Last week I wrote an article that looked at how good the iPad is as a gaming platform, and examined some its strengths and weaknesses in the process.
Simply taking a look at some of the beautiful titles already out there for the iPad gives us a glimpse of the future potential of the iPad as a gaming giant – but how far can it go?
I’d like you to bear in mind that the following is simply opinion, some speculation, and a few dashes of imagination. Writing about technology is often a futile challenge, you’re often proven wrong, sometimes dramatically so.
My inaugural remark about iPad gaming is, I believe, a relatively safe one. I think that over the coming year or so we will see more and more titles transferred from consoles to the iPad.
Some evidence to support this comes from the recent acquisition of Firemint (the makers of Real Racing) by Gaming behemoth EA. The big players in the industry are realising that, especially with the successful launch of the iPad 2, the tablet market is not to be sniffed at.
While this is probably a good thing, more attention often means more development, I see many of the future titles transferred from console games being ill thought out and ignorant of the limitations, and benefits, of the iPad interface.
I hope I’m proved wrong.
The longer lasting successes in this field will be those games that capture their audience by taking full advantage of the iPad’s unique interface.
What may happen, fantastical as it sounds, is that the attention from major gaming companies makes for some incredible gaming advances. We could be on a path that leads towards some fascinating collaborations!
Imagine games that were made specifically for the iPad but tied in with story lines or fantastical worlds explored in console games. Just think about what a developer like Rockstar could do if they really put their mind to it – GTA V could be a truly awesome proposition!
Another interesting, although problematic, avenue would be that of games that used your iPad and/or iPhone as part of the interface. It would be fascinating to see games using location information or specific tasks completed on your iOS devices as part of a greater whole.
Going It Alone
The final significant area to consider for the future of iPad gaming is that of independent and specific development for the iPad itself. I truly believe that games like Real Racing, World of Goo, and Superbrothers have only scratched the surface.
In addition I believe we’ll see a great increase in advanced games that make use of the iPad’s amazing multiplayer capabilities. Imagine RPGs for the iPad that follow in the footsteps of the Elder Scrolls games, allowing for quest collaboration – all of your friends fighting for the same cause!
Imagine the hours of productivity lost if World of Warcraft ever came to the iPad in any form…
While this is not necessarily foremost in gamers’ minds, it must be said that it won’t be long before huge studios begin to see the financial sense in developing for tablets (the iPad) – even despite the lower unit cost. When the tipping point comes, and I think it will come soon, it’ll be interesting to see the twists and turns in the industry and whether it makes a significant difference to sales surrounding consoles themselves.
As developers truly come to term with the gaming and graphics capabilities of the iPad it’ll be fascinating to see the games we have in our hands in the future. I think we’re in for an exciting ride!
As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts – simply post a comment below! What do you hope to see more of in the future? What will the future of iPad gaming be?