Following the surprise announcement of a speed-bumped iPad was the iPad mini. If you were following the rumor scene, most of what people were expecting turned out to be true. It comes packed with a 7.9" display, a similar A5 processor to the iPad 2, and a price point that starts at $329 for the 16GB load-out. It's got a 1024x768 display, is as thing as a pencil and light as a pad of paper, even optionally including LTE just like the "big" iPad.

It's going to be incredibly interesting to see what sort of implications this new form factor has on gaming. As mentioned in the keynote, the 1024x768 display will make the iPad mini work with all existing iPad software. However, I'm curious just how much (if at all) virtual controls will need to be tweaked to feel "right" on the device. Down-sizing everything means all those little interface widgets get smaller, after all.

The iPad mini is going to be available for preorder this Friday, and ships in early November with the LTE models coming a few weeks later.

  • Firetruck94

    Now is everyone happy?

    • Superatomic

      Happy? No way Jose.
      Why the hell did they base the mini off ipad2 specs?
      Why are they releasing this to market when it is now two generations behind??
      It should have been the ipad3 mini.. Not the 2.

  • MicroByte

     I'd consider it if I didn't just pick up a new iPod Touch.  I think the
    form factor is great and the price point is modest.  It'll fit nicely
    into a niche Apple Market segment allowing those that can't afford the
    more expensive big brother.

  • MicroByte

     I'd consider it if I didn't just pick up a new iPod Touch.  I think the
    form factor is great and the price point is modest.  It'll fit nicely
    into a niche Apple Market segment allowing those that can't afford the
    more expensive big brother.

  • iPhallex

    As stated in the article, screen size will be a commodity for gaming. As I'm typing this on my iPad 2, I'm thinking about how all the games are tailored for the bigger screen and allow you to see everything. With the new smaller screen, games made for iPad just won't feel right. I wonder if the games will simply be larger ports of the phone versions?

    • http://www.meadiciona.com/charles_anjos Charles Albert

      or smaller ports of ipad versions, no difference

      • iPhallex

        Except there *is* a difference between apps. For example: Facebook for iPhone vs. Facebook for iPad... Smaller screen = smaller buttons, less room for information display. This can mean a big difference in how some games are played.

      • http://twitter.com/VULTR3 Mike

         It's not that big of a difference, really. 2 inches don't have a big impact on UI.

      • http://www.meadiciona.com/charles_anjos Charles Albert

        apps with lots of info, yeah. games, nop.

    • http://iqsoup.com/ iqSoup

      There don't need to be any new games specifically for the iPad Mini.  The screen size is exactly the same (in pixels) as the iPad 2.  The reason the screen is physically smaller is a higher ppi.  So you don't have to port or change anything--anything that worked on the iPad 2 will work on the iPad Mini.

    • Adams Immersive

      No porting needed: it’s just an iPad, and runs normal iPad apps unmodified at 1024x768. Things will feel different... but more portable. A nice option, although I like my full-size iPad!

    • http://animaltrackers.wordpress.com/ DAiv Games

      At present, developers can code to detect whether the device their game is running on is of the 'phone idiom' or 'pad idiom', and adjust the user interface accordingly.

      But, by the sounds of things, the iPad mini will probably still present itself as just 'pad idiom' and so it may not be possible to programmatically differentiate between the mini and full screen versions in order to automatically give a modified user interface.

      If necessary, though, it would still be possible to allow the player to manually choose from a choice of user interfaces.

  • Arkais

    Personally everything I was expecting and I will be buying one. The full sized ipad was too big for what I wanted, and this size is perfect for me.

    Was hoping for a $300 or less starting point, but at least 16gb is the lowest model. Just need to decide if I want 32gb or not.

  • Trahannn

    I'll wait for the 2nd gen iPad mini with retina display with the A6X chip.

    Should come out in 6 months. ;)

  • ImJPaul

    iPad mini is for girls! ;-P

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Will-Buckingham/518019273 Will Buckingham

    So they decided to put a premium price tag on nearly two year old components, putting it at the same performance level as an iPod Touch.  So 6 months from now is this going to be refreshed with an A6?  Honestly, this announcement made me mad for the first time with their screwy release cycles.  It burns me for being an iPad 3 owner and insults me with the price gouging on the underpowered Mini.  What exactly did Apple hope to accomplish here?  It certainly can't have been engendering good will with their current customers.

    • Arkais

      That people feel entitled to any hardware being current for a certain amount of time baffles me. It's been true for years and years with PC components that waiting even six months could result in better hardware. The same is for Apple products. The iPad you bought is no more or less effective as a product because another iPad was announced. It still works and does exactly what it did when released...why does a new product coming out six months later make you mad?

      If you are worried about always having the latest and greatest, you can wait forever or constantly upgrade, otherwise you will never be satisfied.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Will-Buckingham/518019273 Will Buckingham

        It makes me mad because it's a deviation from the established cycle and it's not a small change in performance.  If it was a refresh of the 3rd gen to add the Lightning connector to new units I wouldn't care.  That's just lining up their products for compatibility reasons.  But it's not just an interface refresh.  They supposedly DOUBLED the performance not six months from the previous model by putting in a new CPU package.  What's worse is they had to know they were going to do this when the 3rd gen was announced earlier this year.  They don't even intend to keep producing the 3rd gen model and drop it in price.  This is clearly a case of making a stopgap "disposable" model to make them money in the interim, and it bothers me that that's the direction the company is moving toward.

