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Developer shows how Retina Display on next iPad would improve games

post #1 of 78
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Expectations of a high-resolution Retina Display on Apple's third-generation iPad have inspired one developer to show what their game would look like on a 2,048-by-1,536-pixel screen.

Developer Kevin Ng decided to figure out what his upcoming iOS game, "Food Run," would look like if it were upscaled for an iPad Retina Display. He found that a screen with four times as many pixels would make a "huge difference" in image quality, not only for the game itself, but also for the icon that will display on the home screen.

Ng's game has been built with the possibility of a Retina Display in mind. All of the game's graphics have been created using vectors, rather than bitmaps, so they can scale to any resolution without becoming pixelated.

Zooming in on the game's graphics shows a major difference in the quality and sharpness of the image, though Ng noted that real-life advantages would be somewhat less because of the distance at which the iPad is viewed.

Current iPad application icons are displayed at a resolution of 72 by 72 pixels, so a Retina Display iPad would likely feature home screen icons displayed at 144 by 144 pixels. Here again the image is much more crisp with the advantages clearly visible in a side-by-side comparison.

Developers are already required to submit icons for their App Store software at a resolution of 512 by 512 pixels, so the icons for most applications should be updated to take advantage of a higher-resolution display relatively quickly.

While the advantages of an iPad with a Retina Display are apparent from the screenshots, Ng also noted that there are some issues that Apple will encounter with its anticipated device. Most notably, four times as many pixels will use just as much additional data for video, and will result in larger downloads for App Store software.


On the left, "Food Run" zoomed in on a current iPad display. On the right, the game is enhanced for an anticipated Retina Display.


"Bearing in mind that the 20MB mobile network download size for apps is already claustrophobia inducing, supporting Retina on iPad 3 whilst respecting the limit would be very hard," the developer wrote. "So if we do see a Retina iPad 3, expect to see that 20MB limit raised, even if only for iPad / universal apps."

In addition, the graphics processor needed to power games for a Retina Display will need to be more powerful. With four times the pixels on the screen, Ng noted that the next iPad's GPU will need to draw four times as many pixels per second.

"However, jumps of this magnitude between generations are not uncommon these days," he said. "With the graphics card, it is the expensive fast graphics RAM required which may prove the limiting factor."


Current iPad icon on the left, Retina Display icon on the right.


Leading up to next Wednesday's media event, there has been overwhelming evidence that Apple plans to introduce a new third-generation iPad with a high-resolution display. The new screens are believed to be QXGA 264-pixel-per-inch displays built by Sharp, LG Display and Samsung Electronics.

Even Apple's invitation to its event has been interpreted by many as referencing a new Retina Display, with an image declaring the company has "something you really have to see." It features a finger touching the icon of the Calendar application on an iPad with what appears to be a very crisp screen that could, in fact, be of a higher resolution than the current iPad 2.

Next week's event will kick off from the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Calif., at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern. AppleInsider will have full, live coverage.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 78
games are nice, but i'm excited to see how books read on a retina display ipad. the typography and font scaling should be beautiful
post #3 of 78
Wow, who knew that increasing resolution would make the picture clearer???
post #4 of 78
We should see some very beautiful "hidden object" games.

As for those people who ported their iPhone app to the iPad and call it the "HD" version, what are they going to call this version?
post #5 of 78
Here's what I'm wondering: What effect will a retina display have when viewing iPhone apps on an iPad 3? I assume it'll be an improvement... right?
post #6 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

we should see some very beautiful "hidden object" games.

As for those people who ported their iphone app to the ipad and call it the "hd" version, what are they going to call this version?

real hd
post #7 of 78
That's sarcasm,right?
post #8 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

As for those people who ported their iPhone app to the iPad and call it the "HD" version, what are they going to call this version?

I suspect they'll just include a comment in the App Store description about being "Retina Display Ready"



Quote:
Originally Posted by dav View Post

games are nice, but i'm excited to see how books read on a retina display ipad. the typography and font scaling should be beautiful

My thoughts exactly. That screen is going to be marvelous.
post #9 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Expectations of a high-resolution Retina Display on Apple's third-generation iPad have inspired one developer to show what their game would look like on a 2,048-by-1,536-pixel screen. ...

So, to sum up, the higher resolution screen will enable higher resolution graphics in games.
Hmmmm.... never would have guessed!

I'm thinking (and this might be just me), that these higher resolution graphics might look better or "sharper" than the lower resolution ones as well.

