122548-appleinvite_500The Apple rumor mill has been going absolutely wild with speculation lately on what could be in store for us at Apple's event on the 27th where some form of Apple tablet is expected to be revealed. From a gaming perspective, there have been several hints that App Store gamers could be in for a treat, with the Wallstreet Journal reporting that Apple has been working with EA to show off the gaming capabilities of the rumored tablet device.

Considering the mysterious delay in the release of Mirror's Edge, a game we got a preview of last month, with this recent news it may not be that far fetched to expect to see it as part of a demonstration of the tablet's array of games. Other developers have also been asked by Apple to produce versions of their games that are resolution independent, allowing them to seamlessly scale up to the presumably higher resolution display.

To make things even more interesting, Kotaku and several other general gaming sites have also been invited to the event, along with representatives from quite a few popular iPhone game studios. Of course trying to discern what Apple is up to by reading between the lines of rumors and event invitations is open to all forms of interpretation, but it seems the stars are aligning to a serious gaming announcement on the 27th.

We will have live keynote coverage of the event, and if the Apple tablet does turn out to be a gaming device, you can expect to see reviews of any noteworthy tablet games to supplement our existing iPod touch and iPhone game focus.

  • shumby

    I just read a really interesting Gizmodo article about some of the iSlate/iTablet rumors:

    http://gizmodo.com/5452501/the-apple-tablet-interface-must-be-like-this

    I'm excited for what this means for the idevice gaming market.

  • araczynski

    JFC, just in time to take away a piece of everyone's tax refunds :)

    hate EA, but can't wait to see what the device can do with gaming. i'm hearing higher resolution, but hopefully for something more than pong or cards.

    • GodSon

      +1 to that. Hope my tax refund is more than expected and/or the price of the Tablet is economy friendly!

    • http://www.drafternoon.com mek

      I agree...it will be Match 3 Heaven .......*shivers*

  • DJman

    sooo... will this site become: "TouchArcade: keeping you in touch with the latest in iphone and tablet gaming"?

    ROTFLMAO

    • mike

      ....... *rolls eyes, dude, calm down, it wasn't that funny

    • brian

      Yeah, that's really funny enough to make you roll on the floor laughing your ass off.

    • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

      Hey, at least he amuses himself. :)
      I'd say there's a 40% chance this guy runs an iPhone gaming site that has some variation of "iPhone" in the domain name. IOW, might be jealous of the name "TouchArcade" which is broad enough to cover more generalized future developments. ;)

  • Tkun

    I hope if Apple really does release a Tablet PC that supports games, the games aren't as shallow as most iPhone games. As big as most tablets are, I would want a experience more like a PC or console.

    • Eli Hodapp

      As made obvious by Rockstar's recently release Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, the iPhone can support incredibly detailed "full console" experiences. Unfortunately, until people are willing to pay more than 99¢ for your average iPhone game, developers simply cannot afford to support the team of developers, artists, 3d modelers, writers, audio engineers, musicians, and everything else that goes in to the "full" game experience offered by PC or consoles.

      If the Apple tablet utilizes the App Store and follows the same pricing structures, we may only see more of the same.

      • spiffyone

        Except, Eli, Chinatown Wars wasn't a "full console experience" at all. It's not a home console game. It's a portable game system game. Fuller and more in depth than most mobile games, sure (being a portable game system game originally), but it isn't GTAIV or anything. It's very much a "quick pick up and play" game as you yourself alluded to in your review of the title.

      • Huang

        You were so busy being as pedantic as possible I think you missed his point. Chinatown Wars is a night and day difference in overall experience compared to anything else I can think of on the App Store. Sure, it's lacking the 3D graphics of GTA4, but it has everything else you would expect out of a GTA game.

      • spiffyone

        I'm not focusing on 3D graphics (actually, Chinatown Wars is, in fact, 3D, just cel shaded and in 3/4 view - not top down as some erroneously state). What I'm referring to is how the game PLAYS, how it "feels". Not graphics.

