Hidden feature transforms Apple iPhone, iPod touch into TV gaming devices (with video)

“What do you do after uncovering undocumented SDK features? I got in touch with Freeverse, makers of Moto Chaser, one of the top iPhone games in App Store. After a few back and forth e-mails, they agreed to try applying the MPTVOutWindow class to Moto Chaser to create a TV version of their game. A few hours later, they debuted their demo [see video below],” Erica Sadun reports for Ars Technica.

Sadun reports, “This version of Moto Chaser is a tech demo. It uses the iPhone’s accelerometer for input and routes the game video out through a connected video cable to TV. Freeverse quickly found that the program played best on the second-generation iPod touch. The newer touch is built on a 532MHz CPU versus the original iPhone’s 412MHz. This extra speed helps up the frame rate produced by the device, the key component for any first person interactive video game.”

Moto Chaser on TV Demo:

“For my testing, I hooked the first generation iPhone up to a 42-inch television. The widescreen video-out matched the television aspects, using 853-by-480-pixel output dimensions. (On the iPod touch, the same code produces 640-by-480-pixel output instead.) The game was easy to maneuver even with the tethered phone and while it was noticeably choppy at points, the actual game play remained fun and accessible. Although this is a highly subjective response, I much preferred the Wii-like approach of holding the remote in my hands and looking straight at the landscape to play rather than maneuvering the entire system on the iPhone itself,” Sadun reports. “The sound quality was noticeably improved. Instead of being piped through my phone’s tinny built-in speakers, it arrived through my sound system. I could actually appreciate the sound design that went into the WAV and MP3 files for the game.”

More in the full article here.

[Attribution: AppleInsider. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “James W.” for the heads up.]


  1. @ realitycheck

    Think Wii. Think fun, not graphics.

    Now do you see. Not everyone has to be cutting edge with graphics to have fun.

    Shaun White snowboarding for the Wii with the Balance Board? I rest my case.

  2. Wow! They just made a game for the big screen using a feature that hasn’t even been released yet, for a system growing at a rate orders of magnitude greater than any other, meaning that if and when said feature IS released, it will very quickly have thousands and thousands of games designed for the big screen!! Plus, such a system wouldn’t require spending hundreds of dollars on THREE separate systems (phone, handheld game system, TV game system), only one iPhone, though maybe at some point it could make use of the Apple TV. Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft can be completely confident based on their past responses to Apple’s entries into new markets!!

  3. This is coming and it will be huge!

    Ignore Reality Check. He talks $h!t about anything and everything Mac despite knowing that he secretly craves it – just like a closeted gay conservative Republican.

  4. Incorporating the iPhone’s accelerometer into games is without a doubt one of the iPhone’s most compelling attractions. Owners of various game consoles may be familiar with this kind of control, but most of us old computer guys have never seen anything like it.

  5. Of course if one compares this to any comparable mobile games device from these other parties the comparison is somewhat different… well to anyone with half a brain, especially when one considers gaming as only a secondary function of the iPhone. What this shows to anyone not rooted in the 90s is the future potential of this device something Sony and Nintendo would be well advised to worry about. Microsoft? They arn’t even in the arena so are an irrelevance.

  6. Having great graphics (and decent processing power) does not preclude fun.

    @Reality Check

    None is guaranteed, either.

    Perhaps you could enlighten us all as to what your game consoles and spore have to do with this thread?

  7. Just imagining a future ipod/iphone that has multiple functions:
    1) portable gaming platform AND the abilit to drive a TV with decent graphics, good enough for fun games for the fam.
    2) Remote to control home/home theater/stream music to system
    3) Imagine having the ability to have several screens (imagine wireless!) and keyboards around the house, when you set the ipod down next to them, you the OSX on the handheld functions as a functioning computer… ready for email, web, etc! Not for rendering Finding Nemo, but for basic homework, general computing.
    4) Plug into the TV and it becomes a future gen Apple TV.

    Seems possible. Thoughts?

  8. @reality chick


    Your the one who said, “There’s no need for Apple to join the party – they’re stretched enough as company already.”

    Wow, that was profound and so relevant to the article.

    You seem a little confused about Apple’s role and the hack in question. In fact, you also said, “Sheesh guys. If Steve Jobs said he wiped his arse with his…”

    I’m gonna stop you right there because you’re the one who should just shut up now. Your swinging wildly, but the pinata is in the other room, there spanky.

    You seem to be the only one talking about Apple and Steve Jobs. Every one else is weighing the merits of the hack while you’re throwing out every objection you can think up. The reality is, this hack, like you is where the puck used to be.


    Why would you adopt a moniker like Reality Check, anyway? What are you, some kind of self-appointed hall monitor? Ten different people will yield ten different realities. So what else can you show me?

    People like you always turn up. You’re like Zune Tang but all serious and shit. Your words are what? supposed to be a sobering shock to the system?

    I hear your mom calling you.


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