In the past, Apple seemed to take gaming anything but seriously. Gaming was just an after thought for Apple, something that took a back seat to just about anything and everything else. Now, however, Apple seems to be taking gaming a lot more seriously these days, which as far as I'm concerned is about time.
The iPhone, for example, has now emerged as a serious gaming platform all on its own, and, as such, it is having a big impact on the bottom lines of companies such as Nintendo and Sony. Both companies are now admitting that the iPhone/iPod Touch platform have had a negative impact on their gaming devices growth, namely the PS2 and Gameboy DS franchises.
At this years Gaming Development Conference Mobile, in San Francisco, when it comes to Apple, for example, CNN has an interesting article entitled, "At conference, iPhone game development breaks out" which illustrates just how big gaming on the iPhone has become. This can be seen in the fact, that among the 18 different panels at the GDC, there were not any deals for specifically for the iPhone. This is simply because the GDC advisory board has decided that Apple's smartphone was important enough, all by itself, to warrant its very own summit!
CNN goes on to quote Meggan Scavio, Game Developers Conference's director, as saying:
"Last year, we programmed iPhone content into GDC Mobile," but now, "there's just so much content it really felt like it needed its own space. We filled [the] two days really quickly."
Gaming on the iPhone and iPod touch have been a big hit, but that may be nothing compared to what's coming. Silicon Alley Insider reports that when it comes to gaming, well "iPadGames Are Going To Be Crazy Awesome."
What presently limits the iPhone and the iPod Touch platform is, of course, those small screens. Thanks, however, to the bigger and better iPad screen developers are going to be able to do a lot more that should extend everything that we now find on the iPhone/iPod touch. Silicon Alley Insider points out that, specifically, one developer of iPhone games told them that the iPad will support up to 11 simultaneous multi-touch inputs - enough for all of your fingers and toes, with your nose thrown in for good measure, so it's easy for one to see the possibilities here!
With such rich gaming potential, the iPad could be offering up some pretty amazing, crazy and awesome games in the future, complete with all sorts of interesting new ways in which to navigate role-playing, and even newer ways in which to control those action games, offering much more realistic and imaginative music games, for instance, that could be used, as Silicon Valley Insider states, to better teach one how to play the piano or other musical instrument!
One of the biggest, and most exciting, recent gaming developments on the Mac side has been the announcement that Valve is bringing their very popular Steam gaming service over to the Mac. This will allow Mac users to play about 1,000 games, and games that were previously only available for those on the PC side.
These games will include popular titles such as Half-Life 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and Team Fortress 2, among others. Steam for the Mac will be available next month and will, in the future, allow Mac users the opportunity to see games like Portal 2 released simultaneously at the same time on both the PC and the Mac.
As AppleInsider recently reported, Steam on the Mac came about only with the close cooperation and help from Apple. In other words: Apple has finally woken up and decided that gaming is not only a good thing, but an important thing to have running on its increasingly popular devices! Previously, as AppleInsider's post mentions, Valve was increasingly frustrated, in the past, in their attempts to work with Apple, but now with a seemingly new attitude on Apple's part, one of the biggest selling points on the PC, gaming, should be increasingly finding its way, more and more, to the Mac and other Apple devices as well.
In conclusion, all I will say is, once again...... it's about time! It's about time that we Mac users be giving the same opportunity to participate as full fledge members of the gaming community and all of these recent gaming developments, I believe, will bode well for future gaming on Apple devices including the Mac, iPhone, iPod touch and future devices like the iPad.
One of my biggest hopes is that this also means that Apple will be supporting these new gaming initiatives by upgrading its hardware to better handle the needs of the gaming community with newer, better and faster graphics capabilities. The graphic cards presently found in Macs, for example, are more than adequate for things such as multimedia, surfing the net, and what have you, but for gaming, well, the bigger, faster and more powerful graphic capabilities that you can get will always be the better way to go. Hopefully, that's just what we'll be getting?
And that's my 2 cents 4 this Tuesday, March 09/, 2010
Steam illustration via: AppleInsider