"Pro-class GPU" in iPhone 15 Pro's A17 Pro chip spells trouble for PlayStation and Xbox

"Pro-class GPU" in iPhone 15 Pro's A17 Pro chip spells trouble for PlayStation and Xbox
During the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max announcement today, Apple spent a good while to discuss the new A17 Pro chipset, and more specifically – its brand new GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), which Apple calls "Pro-Class".

What does that mean?

Apple says this is the biggest GPU redesign in the history of the iPhone, which is a bold claim, but also somewhat vague, so what are the actual benefits? Well, the company claims peak graphics performance versus the A16 Bionic generation has been increased by a whopping 20%, which, thankfully, isn't at the expense of energy efficiency. In fact, Apple claims the efficiency and even sustained performance during highly demanding operations have been improved against its predecessor. This, of course, is courtesy of the cutting-edge 3nm extreme ultraviolet lithography technology used by the A17 Pro.

Moving on, a higher-level graphics experience has been achieved via a new, Apple-designed shader architecture, as well as hardware-accelerated ray tracing. The latter was only available on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 so far. The A17 Pro's ray tracing tech, which allows for 4x faster ray tracing performance compared to the A16's software-based ray tracing, will be helpful in achieving more immersive gaming and AR experiences.

Speaking of gaming! Apple seems pretty stoked about the new chip's gaming potential, and goes as far as to say that it'll enable true console-level (pro-class) titles to run natively on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. And we're not talking about 90's classics here, we're talking modern titles like 2021's Resident Evil Village, or 2023's Resident Evil 4 Remake, which are available on the latest-generation gaming consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X!

What's more, it was announced today that the upcoming Assassin's Creed Mirage will also be released on the iPhone, alongside the usual range of platforms. It'll be interesting to see if other game developers will jump on board and port their existing current-gen AAA titles to the iPhone as well.

The two Resident Evil games are expected to launch for iPhone 15 Pro later this year, while Assassin's Creed Mirage will be available in early 2024. Other, more mobile-native games also announced to heavily benefit from the new A17 Pro chip include The Division: Resurgence, Honkai: Star Rail and Genshin Impact.

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