        Yes, the game has the content of the home console games, but it doesn't really "feel" like the home console games, and Rockstar stated themselves when the game was under development that they were making it "fit" the portable game market. The game is much more "quick pick up and play" than the home console games. Eli even referred to that in his review, and so have other reviewers from other sites that reviewed the original DS release and the "upgraded" port on PSP. It has the depth of the home console games, but certain aspects of gameplay were tweaked to better "fit" the portable game experience (game is more "pick up and play" and quicker to get into). So it, in no way, is indicative of "a full console style game" on this platform, because it ISN'T a console game...it's a portable system game, and there's a very sizable difference.

      • Will090

        People will pay $10 for a game. That being said it has to be a brand name, but just look at COD Zombies and GTA now. They are dominating the top grossing. COD has been up there for seems like forever. Indie devs will never be able to sell a game for 9.99, that is just they way it is. Without a brand name people aren't going to consider dropping 7+ dollars on it

      • MidianGTX

        The fact GTA:CW pwns GTAIV makes this whole conversation stupid.

    • Cranker

      I like the direction of the games now. I have no time for long games that require hours of play. I am sure I am not the only one. I don't mind having both types, but I love the casual arcade type stuff :)

      • LS650

        I have to agree with that. I am thinking of buying Chinatown Wars, for example, but the fact is that I play games 15 minutes here, 20 minutes there. It's hard for me to find the time to sit still and play a game that needs long term concentration.

    • mike

      dude, I've been deep into this RPG Inotia for about 3 weeks, so... I dont know where you've been for the last 2 years, but this is not about playing Pacmac in the Doctor's waiting room. For a sense of how far I am in the game, I'm at level 53, and the weapons go up to about 80 so... yea i'd say i got my 5 bucks worth.

      OS X Mobile has some amazing, amazing gaming.

  • iamPro

    It'll be funny to watch someone play Labyrinth on the tablet.

  • araczynski

    one thing that i'm really curious about however is the size of this thing. i don't see people running around with kindle sized devices anywhere, but seems everyone and their dog has an idevice, because they're tiny, portable, and easily stowable within 5 seconds...

    the tablet design doesn't lend itself to portable gaming all that much, and if so, why should i use it if i already have better options with a desktop/laptop/console?

    • Adams Immersive

      I think people will use it INSTEAD of a laptop—which means a new, somewhat smaller market, that will gradually grow at the expense of laptops.

      Right now, a lot of people have a desktop computer (or big ungainly laptop) plus a portable computer (laptop or netbook). But they COULD have a desktop computer plus a tablet, instead. Eventually.

      Meanwhile, especially for games, I’d use and love the tablet while I’m at home. It’s about portability in my home, not out in the world. I never would have said that until I realized how much gaming I do on my iPhone—at home!

      • spiffyone

        But why would you really "need" portability in your home? And how large is that market segment? The whole point of portability is itself negated through home usage. Wouldn't it be better if Apple instead released new AppleTV hardware, with a touch/accelerometer remote interface (NOT using the iPhone/touch as the controller, but a new Apple Remote which acts like the Wiimote and Magic Mouse in one unit), and open up an SDK for that along with an App Store? Your desire for home usage would be much better satisfied if Apple went that route, and there'd be a market with much larger potential if they did that.

        I'm not stating that the tablet is a bad idea, just one that isn't as "great" as some are making out, especially compared to focusing on doing with the living room via AppleTV what Apple did to the mobile market with iPhone/touch. There's more potential there than this tablet.

  • spiffyone

    I still don't "get" the tablet. To me it feels like Apple is going through with it because some saw the rise of netbooks, and thought "hey, all Apple needs to do is make a bigger iPhone/touch to compete in that segment". It just doesn't feel like it's gonna be a major product for Apple, tbqh. It doesn't feel like a "revolutionary" product, but a "reactionary" product, and, IMHO, an ill-thought out one at that.

    Who is the tablet for, exactly? It won't appeal to netbook consumers, because it will undoubtedly be too expensive. It won't appeal to Macbook or PC laptop consumers because it will be much less powerful. And I don't know if it will appeal to a large enough number of iPhone/touch consumers because, y'know...it won't exactly be mobile enough and that's part of the appeal of iPhone/touch - it's pocket sized.

