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Entries in Flight Control (1)

Real Racing and Flight Control creator Firemint give us their thoughts on iPad 2

Real Racing 2 HD is without doubt the best racing experience on the iPad. The handling is spot on and the graphics are quite sublime. Firemint were one of the first developers to give a taster of what the iPad 2's A5 chipset is capable of. Given that Real Racing 2 HD was one of the first apps to offer 1080p output to HDMI we thought we would drop them an email to get their thoughts on how the iPad 2 stands in relation to current game consoles, the hurdles encountered when moving from XGA to 1080P output resolution and some of the more interesting features of the A5 chipset. Read on:

iPC: Do you have any general observations about the performance of the iPad 2's A5 chipset? How close is it to the current consoles in terms of polygon fill rate, etc.?

Firemint: The gap between tablets and consoles has certainly narrowed with the release of the iPad 2. However, in terms of power, fill rate and polygon throughput it still has a way to go to compete with the top performing consoles. That said, the iPad is a very different platform altogether and the new chipset has allowed us to bring some very compelling visuals to players.

iPC: Regarding video out: How well does performance scale when resolution is increased? For example is there much of a difference in final frame rate between RR2 HD on the iPad's own display, outputting at 720p or 1080p?

Firemint: Increasing the resolution naturally demands more processing power, but how much depends on the amount of code that operates on a per-pixel level, how fill rate-limited the application is, etc. Real Racing 2 HD was heavily optimized for iPad so going from its native resolution to 1080p was very achievable.

iPC: We're heard that full screen anti-aliasing can be added to iPad 2 games without incurring any performance hit, any comments on this?

Firemint: While it’s not entirely free the iPad 2 chipset has allowed us to use full screen anti-aliasing in Real Racing 2 HD at a very acceptable performance level.

Interesting stuff. We were particularly intrigued by the comments regarding increasing the resolution to 1080p. If you remember we mentioned that it seems almost inevitable that Apple will move the iPad to a 'Retina' class display next year. Some have wondered if the A5 could even handle that huge jump in pixel count, well it certainly seems entirely possible, and that's without the extra horsepower that an Apple A6 chipset might bring in 2012.

Thanks guys, and congratulations on your EA buyout, we're hoping you get to work your magic on the Burnout franchise!