Hey, apparently a new handset came out this morning. Who knew? Okay, so few Pocket Gamer readers would profess ignorance of the iPhone 3G S launch today - Apple's new phone went on sale at 8.02am.

Apple's flagship Regent Street store is bustling this morning, while opposite, Nokia has staff dishing out N97 flyers outside its own store.

We popped round the corner to sit down with Eric Jue from Apple's iPhone product marketing division, to talk through some of the key features of the device, including the ones that'll appeal to gamers.

You probably know all about the beefed-up hardware, capable of running rich 3D OpenGL ES 2.0 games. Jue reiterated that Apple expects it to trigger a new wave of innovation from games developers in the coming months.

The built-in compass could be interesting for gaming uses too, though. Jue showed how it works with the iPhone's Maps application, which it does very well, but the sensitivity is such that we think it could be used alongside the accelerometer for motion game controls.

Battery life is another obvious advantage for gaming. Jue says it's not just a case of a bigger battery, but also software improvements based on what it's learned about how people are using the iPhone.

We'll reserve judgement until we've seen how it copes with some of the processor-pushing OpenGL ES 2.0 titles coming down the road, of course.

Having had a walkthrough of the iPhone's new camera, which besides being upped to three megapixels also has autofocus and a macro mode, got us thinking too. It could spur more developers to look at augmented reality games, while the macro mode makes Barcode Battler type titles finally possible.

(If you're reading, BulkyPix, we'd jump at the chance to create MyBrute characters by taking photos of crisp packets and sausage roll wrappers).

The new fingerprint-resistant screen could be a significant bonus for gamers, especially if you suffer from the same sweaty-thumb-slide issues we have on certain games that use on-screen analogue sticks.

Meanwhile, we also got the chance to ask Jue about one of the more intriguing features of the iPhone 3.0 software - the ability of external accessories to control applications.

It's got obvious potential on the gaming side, but we weren't sure whether an individual accessory could only control ne app, or many. It's the difference between selling plug-in guitars for a Guitar Hero game, or a Zeemote-style joystick that works with lots of games.

Thankfully, it seems both are possible. And it looks likely to work a lot like Apple's existing Made For iPod scheme. So you might buy a gaming accessory in a shop, and on the box it will say 'works with games x, y and z'.

But also on the App Store itself, games' product pages may have some indication that they work with a particular accessory.

We expect to see some developments in this area soon, although we remain to be convinced that iPhone needs a plug-in DualShock-style joypad, rather than games designed to work with its touch'n'tilt capabilities.

Anyhow, stand by for a full iPhone 3G S review early next week, once we've put the handset through its paces.