The iPhone isn't just powerful, it's actually capable of crashing through id's upcoming graphics showcase Rage with silky smooth aplomb. That's the takeaway from id Software technical director John Carmack's tech demo at this year's Quake Con 2010, a giant annual LAN party occurring now in Dallas, Texas.
It's hard to tell just how much geometry's being churned watching videos of the demonstration--never mind the texturing, the game rooms look boxy and simplistic--but one thing's inarguable: The view pans fluidly. According to Carmack, you're looking at a working demo of Rage, using id's Tech 5 visual engine, as it chews on megatextures while managing to deliver a steady 60 frames per second.
Apparently the game will be out sometime this year for the iPhone, and consume a couple hundred megabytes of storage space.
Assuming Apple's not using some beamed-in-from-the-future iPhone, that means we're probably looking at the 45 nanometer PowerVR SGX535, the graphical subset of the Apple A4 system-on-a-chip employed in the iPhone 4. The SGX535 is reportedly capable of handling 28 million triangles per second.
Now wouldn't it be something if Apple slipped a PowerVR SGX540 into the next iteration of the iPhone. If they did, you'd be looking at a device capable of rendering a whopping 90 million triangles per second. And guess what uses that processor: Samsung's forthcoming Galaxy S smartphone, launching at the end of this month for $249.99.
For comparison purposes, the PS3 can do around 250 million triangles per second, while the Xbox 360 can push through 500 million (obviously that's only one of several important performance indices, but still).
Will id support the Android platform? Unquestionably--it's just a matter of time--meaning the mobile market game wars are about to get an order of magnitude more interesting.
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