Bin your PS4 - Frostbite team gets Battlefield 4 working on an iPad

It's... beautiful

In the next move towards getting even better console-style games on our phones and tablets, DICE's Frostbite egine team has got parts of Battlefield 4 to work on iOS.

On its blog, EA announced it had performed a minor miracle, getting the fairly recent Battlefield 4 to work on iOS devices.

While there sadly isn't video to demonstrate it, there are screenshots suggesting iPads are the devices being tinkered with.

Mobile manager at Frostbite Stockholm, Kristoffer Benjaminsson, stresses that this is at present just a tech demo, a proof of concept, and that they have only managed to get parts of the game working. But we think you'll agree: it's impressive stuff regardless.

How on earth...?

Benjaminsson says that the Metal API is at the root of this new processing potential.

"Hardware and software limitations forced us to either scale down the number of objects and their complexity to retain visual fidelity... This all changed when Apple introduced Metal, their new low-level graphics API, which allowed us to make full use of the hardware.

"Together with the latest range of hardware, Metal has created possibilities previously out of reach and for the first time we can include both high visual fidelity and a large number of objects."

The screenshots suggest the game is certainly not being rendered at an iPad Air 2's native resolution — check out those jaggies — but Battlefield 4 doesn't look desperately scaled-back in terms of draw distance and texture detail.

Benjaminsson says we'll hear more about this project in coming blog posts, an almost annoyingly exciting teaser of what might come in future months.

What's more crucial than the attention-grabbing Battlefield 4 demo is that the Frostbite engine works properly on iOS — it's the engine behind Need for Speed: Rivals and Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare too, among others.

The iPad Air 2's APU is likely to be key in unlocking this future potential. Its A8X processor offers 2.5 times the graphics performance of the iPad Air's A7 chipset according to Apple.

Andrew Williams

Andrew is a freelance journalist and has been writing and editing for some of the UK's top tech and lifestyle publications including TrustedReviews, Stuff, T3, TechRadar, Lifehacker and others.