Friday, April 02, 2010

Editorial: Will iPad Revolutionize Gaming?

As you all know, the highly anticipated tablet computer known as the iPad will launch tomorrow morning. The iPad, created by Apple Inc. has a high resolution ten inch touch display. The iPhone which launched almost three years ago has shown that its multitouch capabilities, accelerometer, 3D graphics comparable to Nintendo DS and PSP, and internet connection features provide a very unique gaming experience. Players can interact with games in new ways which makes some games on the iPhone such as Flight Control, Plants vs. Zombies, Rolondo, Doodle Jump and Pocket God stand out from the crowd as unique titles. Smaller developers have created very unique experiences and are continuing to do so with thousands of games already released on iPhone and hundreds of millions downloaded. The digital distribution model allows developers to control their price and change it at will. iPhone games and applications have succeeded in taking the spotlight away from many other mobile phones, MP3 players, and even portable gaming systems. Children are even starting to ask for iPod Touches for Christmas instead of a Nintendo DS or PSP.

Will iPad take this successful formula of the iTunes ecosystem and App Store and allow developers and consumers to take gaming to the next level on this new device? So far the iPad lineup of apps at launch consists of retooled apps that were already made for iPhone. Games such as Plants vs. Zombies, Flight Control, Call of Duty: World at War Zombies, Fieldrunners, Super Monkey Ball and many more are receiving new versions that are made specifically for iPad. The larger, higher resolution screen allows games to be bigger and better than ever before. The games unfortunately will cost you money even if you bought the iPhone version.

Konami made a smart move by putting the iPad version of its Metal Gear Solid Touch game inside the same app as the iPhone version so when the user opens the game, it will be different depending on which device they are using whether it is on iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. These universal apps will probably gain popularity over the decision to make consumers pay for something they already have. Since iPad can open and play iPhone apps, app developers will most likely see an increase in sales. I believe that the iPad could hold its own as being an incredible gaming device, possibly being better than iPhone. I could imagine a future where consumers will pick up an iPad not just to browse the web, check email, read books, or stream high quality video, but to play all of the great games it is offering and will offer in the future.

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