Apple opens video out API for iOS4 games

Blink and you might have missed it, but Apple has allowed a third party app to use its video out functionality for what we reckon is the first time.

Hidden among the details for a massive update to the recently-released Rage HD game is the ability to connect most iDevices up to a second screen, potentially turning your iPhone or iPad into a pretty nifty games console.

All current generation iOS4 devices have always been capable of outputting video using the 30-pin dock connector, along with a £40 cable, but Apple has thus far kept the APIs for outputting video to itself, allowing only iTunes and iPhoto to stream photos and video to a larger screen.

We hate to say it, but this might just have changed the game again. We've just spent the last five minutes playing Rage HD on an iPhone 4 hooked up to a 42-inch plasma TV and, apart from betting a bit of a headache from standing too close to the screen (the cable is only about 1.2m long) it's quite an experience.

You'll get 480p out of the component cable (video on yellow, audio on red and white jacks) or 720p if you have the VGA cable (video on red green and blue jacks, audio on red and white) if hooked up to a suitably-equipped telly.

Apple already has more handheld game devices in the form of iPhones, iPad Touches and iPads than Nintendo and Sony lumped together out there in the wild.

If this is foretaste of things to come the Japanese gaming giants had better start worrying.

We're just off to shoot a bit of video which we'll post as soon as possible.

[UPDATE] Short video of RAGE HD playing on 42-inch plasma TV. It's rough and ready but you'll get the idea.