    Rumors peg this thing at over $500 to around $1000. If Apple seriously thinks that will appeal to a large majority of GAME consumers out there (because rumors have them making games a big deal on the tablet), then they are out of their ever flippin' minds. The mass market of game consumers won't typically spend over $399 at most to play games (see PS3's early woes for an example). Now, I know some of you will point out that iPhone users wind up paying that much and more due to the contracts, but you iPhone users once again are forgetting a large contingent of the platform user base, and it's the contingent that has been shown to be made up of younger users who buy more of the games: iPod touch users. iPod touch makes the iPhone/touch platform affordable for game centric consumers (typically younger consumers). The tablet won't have that.

    If anyone really thinks the tablet will be a MAJOR segment for Apple in terms of consumers outside of the Apple diehard fanbase, like the iPhone/touch platform is (even Apple haters wind up owning an iPod), then you must know something I don't, because all I see is a rather haphazard, reactionary product rather than a revolutionary product as the iPhone/touch platform was when released and after the App Store debuted. I mean, if this is just an oversized iPod touch...then who the hell is it really for? And will the user base be sizable enough for developers to give a damn? There's got to be some exclusive stuff there to really appeal to those outside of the people that just want a big iPod touch.

    IMHO the SMARTER strategy would be release new AppleTV hardware and open up an App Store for that, as developers desired from the get go. That would work as Apple's re-energized salvo into the digital download set top box market, the video game home console market, and even the cheap nettop market (as AppleTV would have it's own version of Safari, and the apps would include stuff we see on the App Store now like photo editors, music software, and even simple office software). And at the price of current AppleTV hardware ($299 or so) the initial consumer market would be FAR larger than the initial market for this now nigh-mythical tablet. And not only would it be able to run current iPhone/touch apps just like the proposed tablet undoubtedly will, it most likely, due to much much stronger hardware and differences in "feel" would have exclusive content to appeal to an even broader user base. THAT makes more sense than this proposed tablet.

    • araczynski

      I agree about the portability thing, i think that's the iTouch's biggest plus aside from the app store.

      whenever i leave home, i always bring my wallet, my cell (work/android), and my itouch.

      i don't EVER see myself including a tablet in there, and if can't take my quick gaming with me, i know it'll sit at home and collect dust (like my wii) as it has to compete with my pc/ps3/360/wife/daughter (in no particular order).

      the more excited i get, the less realistic the endeavor becomes.

    • $teve Job$

      Sounds like Apple should have employed more internet know-it-alls before investing so much time and energy in to this rumored product which has already failed according to tons of bloggers, commenters on many tech blogs, and best of all, PC Magazine... And it hasn't even been announced yet!

      "No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame." -Slashdot on the iPod in 2001.

      "There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -Steve Ballmer on the iPhone in 2007.

      When are people going to learn that doubting Apple's product development and market research teams (which have had a world-class track record since Steve's return) will only result in looking foolish in a few years when said product has evolved through several revisions, each more popular than the last?

      • spiffyone

        I'll point out that Apple's vaunted product development and market research team doesn't always hit a homerun, even after Steve's return:

        1. Original AppleTV release (again, I think there IS a way to correct that ship, and new hardware with 1080p capability, and opening up the hardware to devs and an App Store would work quite well).

        2. Mac Mini (how many people actually buy Mac Minis?)

        They don't exactly have a perfect batting average. They do have missteps. I think this tablet will be a misstep. It, IMHO, won't appeal to a broad enough consumer base as the iPhone/touch does, especially if all it amounts to is an oversized iPhone.

      • Noman

        I have a feeling that the apple tablet could revolutionize the all-in-one media platform.

      • $teve Job$

        How are you defining your terms of a product's "homerun"? Both the Apple TV and Mac Mini sell well.

        The two different Mac Mini configurations are the #3 and #5 best selling desktop computers on Amazon.com- http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/electronics/565098/

        The Apple TV is the best way to get iTunes content on to your TV, and with the growth of digital distribution and the surge in iTunes popularity, the Apple TV has only become more successful.

