Alright, one of two things has happened. Either Jon Stokes of Ars Technica has fallen down a magical well and emerged into a wonderous dream world where anything is possible, or he actually played Crysis on an iPhone.
For those of you who don't know, Crysis is widely considered to be one of the biggest graphics hogs in the gaming world. If your machine can run Crysis well, you have a top-of-the-line gaming rig. You can understand, then, why it's a little weird to hear about it being played on a computer small enough to fit inside my pocket.
And yet, the iPhone has been used to play Crysis, Grand Theft Auto, and World of Warcraft, all thanks to a company called OTOY. So how on earth does this work? Basically, OTOY renders the game server-side, and then compresses and sends the frames over to their client across the network. This uses a very small amount of code (780k) so the tiny processors in the iPhone can handle it. The games lag a bit, but according to Stokes not enough to make them unplayable.
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So there you have it. WoW, and other major PC titles, are now playable on smartphones. There's no telling how long it will take before major PC titles start arriving for smartphone gamers, but the fact that better hardware isn't required to handle these games should speed things up tremendously. Who knows, by this time next year we could all be playing WoW on our iPhones.
Y'know, because texting while driving wasn't bad enough.