When Apple released its Ipad many observers were disappointed. It did not turn out to be a replacement for a laptop and left many wishes unfullfilled. Critics call the Ipad just an overgrown iPhone. Despite most of the criticism coming from business insiders and experts with huge expectations, there is reason to believe that the Ipad will turn out to be highly popular. One argument for the Ipad’s success is that it creates a new platform for games. The iPod touch and the iPhone have already revolutionized the portable gaming industry. With the Ipad new opportunities for gaming arise. We look into the possibilities that the iPad brings for game and app developers.
The Ipad runs almost all of the 140,000 iPhone apps that are already available. Consequently, all existing apps
can be sold for the Ipad. The user has the possibility of synchronizing his existing applications and playing them on a bigger screen. He has the option of playing the app in its original iPhone format which feels very familiar but leaves a lot of empty space on the display. The other option is to double the pixels and to play the app on the full 9.7-inch display. The disadvantage here is that the graphics look a bit pixelated around the edges.
It can be expected that a lot of developers will focus on adjusting games to iPad standards: The same game with a better resolution on the bigger screen will lead to a better gaming experience. Games like Rolando will be even more enjoyable on the new device. The more sophisticated approach is to extend the game as the bigger screen offers more possibilities. The game stays the same while the additional display space can be used for new features. The most interesting option game developers have is to release new games that cannot be played on smaller devices but only on the iPad. Completely new games will be developed taking advantage of the new possibilities. The obvious thought is to develop games that could not be successful on the iPhone as the small screen limits the gaming experience. One example is real-time strategy games. While it was impossible to control groups of tanks, groups of soldiers etc on the small touchscreen, they should be fun to play on the iPad. The same applies to all the different flight simulaters or RPGs. As it is hardly possible to immerse oneself into the game on the iPhone screen, it will be be particularly interesting to see how game developers will use the additional screen real estate for RPGs, MMORMGs and other networked games. Another possibility we can look forward to are boardgames. The iPad should be capable of recreating the boardgame experience and its networking capabilities make this option even more interesting.
Apple sees its new iPad tablet as a serious gaming platform. So do we. With its graphics the iPad is a powerful mobile gaming device that is sure to outperform Nintendo DS or the Sony PSP. With this new piece of hardware mobile gaming could become a very interactive experience. Needless to say that, given the creativity and inventiveness of developers, we can look forward to the first iPad games.