Apple’s iPad – A Gaming Machine?

By on April 4, 2010

Could the iPad be your next gaming machine?

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First Impressions
My reaction is

Could this be your next gaming device?

Apple’s iPad is now out in the US and it seems that it has a lot to offer in terms of gaming. Our friends at Kotaku have put together an interesting summary of some of the best games available for the iPad at the time of its launch and we can’t help but wonder if Apple’s iPad could be a serious contender in the world of gaming.

As a hardcore gamer, I can state with ease that the iPad will never replace my PS3 or Xbox 360 but I can see the iPad opening itself up to a whole new market of casual gamers. Keep in mind that the iPhone already has a 19% share of the handheld gaming market, a comfortable 8% lead over Sony’s PSP. Thanks to the popularity of the iPhone and the uptake in social gaming, I can see a lot of people moving on to gaming on the iPad.

I’ll admit that I was one of those skeptics who initially wrote off the iPad at first glance as nothing more than an oversized iPhone. That may still hold true but that might not necessarily be a bad thing. The bigger screen itself has a variety of new uses. Plus the device itself is perfect for a whole range of games. In particular, I can see certain types of games working very well on the iPad.

Farmville, which is now the most popular game in the world with over 60 million active users is probably best played on the iPad. Sam and Max is also available on the iPad and I think the technology is just perfect for the genre. I’d love to see the point and click adventure game genre revived and the iPad could be the platform that does the job. Strategy games may also find a place on the iPad as selecting units and moving them about should be quite easy on a touchscreen device. FPS games, on the other hand, might be best left to your favorite console.

The real advantage for Apple is going to come in the form of the App store and access to under $15 games. Cheaper games plus the ease of distribution will make it easier to lure in casual gamers without huge costs.

Even with all its advantages, I doubt the iPad will ever take away any gamers from the Xbox 360 or the PS3. It may not be a gaming machine but it might be just what Apple needs to build up its own league of casual gamers.


Hitesh is a tech/games journalist and Business Development Manager for the Tbreak Network.

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