iPhone 4 introduces gyroscope gaming

Apple announces fourth iteration of ubiquitous smartphone will bring six-axis motion sensing to device on June 24; Guitar Hero app now available.

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Apple today announced the iPhone 4 as part of Worldwide Developers Conference 2010. The iPhone 4, which gained notoriety after a leaked prototype surfaced in April, is the first hardware update to Apple's best-selling smartphone since July 2008, and it will apparently carry a handful of enhancements for gamers.

Steve Jobs unveils the newest iPhone. Image Credit: CNET
Steve Jobs unveils the newest iPhone. Image Credit: CNET

As related by GameSpot sister site CNET, Apple has catered to motion-sensor enthusiasts by building a three-axis gyroscope into the device. The gyroscope allows the iPhone to detect pitch, roll, and yaw, and it works alongside the previously available accelerometer to provide six-axis motion sensing. The device also uses the CoreMotion programming tools to further enhance precision.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs showed off the new tech with a demo for the classic party game Jenga. During his presentation, he tilted the phone forward, back, and side-to-side, with the game responding to these movements in kind onscreen. He also showed how rotating the iPhone 4 in a circle resulted in the game equally spinning.

Further playing to the gaming crowd, Activision was on hand at the event to announce that Guitar Hero is now available on the App Store. Available for $2.99, the Guitar Hero app will launch with six songs from the likes of Queen, Rise Against, The Rolling Stones, Vampire Weekend, Weezer, and The White Stripes. Six additional three-song packs are also available for $1.99 a piece.

Additionally, casual game publisher Zynga announced that a version of its top Facebook social game Farmville would see release on the App Store by the end of June. Gamers will be able to access the same plantation on their phones as they can through Facebook, according to Zynga CEO Mark Pincus.

As for the rest of what the iPhone 4 offers, Apple has ramped up the device's screen resolution to 960 × 640 pixels, which offers a pixel-per-inch resolution of 326, four times that of current iPhone 3G models. The company also noted that the iPhone 4 has an 800-to-1 contrast ratio, also a four-fold increase over current devices. And at 9.3mm, it is "the thinnest smartphone on the planet."

The updated device also includes two built-in cameras (one on the front and the other on the back with an LED flash), as well as two microphones and a noise cancellation button. Apple has upgraded the device's cameras to a five-megapixel sensor. The iPhone 4 also features HD video recording, capturing 720p at 30 frames per second.

The iPhone 4 has also been given a battery upgrade. The new power core supports seven hours of talk now, six hours of 3G Internet browsing, 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing, and 300 hours of standby time. The added battery life will come in handy with the some 100 new features on the way with iOS4, including multitasking and folders for organizing apps.

Apple's new device will be available in black and white on June 24 in the US, with preorders starting June 15. As with the 3GS, the 16GB model will cost $199, with the 32GB version costing $299. For a full rundown of Apple's WWDC 2010 conference, check out CNET's live blog of the event.

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