The iPad 2 is going to be a monster device for gaming, thanks to its A5 processor which, according to Apple, is twice as fast for CPU performance and nine times more powerful for graphics. Games developers are already taking advantage, with Infinity Blade and Real Racing 2 HD muscling up for today's US iPad 2 launch.
Epic Games' Chair Entertainment is releasing the Infinity Blade update with what it carefully describes as "new optimisations specifically for iPad 2". What are they? The company's statement refers vaguely to the game looking and playing better than ever, but its App Store listing refers specifically to "high-resolution graphics".
"The iPad 2 is a huge leap up in processing power from the first iPad, and is more powerful than the impressive iPhone 4," says Chair technical director Geremy Mustard, who has presumably been sweating over a workstation ever since the device was unveiled last week.
"The whole operating system will feel even more responsive and smooth," reckons Mustard. "For developers like us who are always pushing the hardware to its limits, the iPad 2 will allow us to do things people won't believe can be done on a tablet device." Like reining in the hyperbole? Nah, it'll never happen.
The update follows a big content update to Infinity Blade last week, which included new levels, enemies and items.
We have to admit to being excited about the debut of Real Racing 2 HD from Australian developer Firemint. Released to tie in with the iPad 2 launch today, it runs on the original iPad, but if you've got an iPad 2, it's been tuned "to take full advantage" of the hardware. More high-resolution visuals ahoy.
You might wonder -- as we do -- how big a deal better graphics is on the iPad 2, given that the screen is the same resolution as the original iPad. What's more interesting is how developers will make use of the A5 processor in other ways -- for example, sticking more cars on the track at once in racing games. Is this worth upgrading from the original iPad? Let us know if you think in the comments below.