Race Between Video Game Makers to Develop iPad Games for Apple Tablet

As an electronic reader, Apple’s iPad has been touted as a possible “Kindle killer” but what has video game makers buzzing is the potential of the touchscreen tablet computer as a gaming platform.

It’s going to be a really powerful handheld game console,” said Asbjoern Soendergaard, founder and chief executive officer of Tactile Entertainment. “It’s going to be an awesome gaming experience.” Soendergaard’s Denmark-based company is building a pet simulation game for the iPhone called “Pocket Creatures” and he said the iPad will allow the game developers to add “features that we only thought we could a year ago.

Race Between Video Game Makers to Develop iPad Games for Apple Tablet

The iPad’s larger screen, rich graphics and processing power has videogame and application developers around the world racing to put the final touches on programs for the iPad in time for when it hits the stores next month.

Gaming on the iPhone and iPod touch has been a huge hit for Apple — a neat, unique experience combining a relatively big screen, multi-touch controls, motion-sensor controls, network access for social gaming, in-app commerce for virtual goods, and more. The gaming experience on the iPad could be even crazier. And the iPhone game developers are really excited about it.

The iPad’s big screen in particular is going to bring a new element of fun and possibilities to the iPhone gaming platform. Besides just having larger, more vivid graphics, and more pixels to use for game controls, the iPad will offer more multi-touch input sensors, therefore adding new control possibilities to iPad games.

We’re very excited about the iPad because it gives us more room to play,” said Brian Meehan, the head of worldwide product development at Sourcebits, a company focused on mobile applications and gaming with offices in Atlanta and Bangalore, India. “It’s got a larger screen obviously and more CPU,” Meehan said of the iPad’s central processing unit, what Tactile’s Soendergaard described as the “power under the hood.”

If you look at Sony’s PSP and all the other portable gaming devices they may be a little bit bigger than the iPod Touch or the iPhone but they’re all in that same size area. “Now you have this device that’s also going to be able to connect to (the Internet),” he said. “That in itself is a big playing field for everybody in the gaming world.

Game makers are not the only ones bullish about the iPad. So are financial analysts and application developers. “We were able to demo the (iPad) at the launch event and were impressed by the gaming and e-book experience in particular,” said Ben Reitzes, an analyst at Barclays Capital.

Specifically, the iPad will support up to 11 multi-touch inputs — which means you’ll be able to control your iPad with all ten fingers and your nose. There’s all sorts of ways that could be figured in to games, ranging from new ways to navigate role-playing games, to new ways to control action games, to even more realistic or imaginative music games, such as a piano!

To be sure, there will obviously be some limitations for iPad gaming, like the device’s relatively hefty weight and its initially small user base. But if it’s ever cheap and/or popular enough to make its way into millions of living rooms, it could give gaming heavyweights like Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony a run for their market. Are you as excited about the iPad games as are the  game developers?


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