      • Arkais

        So you are mad because a product you bought is not as good as another product that was released later on? Do you expect the same out of a company producing a PC?

        The fact that you had an expectation for product releases means that you created an expectation that Apple had no need to cater to. The market demands more tablets and Apple is providing for that. You can't expect them to stand still while you have your "new" product for long enough to feel satisfied. The reality is that every company creating technology is already developing better tech when a product is released.

    • Adams Immersive

      I would guess that the choice of chips and performance has only a small impact on price, but a much larger impact on battery life (and therefore device size/portability).

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Will-Buckingham/518019273 Will Buckingham

        That is possible, but they made a big deal of bragging about the A6 being so much more power efficient that it let them get 10 hours of battery life in the iPhone 5 with LTE.  If that's true for the much smaller phone, there's no reason they couldn't put it in the iPad Mini.  This is clearly price gouging on old components.

    • Gamercub

      Everyone knew it was coming out, so people can't moan if they have just bought an iPad 2/3 and as its a mini they wanted a low price to feel appealing! I love the look of it, I've had iPads and I am thinking of getting a mini as its going to be a good tool to use for reading

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Will-Buckingham/518019273 Will Buckingham

        Who exactly knew that an iPad 4 was coming out?  I haven't seen a single story saying a new iPad revision was expected.  Everything has been iPad Mini related, and while that device is similarly disappointing in specs and price, it was expected from leaks.  A 4th gen iPad came out of nowhere.

    • http://www.meadiciona.com/charles_anjos Charles Albert

      so it does not have the latestestest hardware! oh noes, how will you brag about having the smaller pen OH I MEAN the bigger hardware???

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Will-Buckingham/518019273 Will Buckingham

        Really?  If you brag about your technology you're a douchebag.  It's not about bragging rights in the slightest.  It's about spending $700 on a device only to have it be outdated off the expected cycle only half a year later.

      • http://www.meadiciona.com/charles_anjos Charles Albert

        outdated it's not the word. the ipad 3 will last at least good two or three years to get really outdated, so please stop whining

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Will-Buckingham/518019273 Will Buckingham

        According to Apple it's literally twice the performance of the previous model.  Sure, compatibility will be maintained for iPad 2 level hardware, particularly since they dumped it into the Mini, but that's no small increase.  Most video card generations don't even break 15% increases over last year's model and this supposedly doubled it after six months.  That the apologists are out in such force after they pulled this stunt is just shocking.

  • GSJ1977

    So it's an iPad 2, shrunk.

    • Superatomic

      Yep.. Dissapointing. Stale architecture.

  • JohnnyJ301

    $329 is a great price for a 16gb model. Actually a perfect display for mobile gaming. I just might have to pick one up

  • Benegesserit

    Weaker display than Nexus 7 and Nexus is cheaper

    • JohnnyJ301

      Nexus 7 maybe cheaper but the apple product will run better and there will be more apps available.

      • WarMachine

        Emulators. Beats the shit out of any iOS crAPP game.

    • Superatomic

      Who says its weaker?

      • Superatomic

        Correct. Once emulators enter the picture the number of games increase 10x

  • http://www.meadiciona.com/charles_anjos Charles Albert

    So, it will be the iPod Touch of the iPad: always updated with the one generation older hardware.

  • Trev1

    Being a smaller gaming device freak I'm already envisioning pulling this baby out of my back pocket at the DMV and grinding with a good ok KRPG! Damn apple will soon have me selling myself on Craigslist or standing between the meridians off the highway with a "will work for apple devices postboard"..

    • Superatomic

      Or.. You could actually get a job like the rest of society and pay for it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YR3DQK3FLEKIAGNH7JYXCUOWZA Joshua

    Sigh...I was ready to buy this...but it doesn't sound good. They pretty much advertised it as an ipad 2 mini. A5 chip not A6 and the same resolution as the ipad 2 which comes to 162ppi...nothing close to retina. Only thing I like about it is how it looks.

    • jez

      It's the A5X chip, which is about twice as fast as the A5. It will actually have faster graphics performance than the 6-month-old iPad 3 since it has the same chip and isn't pushing around a retina screen.

      A retina screen would increase cost and hurt battery life (that's why the iPad 3 and 4 are larger and heavier than the iPad 2: they have much bigger batteries to power the retina display).

      I think it's a good trade off.

  • saosijs

    This could have been more of a media device if it had a wide screen. Interestingly so far only the iPhone5 is most suitable for TV shows and movies. Seems that iPad won't go wide anytime soon.
    Side note: it is a bit of a stretch to compare Nexus and iPad mini screen size (area) because 16:9 and 4:3 screens each "win" depending on the application (movies, reading, games, etc).