This whole thing where the screen size and all the resources of the applications double in size is so familiar too. I'm thinking that we've seen changes like this before or else how could AppleInsider have such penetrating insight into this astonishing development?
post #10 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by dav View Post

games are nice, but i'm excited to see how books read on a retina display ipad. the typography and font scaling should be beautiful

This is what I'm looking forward to. And for text in general.
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post #11 of 78
I hope that Apple raises the size limit for all downloads. It might have made sense four years ago but times change.
post #12 of 78
Reading iBooks and Portrait mode in Safari is going to rock with the High Res display!!
post #13 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by dav View Post

games are nice, but i'm excited to see how books read on a retina display ipad. the typography and font scaling should be beautiful


Just can't see it in the sun ( ) kudos to Amazon and e-ink...

Unless that's changed on the iPad 3 Retina display!
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post #14 of 78
For the sample given I will believe this can work, and although I have confidence in the powervr gpu I do not see it pushing 3d games in 2048x1536...

ps3/xbox360 cannot even do this, only dedicated gpu cards with 150W+ can do this.
post #15 of 78
This is great! I will be jealous as I make myself hang on to my iPad 2 for a full 2 years.

But the iPhone’s retina display is already (at a closer viewing distance) the perfect example. Just look at a 3GS next to an iPhone 4 or 4S. That difference still blows me away, and I want it on iPad as well!

I’ve been making my web site touch-icons at 144x144 for over a year in anticipation of this day!
post #16 of 78
The Droids can only say Super High Imaging Technique.
post #17 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2oh1 View Post

Here's what I'm wondering: What effect will a retina display have when viewing iPhone apps on an iPad 3? I assume it'll be an improvement... right?

should be worse shouldn't it?

current "iPhone only" apps show up at half size. seems to me they should show up at one quarter size on the new screen.
post #18 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

...

This whole thing where the screen size and all the resources of the applications double in size is so familiar too. I'm thinking that we've seen changes like this before or else how could AppleInsider have such penetrating insight into this astonishing development?

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post #19 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

I hope that Apple raises the size limit for all downloads. It might have made sense four years ago but times change.

It doesn't make much sense, because you can download (4) 10mb apps in a row, but try to download a single 40mb app...

It seems designed with the "Unlimited" data plans in mind.

A warning would be better to remind users that it will eat into their data cap.
post #20 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by mausz View Post

For the sample given I will believe this can work, and although I have confidence in the powervr gpu I do not see it pushing 3d games in 2048x1536...

ps3/xbox360 cannot even do this, only dedicated gpu cards with 150W+ can do this.

The PS3 and Xbox 360 are 5 year old+ devices. The current iPhone has pretty much the same power. Who's to say the new chips won't be capable of this? Let's wait and see.
post #21 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Just can't see it in the sun ( ) kudos to Amazon and e-ink...
...

The thing that amazed me about eInk displays when I finally got to use one first hand for a while was how poor the readability was.

Dark grey on lighter grey ink is so completely *not* more readable than good old fashioned black text on a white background. It was like reading a old faded newspaper that had been left out in the sun too much. I found that even indoors, an eInk reader needs a very strong light shining on it (like an old fashioned reading lamp) to be very readable at all.

I was also surprised at how slow the kindles were and how poorly they redrew the screen. Every page turn had a built in pause. Every screen re-draw allowed one to see two or three "tears" in the screen as first the top third was redrawn, then the middle third and then the bottom.

Watching that almost drove me crazy, and meant that I couldn't concentrate on what I was reading since the device couldn't keep up with my eyes or my brain.
post #22 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

As for those people who ported their iPhone app to the iPad and call it the "HD" version, what are they going to call this version?

HD+ ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by 2oh1 View Post

Here's what I'm wondering: What effect will a retina display have when viewing iPhone apps on an iPad 3? I assume it'll be an improvement... right?

I think Apple still only has the 480x320 resolution in effect for iPhone apps shown on the iPad...even if they are Retina Display capable, and evn if you view them in 2x. It seems reasonable to think that Apple would offer the better resolution on a bigger display but I think Apple doesn't want iPhone apps on the iPad to be something people use. They want devs to create iPad apps and customers to use them. For those reasons I wouldn't expect any change and perhaps eventually the quite removal of iPhone apps on the iPad altogether.

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #23 of 78
What was the title of this article, again? "DEVELOPER SHOWS HOW TO PUMP INANE GAME INVOLVING WALKING BURGERS AND DONUTS"? Ah, I see. Right. Give me a break.

Wow! Gee, hd looks better! Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles...
post #24 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

While the advantages of an iPad with a Retina Display are apparent from the screenshots, Ng also noted that there are some issues that Apple will encounter with its anticipated device. Most notably, four times as many pixels will use just as much additional data for video, and will result in larger downloads for App Store software.]

There's a fundamental problem with that statement.

