Resident Evil Village Lands on the iPhone 15 Pro with PS5-Level Performance

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When Apple unveiled the iPhone 15 Pro lineup last month, it was easy to get captivated by the sleek new titanium finish and the 5x optical zoom of the larger iPhone 15 Pro Max, but the biggest improvement was something that Apple could only boast about in vaguer terms — until now, that is.

The real marquee feature of the iPhone 15 Pro wasn’t just its outward appearance but also the new Apple silicon packed inside. While an A17 chip was a logical upgrade to last year’s A16, Apple took it a big step further, making enough improvements to usher in a new class of A-series chip for the first time in six years. Leaving the “Bionic” moniker behind, Apple boldly dubbed its new chip the A17 Pro.

The biggest change? A “breakthrough new GPU” that Apple’s engineering executives described as the biggest redesign Apple has ever made to an Apple GPU. The A17 Pro not only gained an extra GPU core over its predecessors, but it also came with 20% peak performance improvements, an Apple-designed shader architecture, hardware-accelerated ray tracing, and Metal effect upscaling that combines the GPU and Neural Engine to produce even higher-quality graphics.

What that technical collection of terms actually means is that Apple had effectively turned the iPhone 15 Pro into a gaming powerhouse, promising enough performance to play actual console-quality games.

It all sounded very promising, especially considering that Apple also announced that it had partnered with some serious mobile gaming companies to bring titles such as Resident Evil Village, Resident Evil 4, and Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Mirage to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

To be clear, we’re not talking about mobile ports of these games — that sort of thing has been done to death for years. Apple promised that these would be the full console versions of the games, equivalent to what you’ll get on a PlayStation 5.

However, it’s hard to fully appreciate how powerful this is without any game titles to show off. It sounds great in the presentation, but as the old saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Not long after Apple’s event, Resident Evil 4 appeared for preorder on the App Store as an iPhone 15 Pro exclusive title, but it has yet to be released.

Thankfully, Capcom’s much newer title, Resident Evil Village has now arrived to beat the remake to the punch, and early reviewers are blown away not only by how well it performs but also by what it promises for the future of mobile gaming — and Apple’s role in it.

It’s incredible that Resident Evil Village plays as well as it does on the iPhone. The game is every bit as captivating as when I first played it on the PS5, and I was blown away by how well it translated to the tinier screen. But the game’s graphics aren’t the most interesting thing going on with this release — I’m much more excited for what it might be teasing for Apple gaming in the future.Jay Peters, The Verge

The Verge’s Jay Peters had the opportunity to try a pre-release version on an iPhone 15 Pro Max. While he noted that it doesn’t “translate well” to the iPhone’s touchscreen — a common problem in adapting controller-based games — he added that “the iPhone itself holds up as a console.”

Once I broke down and connected my DualSense controller, things felt pretty much just like I remembered they did on my PS5, and the controls came back to me right away.Jay Peters, The Verge

The iPhone version of Resident Evil Village is exclusively available for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max since it absolutely requires the A17 Pro chip. Capcom isn’t even going to try to scale it down and make it playable on an A16 Bionic or older, likely because it would be impossible to deliver the same experience without the A17 Pro’s much more powerful GPU. However, the same download can also be played on an iPad with an M1 chip or later, which currently includes the latest fifth-generation iPad Air and the last two generations of iPad Pro.

The game is a whopping 7.92GB, but it’s a free download with a limited trial so you can give it a spin on your iPhone 15 Pro, and until November 20th, you can unlock the full game for $15.99 — 60% off the regular price. There’s also DLC content available via in-app purchases that are the same as the PC and console versions.

As Peters notes, Resident Evil Village has also been available for Apple’s M-series Macs since around this time last year, and with Apple adding powerful new game mode features in macOS Sonoma, it seems the A17 Pro is just part of the company’s ambitions to embrace and extend gaming across the board.

There have been some rumors that tonight’s Scary Fast event could be more about gaming — highlighting what Apple’s new M3 chips bring to gaming rather than just focusing on pro-level applications like graphic design, animation, and video editing. There’s even been a suggestion that the event will “include a major tie-in with a Japanese game developer” to explain why Apple is holding it so unusually late — 5 p.m. Pacific Time is 9 a.m. in Japan.

Meanwhile, Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 remake is still on deck for later this year, with a single purchase price giving you access to it on all Apple platforms — the iPhone 15 Pro, M1/M2 iPads, and Apple Silicon Macs. Other titles we can expect to see coming to the iPhone 15 Pro later this year or early next are Death Stranding: Director’s Cut, Assasin’s Creed Mirage, and The Division Resurgence — titles that will premier on the flagship iPhones but will very likely also be playable on the iPad and Mac.

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