iPad and OS 4.0

Arguably the biggest thing in gaming this week was the iPad launch. No, I didn’t purchase one, I do think it would be wise to wait for the 2nd generation. Apple will probably add some feature (like a camera), but even in the worst case scenario where the next version includes some insignificant change, then the original will be cheaper! So either way, I’m waiting for now.

So I’ve been living vicariously through others as they get their gaming on with the new device. The first thing I noticed was the Twitter phenomenon. Maybe it is just the circle of people I follow, but this was the first time I’ve witnessed an entire product launch unfold from pre-launch lineup, un-boxing, new user experiences, impromptu peer user groups, troubleshooting, and recommendations all springing forth in real time as the product became available to the masses. It was incredible to see all sorts of people posting pics, describing which applications they like best, collaborating about charging and wi-fi problems, it was really incredible to witness the power of Twitter.

RyanThe latest CO-OP show brought new concerns to the table. As the hosts expounded on how wonderful the device is and demoed some very cool games (that I admit, made me a bit envious), I kept noticing how poorly ergonomic playing games on the device looked. Watching them play all hunched over gave me a sympathy neck-ache of my own. Maybe placing the device on a table would help a little, but I’m just not sure how much that would help. I would love to see a mock-up of those single-colored iPod ads with a silhouette of a guy hunched over playing on his iPad! If you have the talent, let’s see it! 🙂

The excitement only built as the details of the new iPhone OS 4.0 were announced. Now we’ll get a lot of overdue features (like multi-tasking) but also the equivalent of XBOX Live for the iPhone/iPod/iPad games! Achievements, Leaderboards, Friend Lists, Matchmaking, all will be a part of the platform, YAY! I think the combination of this, and the new iAd platform unveiled is really going to take marketshare from the Facebook gaming scene as well as make a pretty tough road for Nintendos 3DS… friend codes anyone?

If the rumors are true, and a new iPhone is to be launched this summer, I’m likely to upgrade to that and continue holding off on the iPad. But as I spend this evening playing through a $5 copy of ESPGALUDA II (normally an $80 import!) on my 3GS I can’t help but maintain my enthusiasm for the Apple platform!

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