In a recent interview with IGN, an Apple executive claimed that the iPhone 15 Pro was “going to be the best gaming console.” I was skeptical; although Apple has boasted about the capabilities of its new GPU in its A17 Pro chip and declared high-fidelity gaming as Resident Evil VillageTHE Resident Evil 4 redo, and Death Stranding would all come to the iPhone 15 Pro, I didn’t think they would work very well in practice.
But after seeing images of Resident Evil Village in action on an iPhone 15 Pro, I come to the idea that Apple’s vision is not as far away as I thought.
You can watch the match in a video from YouTuber Vincent Zhong, starting at 1:48 p.m. First of all, Zhang plays Village on the 15 Pro on a mobile gaming controller attachment, and the images look pretty decent. But then comes the good part: Zhang connects the phone to an external display and a DualSense controller, and, at least in his video, Resident Evil Village seems closer than I expected to the graphical quality of the game on console.
I don’t think it will be a 1:1 match. According to the captions of Zhang’s video, the game’s resolution is locked at 1560 x 720 and its framerate is “currently” locked at 30fps. And Zhang says the experience has its flaws: “The screen mirroring is definitely not as good as on the phone,” Zhang says. “Definitely not as good as the original effect on the game console.”
Still, I can see how plugging your phone into a monitor to stream console-quality games from your iPhone to a big screen could be appealing in a pinch. This can be especially useful when traveling or away from home. We’ll have to wait and see how good the final versions of iOS ports of like Village, RE4And Death Stranding actually are – and whether Apple can convince more developers to bring their console-quality games to the iPhone – but I’m way more intrigued about them than I was last week.
The gaming push for the iPhone 15 Pro is part of a broader Apple refocus on high-end gaming. For Macs, for example, it introduced a Proton-like tool capable of running Windows games. I’m crossing my fingers that this translates into more games I can play on my MacBook Air, but in the meantime I’ll at least be able to give Baldur’s Gate 3 a shot.