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How Arm Redefined Mobile Gaming in 2022

Read how Arm and our ecosystem partners helped to redefine the mobile gaming landscape throughout 2022.
By Anand Patel, Senior Director, GPU Product Management, Client Line of Business, Arm

2022 is the year where Arm helped to redefine mobile gaming. From the launch of 2022 flagship smartphones built on MediaTek’s Mali-based Dimensity 9000 through to the new Dimensity 9200 that is the first chipset to adopt Arm’s brand-new Immortalis GPU for outstanding visual experiences, it’s been a year that has transformed mobile gaming experiences, now and for the future.

Game on: The rise of mobile gaming

Currently, the mobile gaming industry is flying, and is a mainstream form of entertainment, with over 3 billion gamers worldwide. According to the latest update from Newzoo’s latest 2022 Global Games Report, in 2022 the mobile gaming is set to deliver $92.2bn in revenues. This makes up half of the overall gaming market, which is the same as PC and console gaming combined!

Why and how has this happened? Well, there are three answers here – 1) better, higher performing smartphones, 2) more mobile gaming titles and 3) a new generation of users.

Better, higher performing smartphones provide more complex and immersive gaming experiences on mobile. This has allowed leading AAA PC and console games, such as PUBG, Fortnite and Call of Duty, to create mobile versions. In fact, Genshin Impact – which many believe is one of the best games currently available – launched on PC, console and mobile at exactly the same time. This is rare among leading AAA gaming titles, with many launching on PC and console before going mobile, but serves to illustrate how far modern smartphones have advanced in terms of gaming performance in recent years. These performance improvements create true cross-platform experiences for gamers on whichever gaming device they use. Finally, the convenience, portability and capabilities of the gameplay on smartphones means a new generation of users are increasingly choosing mobile as their gaming platform of choice. These are trends that we observed throughout 2022.

New year, new devices

At the end of 2021, MediaTek launched its Dimensity 9000 chipset for 2022 flagship smartphones. The ability to provide better, more advanced gaming experiences was at the heart of MediaTek’s pitch to the tech industry. The Dimensity 9000 features Arm’s IP throughout, from the high-performance Cortex-X2 and Cortex-A710 CPU cores through to the Mali-G710 GPU, which introduced a range of mobile graphics features for what MediaTek called “elite gaming experiences.”

The start of 2022 saw the first Dimensity 9000-based flagship smartphones reaching the market, with the first devices being the OPPO Find X5 Pro and Vivo X80. Both incorporated brand-new Vulkan ray tracing SDK (software development kit), which was a feature of Dimensity 9000. Ray tracing is a computer graphics technique that generates more accurate lighting and shadows for greater realism in gaming scenes. Other flagship smartphones built on Dimensity 9000 followed throughout the year, including the Honor 70 Pro+, OnePlus 10R, OnePlus Nord 3, Realme GT Neo 3T, Xiaomi 12T and Xiaomi Redmi K50 Gaming.

Ray tracing in action with the Arm Bonza demo

Ray tracing in action

One of the new Dimensity 9000-based devices and its ray tracing capabilities were showcased at Arm’s Game Developer Conference (GDC) booth in March 2022. The OPPO Find X5 Pro Dimensity version displayed ray traced content, with this then being analysed by Arm Mobile Studio’s leading performance analysis tools. While ray tracing is not widespread across smartphones currently, the emergence of new devices with this feature is starting to give the ecosystem the foundation and motivation to explore ray tracing techniques for their content. Arm’s own commitment to ray tracing on mobile was then pushed to the next level by the Immortalis GPU launch in June 2022.

The Immortalis game-changer

The brand-new Immortalis-G715 is geared towards the very best flagship smartphones that are coming to market late 2022 and 2023. At the heart of the design is gaming excellence, with Immortalis delivering Arm’s highest ever GPU performance and the very best graphics features. This includes hardware-based ray tracing support on mobile – the first Arm GPU to offer this feature. Building on the outstanding heritage of Arm Mali – which remains the world’s most shipped GPU – Immortalis is configured to deliver outstanding visual and mobile 3D experiences, as the journey to real-time 3D content on mobile hots up.

