iPhone 15 Pro Max is secretly a Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch killer

The newest iPhone 15 Pro Max will blow away portable gaming consoles without much effort.

Beware Steam and Nintendo because Apple just dropped the biggest challenger in the portable gaming arena. The iPhone 15 Pro Max is a titan for a reason. Its newest A17 Pro CPU and six-core GPU are equipped with new features that can handle any games thrown at it. Plus, the iPhone 15 Pro Max has the screen size and quality to match the immersion found in Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch.

Let’s have a quick look at the relevant specifications:

FeaturesiPhone 15 Pro MaxSteam Deck Nintendo Switch
Display size6.7 inches 7.0 inches 7.0 inches
Brightness1,000 nits (typical)400 nits (typical)400 nits (typical)
Clock speed (max)3.7 GHz (speculated)3.5 GHz1.785 GHz

The A17 Pro SoC on the iPhone 15 Pro Max is rumored with a clock speed of 3.7GHz, which is high and considered PC level. No surprise if Apple really wants the smartphone to play very demanding games with PC-like graphics. Steam Deck is a little behind while Switch’s temporary boost is usually designed for faster loading screens. But the real deal is the three major gaming features in the latest iPhone.

Ray Tracing

Want flashy visual effects? Want lots of light to simulate realistic darkness and shadow? Well, you’re going to need Ray Tracing to experience them. Modern games see lighting as the king of visual effects because it gives that powerful appeal and even sets the correct mood.

In simple words, Ray Tracing is currently the most effective way to simulate light in-game. How the light travels, interacts with objects and environments, and reaches the players’ eyes are all done by this method genuinely.

iPhone 15 Pro Max’s SoC supports Ray Tracing and has been demoed at the recent Wonderlust event. Apple also confirmed that RT in this device is hardware-based, directly driven by the CPU and GPU to guarantee impressive visuals and high frame rates. It is four times better than software-based RT.

Mesh Shading + MetalFX

With lighting naturally mimicked by RT, iPhone 15 Pro Max would need more to produce mesmerizing textures of objects, characters, floors, walls, etc. So, Apple included Mesh Shading and MetalFX to do that on a compact device.

Mesh Shading is a complex part of rendering graphics. In simple terms, this innovation allows processing of images, graphical elements, visual effects, and textures easier for the memory to handle – a TON easier than ever before. This will let iPhone 15 Pro Max to push its limits without punishing itself or even its own battery.

MetalFX is another trick installed in iPhone 15 Pro Max. Having a high-resolution means high-resolution images and that will cause performance troubles. To avoid these troubles on a premium flagship smartphone, MetalFX will use low-resolution images and then boost them to Hi-Res at the very end of the process. This is called upscaling.

So, when you play AAA games on iPhone 15 Pro Max, the frame rates are high, lighting are lifelike, and textures are produced at incredible quality with low impact on the battery.

Upcoming AAA Titles

Many developers have been impressed with iPhone 15 Pro Max and that ended up scheduled launches later this year and early next year. Apple revealed the following AAA titles heading to iOS very soon:

  • Genshin Impact (miHoyo)
  • Honkai: Star Rail (miHoyo)
  • Resident Evil Village (Capcom)
  • Resident Evil 4 Remake (Capcom)
  • The Division Resurgence (Ubisoft)
  • Assassin’s Creed Mirage (Ubisoft)

Don’t take these games lightly because they are all heavy on graphics and very demanding on the CPU. Playing any of them on medium settings is like a half-baked pastry. You need to crank up the graphics to high or ultra to truly immerse into the action and gameplay. That’s what gaming is all about and should always be – immersion without interruption.

iPhone 15 Pro Max is now available for pre-orders and will arrive in US stores next weekend. The entire iPhone 15 lineup is expected to have a global launch next month.


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