        But hey, twist facts however makes sense to support your argument of products that you personally don't use are failures!

      • spiffyone

        AppleTV doesn't sell as nearly well as it should, and it pales in comparison to sales of products that do the same things and more like Netflix boxes, other digital download entertainment set top boxes, and even home consoles like PS3s and XBox 360s which have video download marketplaces of their own.

        Mac Mini's sales pale in comparison to those of other Apple computer products by a great amount, and are stomped by similar PC products like nettops and simple box towers.

        Both are not "homeruns" as far as Apple is concerned. And, btw, your idol Steve Jobs has gone on record as stating AppleTV hasn't done as well as he'd have liked. He sees it as a "hobby" right now. It shouldn't be. It can can do better, I have hopes for it, but they need to have new hardware and need to open up an SDK as they did with iPhone/touch. This tablet, if it's just an oversized iPhone will appeal to a smaller market than a re-energized AppleTV with it's own App Store would.

        If you think differently, tell me why. Tell me why an oversized iPhone based tablet will set the world afire and be a smarter play than a re-energized and focused AppleTV.

    • http://www.drafternoon.com mek

      I am going to buy it for many reasons

      the first, and most obvious is that i have an ipod touch, 1st gen, that is dying, the screen is being overcome with dead pixels, and most apps are not supporting it now...like GTA

      second...Media Consumption
      I want to be able to buy a Magazine subscription, delivered via Itunes, I love certain magazines, but hate the paper clutter...
      this goes for Newspapers...and Books
      I just finished grad school, so i won't have a need for textbooks..

      third..AT&T does not exist where i live....Its a dead zone..they have no towers...only CDMA works up here...so that is US. Cellular, and or Verizon....so if it can work on Verizon...all the better
      i would have an iphone already if it wasn't exclusive to AT&T, so if Verizon does get a contract for even the iphone, i may buy the iphone 4th gen.

      If it can run all of the existing apps in the appstore...then I'm sold...I've spent who knows how much and have 700+ apps

      and if it has perks, like a camera..for wifi videoconferencing.....it would be more powerful than a lil netbook

      • spiffyone

        Except there are netbooks with cameras and video conferencing capabilities.

        Listen, I know that there is a market for the tablet. I'm not saying there isn't. What I am saying is that I believe it's not a very sizable market compared to the current and future market for the iPhone/touch, due to cost and size, and it wouldn't be as sizable as the market that would exist for a revitalized AppleTV with it's own App Store (and exclusive apps).

        I just think Apple is reacting to what others thought was the smart play rather than really looking at the smarter play with the potential for the wider consumer base.

      • http://www.drafternoon.com mek

        i have a netbook with a camera that i use for video conferencing...bought it in October...i think it sucks...... it has its perks like the 12 hour battery life on it is great..the camera for video conferencing...but it is underpowered...you can't play games on it...

        if i am going to carry something..i want one device..

    • GodSon

      I can definitely agree with your point of view. I got my iTouch because it was smaller by a long shot than both my PSP and DS lite. I saw the potential and am 100% happy i made the choice. I still want the tablet to keep at home and my only hope is that i can sync my saved data from my iTouch games on the fly!

    • WillyCCCD

      "Rumors peg this thing at over $500 to around $1000. If Apple seriously thinks that will appeal to a large majority of GAME consumers out there (because rumors have them making games a big deal on the tablet), then they are out of their ever flippin' minds."

      Apple does not always care about "Mass Market". Their PCs certainly are not, that is for sure. As far as gamers and cost, have you seen how much high end gamers spend on systems? Makes a mere grand look like pocket change.

      Apple is going for a combo market here. Some books, some movies, some magazines, some games, turn by turn GPS on a screen that big would be killer. As far as pricing, sure it is expensive, but that has not hurt them so far, why should it now?

      It could be a home run if done right - just hope they do not tie any 3G to any given network - one would think they learned that lesson from the iPhone.

      I await next Wednesday but if it turns out to do too little or be too locked down, I always have my new ASUS netbook (due tomorrow!).

