Death Stranding, the genre-defying game from legendary designer Hideo Kojima, is officially coming to iOS devices in late 2023 according to several insider reports. Kojima Productions has partnered with Apple to bring the epic adventure game natively to the iPhone 15 Pro and other high-end iOS devices.
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Overview of Death Stranding
For those unfamiliar, Death Stranding is an open world action game set in a post-apocalyptic America. Players take on the role of Sam Porter Bridges, a deliveryman tasked with reconnecting isolated cities and survivors. The game features a unique asynchronous multiplayer component where players can interact with structures, items, and messages left behind by others.
Some key features of Death Stranding include:
- Massive open world to explore set across a ravaged landscape. Environments include mountains, forests, rivers, and more.
- Signature Kojima weirdness and social commentary. The game tackles themes of isolation and human connection.
- Eclectic cast of characters brought to life by actors like Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, Léa Seydoux and others.
- Challenging delivery gameplay focused on traversing rough terrain efficiently while keeping cargo safe.
- Online integration allows players to team up and assist each other indirectly.
Death Stranding was met with generally favorable reviews when it originally launched in 2019. Critics praised the game’s originality and layered gameplay systems while some found the narrative hard to follow. It has gone on to become a cult classic thanks to its uniqueness and avant-garde approach.
Death Stranding iOS Release Details
While not officially confirmed yet, reports indicate Death Stranding will likely release on iOS in Q4 2023. The game is slated to be a launch title for the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro line.
Death Stranding will run natively on iOS without streaming or cloud support. This means the full experience will be playable locally on iPhone 15 Pro devices.
The iOS version will offer the complete core game as well as all additional content from the Death Stranding Director’s Cut edition. This includes extra story missions, races, firing ranges, and more.
To run Death Stranding smoothly, iOS devices will require the power of the rumored A17 Bionic chip expected in the iPhone 15 Pro. Early benchmarks suggest the A17 will offer a 30-40% performance uplift over the already blazing fast A16.
Kojima Productions has been working closely with Apple engineering teams for over a year to optimize Death Stranding for iOS and the A17 chipset. Performance is said to be smooth and comparable to the PlayStation 5 version.
In addition to raw power, the iPhone 15 Pro display and audio capabilities are ideally suited to experience Death Stranding. With a high refresh rate OLED display and spatial audio support, iOS offers features not possible on Nintendo Switch or other mobile platforms.
What This Means for Mobile Gaming
The release of such a high profile console game like Death Stranding marks a major step forward for iOS gaming. Ever since the introduction of Apple Arcade in 2019, there has been a steady progression toward iOS devices serving as legitimate gaming machines.
Death Stranding seems poised to push mobile gaming to a new level. Its massive open world filled with advanced physics and mechanics simply wouldn’t have been possible on iPhone hardware from even a couple years ago.
More and more, mobile SoC performance is reaching levels once confined to dedicated game consoles. While the A17 won’t quite hit PS5 levels, it likely will get awfully close. This could make iOS a desirable platform for porting ambitious console games.
However, there are still questions around controls and monetization. Touch controls may not be ideal for certain game genres, hence Apple has been rumored to be working on controller support. Pricing also remains a concern, as App Store purchasers are accustomed to lower price points versus console games.
Nonetheless, Death Stranding is an important release that could influence how studios approach iOS ports. If it sells well, don’t be surprised to see other big PlayStation titles make their way to iPhone in the future.
What to Expect From the iOS Version of Death Stranding
While the core experience will be the same, some key differences will distinguish the iOS release:
- Enhanced Touch Controls: Kojima Productions is reworking the control scheme to be optimized for touch. Expect smart gestures and customizable placement of on-screen buttons. There will also be gyroscope motion controls for finer aiming.
- Streamlined UI/HUD: The game’s interface will be tweaked to display critical information cleanly on a smaller display. Some aspects like the map may see significant changes.
- Improved Visuals: Higher resolution assets and textures will take advantage of the iPhone 15 Pro display. Frame rates will hit 120FPS for buttery smooth animation.
- Save Transfer: Players can transfer saves between PS4/PS5 and iOS via a linked Kojima Productions account. This allows picking up seamlessly on iPhone while on the go.
- In-App Purchases: Death Stranding will be a premium upfront purchase, but also offer optional DLC purchases for new cosmetics, vehicles, gear and more.
- Social Integrations: iOS version will incorporate Game Center for leaderboards and achievements. Expect potential collaborations with apps like Discord for community chat.
- Post-Launch Support: Kojima Productions plans continuous updates to optimize performance and add new content. Expect tie-ins with any Death Stranding sequels or related media.
While the core narrative will stay intact, some mature themes or violent moments may be tweaked out of sensitivity to App Store guidelines. But the main spirit and gameplay will remain authentic to Kojima’s vision.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some common questions about Death Stranding coming to iOS:
What iOS devices will be compatible?
Death Stranding will require an iPhone 15 Pro or later to run. The A17 chip powering those models provides the necessary performance.
How much will it cost?
No pricing details yet, but expect a premium price between $19.99 – $39.99 USD considering the scope and console-like quality.
When exactly will it release?
Likely Q4 2023 coinciding with the launch of the iPhone 15 Pro. It may slip to early 2024 if development needs more time.
Will there be microtransactions?
Nothing confirmed, but in-app purchases for cosmetics/items are likely given the trend in premium mobile games.
Will there be controller support?
Not announced yet, but controller support via Bluetooth seems probable. Touch controls are being completely overhauled for iOS playability.
Is the multiplayer component coming too?
Yes, the asynchronous social strands and shared world features will be included on mobile.
Will my console save transfer over?
Kojima Productions is planning cross-platform save transfers between console and iOS versions via linked accounts.
The Future Looks Bright for iOS Gaming
It will be exciting to see a graphically stunning marvel like Death Stranding running natively on an iPhone. This could kickstart a renaissance for premium mobile gaming with developers realizing iOS hardware can now support serious titles.
While the iPhone 15 Pro will be the only device capable of running Death Stranding smoothly at launch, future A-series chips should bring that level of performance to more affordable iPhones. Accessibility will be key to iOS becoming a desirable platform for game studios.
For now, Death Stranding is poised to be a showcase of what the A17 Bionic can accomplish. Its epic sci-fi adventure will feel right at home on the gorgeous OLED displays coming to iPhone 15 Pro models.
iOS gaming may never completely replace dedicated consoles for core gamers, but the gap is certainly narrowing. And with 5G and cloud gaming letting you easily pick a game back up no matter where you are, our devices may soon become the dominant gaming platform for many.