For one, a 4x increase in pixels does not, necessarily, translate into an increase in download size. The developer in question already stated that he's using vector graphics.
Vector graphics, by definition, are resolution-independent, so the same vectors, and the same number of bytes, are used from the lowly original iPhone screen all the way through the new HD/Retina displays, and beyond.

The only time there'll be an increase in bytes is if using pixel-based images rather than vector.
post #25 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

The PS3 and Xbox 360 are 5 year old+ devices. The current iPhone has pretty much the same power. Who's to say the new chips won't be capable of this? Let's wait and see.

If the new chip can do this, they should put it on a PCI-E card and sell it right away for <$100 (what would be the cost if they can put it in a $499 device).

There are cheap chips which can do 1920x1200 at a reasonable framerate (sandy bridge for instance) but they do not have the Watt range needed on a mobile device.
post #26 of 78
Edited.
post #27 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

HD+ ?

Like VHS and S-VHS, maybe S-HD? But I like HD+, it -looks- better. And it's simple, yet elegant. Well done!
post #28 of 78
Who's betting on Real Racing HD+? And some smashing EA FPS?

Plus demos of Pages, graphics package, and iBooks+ 2.0?
post #29 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by dav View Post

games are nice, but i'm excited to see how books read on a retina display ipad. the typography and font scaling should be beautiful

Yeah, the only problem is the current ebook formats are awful for typography.

Back line breaking, awful rivers, no extended characters (ligatures etc), basically epub is just a browser view presented as a book reader.

That said, PDF books with good typography will look marvelous on the retina display.
post #30 of 78
The article is on the verge of insulting. The author writes these things as if talking to a child.
post #31 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellacool View Post

The article is on the verge of insulting. The author writes these things as if talking to a child.

I'm a CS graduate, and I'm not insulted.

If you want something harder, why not go read kernel code or visit Lambda the Ultimate?
post #32 of 78
I sure games will greatly benefit from the high def display but I'm most eager to see medical apps, like radiology, take full advantage of the 3 megapixel display. Game changer to me!
post #33 of 78
lol...this is a stupid article...I expected something fancier than "high res allows high res"

I too am more interested in text though, that should be nice.
post #34 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Camelot View Post

There's a fundamental problem with that statement.

For one, a 4x increase in pixels does not, necessarily, translate into an increase in download size. The developer in question already stated that he's using vector graphics.
Vector graphics, by definition, are resolution-independent, so the same vectors, and the same number of bytes, are used from the lowly original iPhone screen all the way through the new HD/Retina displays, and beyond.

The only time there'll be an increase in bytes is if using pixel-based images rather than vector.

He's using vectors that will have to be rasterized post scaling and at a higher ppi. So yes, it will consume more space.
post #35 of 78
If the games are simple like that and able to run at native, I bet most sophisticated 3D games would run at upscalled mode.
post #36 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by mausz View Post

For the sample given I will believe this can work, and although I have confidence in the powervr gpu I do not see it pushing 3d games in 2048x1536...

ps3/xbox360 cannot even do this, only dedicated gpu cards with 150W+ can do this.

They can currently, so the new GPU must be 4 times as fast as the current generation. Simply switching to 8 GPU cores instead of 2 will do the trick. And that's possible because the new A51/2 or A6 has a feature size of 32nm (or even 28nm) instead of 45nm.
PowerVR specs of future chips indicate that they have the same level of performance as the ps3 at the end of the year using ony a few watts.

J.
post #37 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnjnjn View Post

They can currently, so the new GPU must be 4 times as fast as the current generation. Simply switching to 8 GPU cores instead of 2 will do the trick. And that's possible because the new A51/2 or A6 has a feature size of 32nm (or even 28nm) instead of 45nm.
PowerVR specs of future chips indicate that they have the same level of performance as the ps3 at the end of the year using ony a few watts.

J.

As far as I know it doesn't need to scale like that. The GPU has to push 4x as many pixels but it doesn't need 4x as many cores to do it.

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post #38 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

He's using vectors that will have to be rasterized post scaling and at a higher ppi. So yes, it will consume more space.

No it won't. It will use more system ram (at that moment) while running, but it won't use more space for its binary image.

J.
post #39 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianlfl View Post

I sure games will greatly benefit from the high def display but I'm most eager to see medical apps, like radiology, take full advantage of the 3 megapixel display. Game changer to me!

I bet maps will look beautiful too. They often have small writing.
post #40 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

As far as I know it doesn't need to scale like that. The GPU has to push 4x as many pixels but it doesn't need 4x as many cores to do it.

Only if the cores are more efficient or have a higher clock rate. But with the same clock rate my remark is correct.
And I didn't state that it was the only way to achieve the required speed.
Most of the time the number of cores increases and the clock speed at the same time.
But, as I said, I just presented one way to do it.

J.
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