Earlier today, Apple revealed the next generation iPad to the world. As many expected, the updated tablet, which will hit stores next week, will come with a higher resolution screen (2048x1536) and a more powerful, quad-core graphics processor. Gaming is likely to be affected the most by these increased specs, so we reached out to several well-known iOS developers to get their first impressions on the hardware.
Mike Capps of Epic (Infinity Blade, Infinity Blade Dungeons)
"The quad core [processor] makes a big difference in terms of what we can draw. When you think about it, they increased the resolution of the screen by a factor of four and they doubled the graphics performance, that wouldn't make you think, Great, we've got tons of extra graphics performance. But they increased the memory as well and that made a huge difference. One: we all have to share the memory with all the other apps that are running. And two: it really let us put in higher resolution textures, which aren't much harder to draw. We don't need a processor for that. But they take up a ton of space. Infinity Blade 2 takes up like 700 megs or something like that, it's a big game. And now, to draw something with four times resolution, you need it even more. Having more memory has been a real win for us."
Phil Larsen of Halfbrick (Fruit Ninja, Jetpack Joyride)
"We are extremely excited about the massive resolution – it’s going to mean a lot of hard work to improve our games but we always want to move forward and increase our quality bar ... Apple said themselves that with a little bit of time, developers can do things that are mind-blowing. That’s definitely what we are setting out to achieve, so the team in Australia will be getting down to business – as soon as they wake up!"
Giordano Bruno Contestabile of PopCap (Bejeweled)
"The [processing] power is good, it's not a concern for us. The resolution is really just about creating high resolution assets and, in some cases, we might think about adapting UI to take advantage of the higher resolution. For a game like Bejeweled, especially, resolution means a better looking game. But we also may be able to adapt the UI to include more menu options and make the game a little more fun for players.
"It's work, but it's work that we need to do. I also think that when a new iPad or Apple device comes out, customers expect you to support it natively pretty quickly. They do have a few months of tolerance, but if you don't eventually get there, you're probably not giving a good service to them. We're talking about it now. We want to do it as quickly as possible.
"We are lucky because our games are available on different platforms, so we do have a high resolution PC version, for example. So that makes it easier, making it for high resolution iPad. But we always wait before doing implementation because, with Apple, you never know. Surely we don't push the technology, but the new iPad might make some new opportunities more interesting."
David Kalina of Tiger Style Games (Spider, Waking Mars)
"We have been anticipating this for a long time, so we have art assets that are high resolution enough. Also we designed the game so it works on a Retina Display iPhone and the camera distance is pulled out a little bit compared to the camera distance on the iPad, but the art should look awesome right away. Really my concern is whether it will perform as well as it does on the iPad 2. The iPad 2 is such a powerful machine, but when you quadruple the number of pixels, you might have fill rate problems where you didn't before. I just need to get my hands on it but I think it's going to be a really quick job for us. I have no idea how long it would take to implement it."
Kepa Auwae of Rocketcat Games (Hook Champ, Mage Gauntlet)
On Apple increasing the size limit for downloads that don't require WiFi
"The 50mb [increase] is great for us. Before, we had to limit a lot of our content, especially music, in order to not get slammed by the cellular download limits. The increased cap means we can have much more varied music, without worrying about lost sales when someone can't download one of our games until they get home."