from theft!

      • PureRumble

        Ah yeah right! So youre gonna convince the thief that assaults you in the middle of the night by screaming "aaaah please please dont take my thumb! Locking your iphone by thumb scan is optional! I swear i havent enabled it i swear! Please!"

        Didnt think of that did you know?

      • PureRumble

        But on a better day you can try this while the guy stands there armed with a knife: "i havent used my thumb for locking but instead another finger. And i aint telling you which one! Aha! Gotchya!!!"

      • Karzay

        I didn't even think about that! And what if the thief is a partially blind Russian and can't speak English? He wouldn't understand what you are telling him anyway. He might kill you because he thinks you tried to trick him with an Android phone! Instead of only losing a thumb, you could lose your life!!! Man, I hate when that happens!!!

        Although then again, I think if parking lots and dark alleys include partially blind Russian thieves at some point, they will most likely be optional. :)

  • kiggle
  • ElectromagneticMelaniePulse

    I can't see them releasing the 5C with worse than iTouch 5 / iPhone 4S internals, and those shouldn't slow down the progression of gaming too much. Given that it's presumably going to be priced similarly to the iPod Touch, it wouldn't make sense for them release it a year later with worse specs.

  • shaver

    IMO 64-bit userspace would be a bad change. The increase in memory use hurts on mobile, especially with comparatively-expensive ARM cache misses, and the pointer-heavy nature of ObjC development.

    • PureRumble

      What are you talking about? 64 bit is the internal word size of the main chip's/cpu's calculation registers and memory read and write sizes.

      A cpu that works with 64 bit values instead 32 bit values can perform many crucial operations (such as mathematical and bitwise arithmetic) much faster, thus increasing performance. This results in faster video decoding, more impressive physics mechanics in games, faster encryption/decryption, etc.

      Or am i missing something?

      • PureRumble

        Nope. I looked it up; we are all good

        A6 - 32 bit word size (registers and bus size)

        Assuming the a7 upgrades to 64 bit, then this will be nothing but good

      • darkcheetah

        Except for games that run on 32bit, as 64bit architecture will produce a double of a 32bit game effectively taking double the ram to play a single game.

  • one.sixty.four

    I'm hoping for...

    * iPad mini 2 retina with an A6 chip or better
    * iPad 5 retina with an A7X chip
    * iPhone 5S retina with an A7 chip

    • one.sixty.four

      Oh, I forgot about the cameras.
      iPad mini 2 - 8mp or better
      iPad 5 - 8mp or better
      iPhone 5s - 12mp or better

  • WmTasker

    I just can't wait to see if it will be an iPhone 5S or 6. Do you think apple would waste this completely new iOS 7 on just an upgrade to the iPhone 5? I hope they have something up their sleeve that will shock all of us. We need and deserve it.

  • marc0313

    WHO CARES. STOP SPECULATING. WE'RE A DAY AWAY PEOPLE.

    • D-Vader

      I care. I've been counting down the hours. (;

    • emmanuelh

      Where's the fun in that?

  • emmanuelh

    I'm expecting Apple to refresh EVERYTHING!

  • ineptidude

    Infinity Blade 3? I can hope...

  • warrenva

    One thing I don't understand about this so called Apple 5C 'cheap', is that why not just sell older models to these developing countries? It's an already established product that certainly costs less than newer phones.

    • C. Stubb

      One word: Marketing. And it's not just for developing countries. Believe it or not there are people who are a bit hesitant to sink $300 into a new device every year.

    • Tomate Diseño

      Well Apple doesn't keep old stock and it's not like they can keep making the older models - aside from having the city sized factories building them focused on one particular product they wouldn't be able to get the components as they'll be discontinued just like the products they go into making.

    • NeonGreenKermit

      1 - move away from the old hardware limitations of 30 pin, smaller screen. Establish product uniformity.
      2 - raise the minimum chipset for developers, internal and external.
      3 - offload surplus stock of iPhone 5 internals.
      4 - lower costs of production, as reverting back to producing older chipsets will actually cost more.
      5 - gain a new audience who want a modern smartphone at a lower price, not yesterday's
      6 - need more reasons?

