In a recent interview with IGN, an Apple executive claimed that the iPhone 15 Pro was “going to be the best game console.” I was skeptical; although Apple boasted about the capabilities of its new GPU in its A17 Pro chip and said high-fidelity games like Resident Evil Village, the Resident Evil 4 remake, and Death Stranding would all be coming to the iPhone 15 Pro, I didn’t believe they would run very well in practice.
But after actually seeing footage of Resident Evil Village in action on an iPhone 15 Pro, I’m coming around to the idea that Apple’s vision isn’t as far out as I thought.
You can see the game in a video from YouTuber Vincent Zhong, starting at 13:48. First, Zhang plays Village on the 15 Pro on a mobile game controller attachment, and the footage looks pretty decent. But then comes the good part: Zhang hooks up the phone to an external display and a DualSense controller, and, at least in his video, Resident Evil Village looks closer than I expected to the graphical quality of the game on a console.
I don’t think it’ll be a 1:1 match. According to the captions in 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 effect 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 sling console-quality games from your iPhone to a big screen might be appealing in a pinch. It might be especially useful when you’re traveling or away from your home setup. We’ll have to wait and see how good the final versions of the iOS ports of like Village, RE4, and Death Stranding actually are — and if Apple can convince more developers to bring their console-quality games to the iPhone — but I’m way more intrigued about them out than I was last week.
The gaming push for the iPhone 15 Pro is part of a bigger recent focus on higher-end gaming from Apple. For Macs, for example, it introduced a Proton-like tool that can run Windows games. Fingers crossed that actually translates into more games I can play on my MacBook Air, but while I’m waiting, at least I’ll be able to give Baldur’s Gate 3 a shot.