The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus may come with some neat features and very impressive technology, but the extra size of the phone may mean that creating, and ultimately playing, some of your favorite mobile games may become much harder to play, if not impossible.
"To be honest, it's not so much about making it hard to develop the games," game developer Bennett Foddy told Polygon. "We'll figure that out. But it makes it hard to design games that are really nice to play."
The problem is that you can no longer comfortably hold the phone in one hand and use your thumb to touch the entirety of the screen.
"The phones are too big to play in portrait mode, one-handed. If you look on the Android charts, there are almost no portrait mode games in the top 50," Foddy explained. "On the iPhone charts, there are many. Portrait mode means you can play on the train, standing in line, walking down the street, but you can't do that on a big phone, where you're gripping it hard just to make sure you don't drop it. So this is the end of that format of games, a format which many of my favorites — including Flappy Bird, Threes and Spelltower — used."
The ability to design a game around one form factor is about to die.
"The resolution is not such a big deal if the scaling is genuinely high-quality. But you do need to think hard about the fact that the reachable areas of the screen will be different on each model of phone," he continued. "It just makes it hard to make a tight pairing between the game software and the phone hardware, something that the iPhone used to be really good for."
There's nothing really to be done with this issue, the market clearly demanded phones of different sizes, but the ability to design a game around one form factor is about to die.
"As soon as you start diversifying the form factor, designers have to start doing interaction design that works acceptably on a bunch of different screen shapes, rather than tuning it to perfection for one single size. No doubt 3DS designers faced similar issues when Nintendo released the XL," Foddy said.
"Maybe the current market reality is that you can't succeed selling just one size of phone, but as a designer and a player I really enjoyed it while it lasted!"