A New Age of Gaming on the S4: the Games Developer's View

"For our first Real Racing title, launched in 2009, we were able to utilize 600 triangles per car. A year later – for Real Racing 2 – that number increased to 3,200. This year we are now up to massive 25,000 triangles per car, and the increase in quality is clearly evidenced in the fine detail we were able to put into each car.

Samsung Galaxy S4 games

"The increased power also allows the development team to build a richer experience through the use of weather particles, reflections, shadowing, and shaders – all of which add to the depth and realism of our titles – benefiting our fans immensely."

3D or not 3D: that is the question

In addition to the S4's impressive graphical prowess, what else can developers do with the S4 that they could not do before?

"In three words: 3D 3D 3D," laughs Nate Boxer. "That's where everything is going. Even simple games that don't require 3D are being built in 3D!"

Many coders make use of the Unity 3D engine – a framework for developers that does a lot of the complex mathematics behind 3D processing and greatly speeds up game development.

Samsung Galaxy S4 games

Unity was originally built to help create 3D games for PC and consoles but it has recently been ported to a number of mobile platforms and developers are finding that newer handsets like the GALAXY S4 are more than up to the task.

"The Unity game platform is the best tech out there," says Boxer, "and because console gaming is dying, if (rival game engine) Unreal and other game engines don't quickly shift gears, they'll likely be sad stories in a year or two."

The S4 display adds a new dimension to gaming

Samsung has led the way in giving mobile gaming fans more expansive screens and, at five inches, the GALAXY S4 is at the upper end of screen sizes, but – thanks to Samsung's clever design – it is still a comfortable fit in the hand. Having such a large display has two key advantages for mobile gaming.

The first is quite simply that games look significantly better. The S4′s Super AMOLED screen offers Full HD with an amazing 441 pixels per inch – so many the human eye cannot distinguish between them, which leads to a pin-sharp image. This means that the S4 can show off a developer's graphical creations as they were intended and that gamers won't have to squint into their palms to take them in.

S4 Samsung GALAXY gaming

EA's Dead Space looks utterly marvelous on the S4

The second is control. A common criticism of smartphone games in the past has been that the on-screen touch controls would sometimes obscure the action. With the generous display of the S4 there is plenty of room for your thumbs to activate a virtual joypad while still giving you a good view of what you are shooting at, jumping over or otherwise engaging.

Of course, just having a large screen won't do anything for the games themselves. Developers need to look at what is happening with new smartphones like the GALAXY S4 and adapt their products to fit them.

"All the projects myself and my company are working on are designed to use the full resolution of all mobile devices, either in their first or second release," says Nate Boxer. "This means supporting native resolutions with all our art assets.

"A lot of work is being done to make this happen without creating huge downloads (some games out there currently are huge, 100 to 200MB each). This is a significant challenge that affects more than just engineering, but also art asset pipelines."

Electronic Arts' Glenn Roland is adamant that the S4's increased screen real estate "allows for a richer experience for our players and allows us to optimize our games to make use of that increased space."