The Immortalis launch video

The journey to real-time 3D content

As described in this Arm Blueprint article, real-time 3D content is the next evolution of visual experiences on our mobile devices. This is not just a trend for gaming, but applicable across many different industries and use cases like automotive, healthcare, industrial, construction and navigation. 

During a ten-year period in the 00s, 3D gaming on PC became universal. We believe that the rate of development for real-time 3D content on mobile will be much faster. Working with our partners, Arm’s goal is to equip creators and developers with the tools and technology to create these stunning, new real-time 3D content and experiences on mobile devices. We believe that this will accelerate in the next few years. That’s why we developed Immortalis and continue collaborations with partners like Unity to unlock the potential for the world’s creators.

A gaming phone with a bit extra

Before launching the new Dimensity 9200 chipset at the tail end of 2022, MediaTek updated Dimensity 9000 with the Dimensity 9000+. The updated chipset adopted the Mali-G710 GPU just like the Dimensity 9000, but was able to achieve 10 percent faster performance thanks to a higher clock count. Launched in September 2022, Asus’ ROG Phone 6D and 6D Ultimate – smartphones that are designed specifically for gaming – are built on the updated Dimensity 9000+ chipset. Asus’ ROG smartphones are the mobile choice of gaming enthusiasts worldwide due to the impressive performance, display, visuals and battery life. The latest devices signalled its first commitment to the Dimensity chipset and also Arm’s GPU technologies that are helping to power these impressive mobile gaming experiences for the world’s most ardent gamers.

Entering a new Dimensity

In November 2022, MediaTek’s new flagship SoC, the Dimensity 9200, became the first silicon solution to adopt Immortalis. In fact, Arm’s premium Total Compute Solution (TCS22), which features Immortalis-G715, form the compute foundation for the chipset. This enables MediaTek’s dual commitment to ultimate performance and unmatched power efficiency on the next generation of 2023 flagship smartphones that will be built on Dimensity 9200.

Ray tracing on MediaTek’s Dimensity 9200

Through Immortalis, Dimensity 9200 is set up to deliver the very best graphics features on flagship smartphones, like hardware-based ray tracing support. This means ultra-realistic graphics in every frame and more immersive, advanced mobile gaming. The outstanding graphics performance is supported by compute performance gains through Arm’s new Cortex-X3 CPU – launched in June 2022 alongside Immortalis – for quicker app loading speeds and smoother gaming experiences. This is balanced with sustained performance and efficiency through Dimensity 9200 adopting the Cortex-A715 and Cortex-A510 CPUs for longer battery life and more game time ‘on-the-go.’ Simply put, all this means users can play stunning AAA games, for longer. Vivo’s X90 and X90 Pro are the first flagship smartphones powered by the Dimensity 9200 that have been launched, with other devices in the pipeline for 2023.

Here’s to 2023

2022 was a phenomenal year for mobile gaming, with Arm’s technologies, particularly the Mali and Immortalis GPUs, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. It was a year where users saw the outstanding visual experiences that can be achieved on today’s flagship smartphones, as well as future possibilities that will excite and captivate people when new devices launch in 2023.

Arm then took the commitment to mobile gaming one step further through the Immortalis GPU, which offers a variety of ‘game-changing’ graphics features. In 2023, the world will see how Immortalis delivers outstanding real-world mobile gaming experiences on flagship smartphones that are powered by Dimensity 9200. We cannot wait to see the first devices hitting the market that will showcase how the best experiences live forever, as Arm continues to redefine the future of mobile gaming and computing.

The best experiences live forever on Immortalis

As a key component of Arm’s second-generation Total Compute Solutions (TCS22), Immortalis-G715, Arm’s new flagship GPU, is designed to provide ultimate gaming experiences on next-generation flagship smartphones.

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