Considering the success of the iPhone platform in mobile gaming, it only makes sense for Apple to try to extend that dominance as far as possible. The imminent arrival of the oft-rumored but as yet delivered Apple tablet computing device has the potential of making Apple the dominant force in mobile gaming, muscling out established players like Nintendo and Sony.
Let’s consider the two key things Apple needs to accomplish this; the hardware platform and supporting application environment.
According to the latest round of rumors surrounding the iPad (the currently popular nom de guerre of the alleged device), the technical specifications will be more than enough to support and extend the current iPhone OS gaming environment. Many gadget review and rumour sites have been reporting the iPad will feature a powerful ARM processor running and the supporting hardware to make it an intriguing all-in-one device. Apple will position it somewhere between the iPhone 3GS and MacBook. Apple isn’t specifically targeting one segment with the iPad but actually every segment. One of the offshoots of this approach is going to be a platform that outperforms a PSP or DSi. By making a device that’s appropriate for every segment, they create a device that beats all the purpose built devices in most segments.
So with the hardware in place to make a serious run at cornering the mobile gaming environment, all Apple needs is a supporting funnel of games. Guess what? They already do. This device will most certainly run some variation on the iPhone OS, not a variant of OS X. There are pros and cons of each operating system but the main advantage of branching from the iPhone OS is that incredibly well stocked App Store. Imagine playing FieldRunners on a 10″ screen or may be F.A.S.T or Nova? Now you see what I’m getting at. The tablet will probably run the rumored iPhone OS 4.0 and allow developers to either “large size” current iPhone games or create ones purpose built for the new environment.
With such a wide breadth of games available, and so many more in the pipe, how could Sony or Nintendo hope to keep up? They can’t keep up with the iPhone game catalog now. What are they going to do when Apple shows up with a 10″ screen and almost the same chops as a laptop computer?
With under a week to go until the Apple Tablet (iPad?) unveiling I can hardly wait to see what Apple brings out. I think it will have long term and game changing implications to the mobile gaming environment.
Article By: Erin Peterson