  • Hemp

    This is going to be cool. Of course they will focus on gaming for a good potion of the tablet, the games biz makes more money than Hollywood these days, they would be stupid not to. This is some Star Trek stuff going on here, can't wait!

  • http://blog.sketchnation.com Nitzan

    It is one thing to create a brand new game "resolution independent", but it is a whole other matter of converting an existing 2d game to a higher resolution. What is going to happen to the millions of apps that already exist for the iPhone?

  • Anonymous

    I feel that Apple isn't directing the Tablet at gamers. In fact, Apple didn't even want to admit that the iPod Touch was a gaming device until recently. However, there isn't anything wrong with the Tablet being used for gaming (like PCs) in addition to other things. I believe the Tablet is designed for use as a portable reader or data entry device. I can see users reading their daily news at the breakfast table as well as medical offices using this device for data entry and such. There is so much that this device can do... if executed properly. The medical community is an UPTAPPED market for Apple. This is their way in.

    Flamesuit on.

    • mike

      " In fact, Apple didn't even want to admit that the iPod Touch was a gaming device until recently. "

      What a bullshit statement. So they... release an SDK, and really really don't want people to develop games? Oh, they highlight Super Monkey Ball at the launch event, but please, no games. Please don't make games for out device. Somewhere between then, and now, magically 50,000 games are made for the iPhone/iPod, including, oh yeah, a launch title made by Apple themselves (a nifty Poker game). At the last event they were pretty much highlighting games only, and made an "iPod = gaming" ad.

      So really what are you doing? Reading Steve Jobs' mind here?
      No, you're just strawmanning it to make them look like clueless hypocrites.

      Screw off troll.

      • Anonymous

        >So they… release an SDK, and really really don't want people to develop >games? Oh, they highlight Super Monkey Ball at the launch event, but >please, no games. Please don't make games for out device.

        I never said "don't make games". My point was they didn't design the iPod Touch/iPhone as gaming devices, otherwise there would have been buttons.

        >At the last event they were pretty much highlighting games only, and >made an "iPod = gaming" ad.

        That came AFTER they realized it CAN be a gaming device.

        >No, you're just strawmanning it to make them look like clueless hypocrites.

        It wasn't a gaming device until the developers and users made it such. They just adapted the message. Good for them.

    • brian

      Calm down, man. He's saying they don't want it seen PRIMARILY as a gaming device, so it's not perceived as a toy.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks, Brian. That was the point I was trying to make.

  • Mister Mumbles

    I'm mildly interested, but I prefer to wait and see what all this hoopla is all about. Knowing Apple it will come with a premium price tag, and this is where it might ultimately fall short for me.

    It would be nice if Apple came up with a way to already play currently available games from the app store on it.

  • Bruce

    I am not an Apple fanboy (think the Macintosh is overhyped and overpriced) yet I can definitely see having an iTablet even if "all it is" is an oversized iPod Touch. I enjoy my iPod now and I can really see getting a lot of use out of such a device...

    • mike

      I love how you call it the Macintosh as if you haven't touched one in 25 years.

      (I know, I know, you're 13, so its impossible...)

      • LS650

        I'm not sure why you feel the need to be rude to me, Mike... Did I do something to personally offend you??

        I used to own a Mac - about 15 years ago. I've played with them a few times since, but just don't feel they offer me anything I can't find in Windows or Linux.

        And no, I haven't been 13 for about 30 years now.

  • Slannmage

    I don't see the point of it like a real keyboard is so much better than touch screen, so I'd rather have a laptop. The only reason I forgive the Iphone for it is because it is a mobile that I have in my pocket. However it does suffer control wise for not having buttons or a keypad.

  • http://donothaveone...yet ultimo

    Why don't we all Wait & Watch instead of Speculating wht not?

    When we had the Ad - "It is in the Air."
    A few speculated that it is a New Airport base Station... None of us thought about a Mac Book Air!

    Let us Just wait & hear Steve say.... One more thing ^^

  • kul65

    I'm just worried about this killing off the iPhone gaming market...