  • worldcitizen1919

    Basically more of the same except for a slight hardware boost. Apple do things in increments but do not really innovate.for instance I have widgets, live wallpaper, voice control of my camera and umpteen dozen customisation not to mention a nice large screen on my galaxy S3 which will NOT be included in this update. So for you isheep out there you are still behind even BEFORE the new iPhones and ios have even been released.

    • Jake7905

      Without Apple's App Store, other smartphones and tablets are at an automatic disadvantage, despite being able to talk to your camera. (I prefer a large library of quality games over a tech gimmick that I'll never use)

    • C. Stubb

      "Not really innovate"?! Didn't every smartphone and tablet in the market start as an iPhone/iPad knock off? Although it is sad that, ever since Cook took over, most "upgrades" have just made the iOS devices more similar to their competitors.

  • http://ask.fm/MidianGTX MidianGTX

    Just hurry up and give us iOS7 so I can get over how cheap and tacky the new icons are already.

    • Jake7905

      Yeah, that part sounded more like a downgrade to me.

  • NeonGreenKermit

    iPhone 5C = iPhone 5 with a plastic back. Identical internals.

    "iPhone 5 has been the fastest ever selling iPhone... and now we want everyone to have the opportunity to enjoy it"

    Will probably annoy a lot of recent 5 owners who, now, will have forked out a premium just for the metal unibody.

    • one.sixty.four

      My guess is that the the 5C will be a 4S. Or at least have an A5 chip

      • NeonGreenKermit

        Not a chance, the A5 isn't powerful enough, and it probably would cost Apple more to produce more A5 than simply use their stockpiled A6. You'll see :)

      • NeonGreenKermit

        See?

  • Jzracin

    Android phones do have more customization abilities but all the best games come to iphone first becuz they r easier to develop games for unlike all the different models of android phones thats why i have an iPhone

  • jonnyboi51

    I am hoping for a 6 Gen iPod touch!!! We always seem to take a back seat to the iPhone but dominate the iPod market. Hoping down the road for something along the line of a 5-6 inch screen for gaming/iphablet. Between the current screen size and the iPad mini:)

  • Tomate Diseño

    I really REALLY want an iPod that does what my old Gizmondo could - GPS and text messaging. That Apples flagship mp3 player still isn't up to par with a device from eight years ago is perplexing.

  • Quazonk

    I'm expecting the iPhone 5S to be the straw that firmly cements Apple phones to be inferior to the competition. I've had every iPhone since the first one and have defended it to the death, sunk thousands into their app ecosystem...but honestly, they're falling way behind. I expect Apple shares to plummet tomorrow. Money set aside for an S4. It's a shame they can't keep up anymore :/

  • http://www.kortesalo.com/ i-kari

    Let's see if I'm going to upgrade from my 3GS this time around. Haven't found a reason to shell out 600+ euros just to have a new model because my trusty old 3GS still works perfectly.

    I guess when I finally update I will probably think "why didn't I do this earlier?".

  • lepke

    As long as they won't do a big reveal of a smart watch I am happy. But I will be watching for new iPad, controller and ios7.

    • Dueler

      But i really want a smart watch :(

      Seriously i keep imagining how good a wireless earpiece, smartphone/phablet & smart watch combo would be.

      The easiest sell is that the watches screen could easily be used to quickly check or set some supported apps without needing to rip out your entire phone.

      Id want to Accept/Deny calls & control music right from the watch using my iphone to send music/calls to my earpieces front cam on the watch and mic on the earpiece for easy calls aswell. easily set alarms/reminders and send commands to Siri on connected iphone or similar software.

      Thats just a short think too and id already buy it.. I mean it has to look good tho.

      • lepke

        It will never be more beautiful than a proper watch and even though you explain it well, between my phone, pad and computer, no thanks.

  • PresidentZer0

    Oh Lord. I really hope they will show mfi controllers and maybe some debs who will update their games with the release of iOS and some MfiI controllers(gameloft maybe?)

  • At

    Are we gonna be able to watch the keynote live?