Real Racing 2 developer Firemint has revealed that its state-of-the-art mobile driving game will be the first title to stream gameplay to the TV, via an AirPlay upgrade coming in the new iOS 5.
In the press release issued by the developer, a photo (reproduced below) shows Real Racing 2 HD gameplay is beamed from the iPad 2 across to an AppleTV connected to a high definition display. The iPad 2 screen is used for telemetry data and a map of the circuit, exactly as it is when the HDMI dongle is attached for 1080p gameplay.
In theory, the whole process shouldn't add any kind of performance overhead to the iPad, ensuring the game remains as smooth as ever: Apple's processor features a hardware h.264 encoder used to record movies at 720p, with frame-rate topping out at 30 frames per second. This encoded signal is then beamed out over Wi-Fi and decoded by the AppleTV.
The approach Apple is taking could be described almost as a reverse of Nintendo's concept: processing is carried out in the mobile device and beamed to a receiver connected directly to the screen. Picture quality and latency will be the aspects to examine when the iOS 5 Real Racing 2 HD update ships.
In contrast, it is believed that Wii U's approach uses high bandwidth, zero latency technology for a perfect image with no lag, so comparisons with Apple's tech will be very interesting...