    Maybe it won't be a problem though, since there aren't many 3Gs exclusives either yet. :(

    • Anonymous

      Why would a Tablet kill the iPhone gaming market??? Everyone isn't going to abandon their existing iPod Touch/iPhone for the Tablet. As well, we still don't know whether or not the Tablet will run iPhone apps. With a huge install base for iPhones/iPod Touches, developers will continue to release those apps in addition to a Tablet version if they could. Like you said, there aren't too many 3G of 3GS-only versions of apps.

    • Nonstickron

      I really don't see a huge adoption rate for this thing. Unless it can run photoshop and indesign, I'd never buy one. The beauty of the iphone is it fits in your pocket. How inclined would most people be to carry an 8x10 inch iphone around? Not very, I'm guessing.

      No, if this thing is going to be successful, its going to have to function on at least the netbook level.

      • menom

        you don't get the point

        the new device isn't specifically designed for bringing with you - as you say, the iPhone/touch suffices for out and about

        the tablet/slate/pad/ii is primarily for when you're lounging around on your sofa/armchair/bed at home

        I use my iPhone all the time when out - but I use it loads at home too - often for stuff like browsing, reading and watching TV streams - a bigger tablet style device would be all the more useful for these things at home

        it might not be a must have for pro users for it could be one of the best ways for people to get web, books, magazine music and video content when chilling out at home

      • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

        I get that you don't see much potential in the tablet, but you may be confusing your own specific needs with the desires of the larger public. The success of the platform will certainly not be predicated on the tiny group of users that would want to run Photoshop and InDesign on a 10" screen -- I suspect that group is in the single digits. ;)

  • Nonstickron

    I'm curious if it will have Flash capability or not. Will it be more like the iphone OS or more like OSX? Can I install firefox? Etc. I'd like to see the locks that exist on the iphone taken off for the tablet without having to resort to hacking it. If it's a version of the iphone OS on a much beefier hardware configuration, you know its a matter of time before somebody hacks a regular OS onto it.

  • http://www.silentrocco.com Silent Rocco

    I hope, they don't call it iSlate.
    Slate is just an ugly name. Microsoft can keep it.
    I hope, Apple does bring something better.

    • Gurthang117

      They should call it "iSlab". You heard it here first ;)

      • MrMuesli

        I was swinging more towards iBrick myself...

  • omg

    I thought Mirror's Edge was delayed due to the fiasco of some person trying to sue any game that had the word edge in it?

  • Sol

    To make future games resolution independent, developers may have to use vectors for things like scores, on-screen buttons, maps, etc. If Apple makes vectors part of the next SDK I wonder if they will also make a new component/layer of OS X; doing so would solve the problem of ridiculously tiny file menus on their bigger monitors.

  • menom

    come on people, get with the program

    it's already been established that it's gonna be the 'ii'

    Nintendo proved that words with two 'i's sound even cooler than those with one so Apple have leaked that they are going to go even better and deploy the double-i without any other letters....genius!

    if you don't believe me, ask that bloke i met down the pub

  • Jack

    I just read all about this in detail on http://www.techzang.com

  • madamocta

    The only reason why would tablet interest me would be a launch of bookstore section in itunes and of course the tablet would be used as a reading device

  • http://www.obamanetwork.eu Stadust

    A big iPod Touch and also competitor for the Amazon Kindle would be nice.
    A netbook without keyboard won't sell.
    Or it will be a real gaming console with buttons and the touch pad.
    Well, let's see.

  • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

    I'm an iPhone game developer --still holdin' on!-- and I have to say that the prospect of a larger playing field with multitouch and the rumored form factor has me very excited about some ideas I've had. If it turns out as expected, it'd be a great little playground. Gotta get my first game out quick!

    • mike

      'still holdin' on'?

      OS X Mobile has like a 99% marketshare... If you jump ship to Android, you're a putz.

  • Dave Bowman

    A big iPod Touch and also competitor for the Amazon Kindle would be nice.
    A netbook without keyboard won't sell.
    Or it will be a real gaming console with buttons and the touch pad.
    Well, let's see.