The iPad: The New Gaming Console?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012
By Don Williams

I always thought that the XBox 360 and the Sony PlayStation graphics were absolutely amazing. After all, their graphics were so dang tooting real that they were almost totally unreal! For one thing, they were so crisp and so detailed that they were almost life like. In fact, I once made the mistake of thinking that a hockey game being played at a local Best Buy was, in fact, a real live game in progress! How bloody embarrassing!

But you know what I didn’t know?

iPad console gaming

That the new iPad’s resolution and graphics are potentially far more awesome than either the XBox or Sony PlayStation!

Yuppers, that’s right at least according to Time’s writer Matt Peckham. You see, as Matt points out, as impressive as the gaming consoles are, neither of them can boast of having graphics that can go beyond 1080p. The truth is that most of their games can only do 720p, or some 1280 x 720 pixels, and even with solid upscaling, you’re still only getting a subpar 1080p output on a 1080p TV. The new iPad, however, can go way beyond either of the consoles of 1080 TVs with its impressive and mind-blowing resolution of 2048 x 1536.

Matt goes on to list “7 Reasons Apple’s New iPad Could Replace Your Games Console”, and here they are in a nutshell:

  1. It’s powerful enough.
  2. Speaking of, the new iPad one-ups the PS3 and Xbox 360 in onscreen pixels.
  3. Hello instant, massive, multi-demographic games library.
  4. iOS games cost peanuts next to console game prices.
  5. You can take it with you.
  6. It’s a lot more than just a game console.
  7. It’ll eventually stream video wireless to your TV and support gamepads.

Matt, of course, goes into much more detail on the above seven points so I highly recommend reading his post. He also points out that, in a separate Reuter’s post, that:

“Electronic Arts honcho Frank Gibeau says “When the iPad gets to the processing power that’s equal to an Xbox 360 and it connects to a television, that’s no big deal to us,” adding that the company would simply “put the game through the iPad and have it display through the television.” And Mike Capps, president of Epic Games (Gears of War, Infinity Blade), believes ”It is quite easy to imagine a world where an iPad is more powerful than a home console, where it wirelessly talks to your TV and wirelessly talks to your controller and becomes your new console.”

Now that’s really interesting indeed, and especially when you consider that the new iPad is already almost as powerful as the latest XBox and, no doubt too, it’s also already more powerful than the original XBox or PlayStation! With AirPlay giving it the ability to connect to a large screen TV (which has lower resolution than the new iPad) the possibilities of a new iPad replacing a big, bulky and cumbersome traditional gaming console suddenly becomes possible!

The idea that a little iPad could pack a powerful gaming punch as near, equal or even more powerful than either a XBox or a Sony PlayStation is something that I never would have thought possible, but it’s apparently just what is now taking place. Traditional gamers snickering aside, this could end up making the iPad the king of gaming platforms not only in the sheer number of its users and the sheer number of gaming titles, but also as the gaming king on the big screen! Now who would have ever thought that? Not me, that’s for sure.

[Editor's note: a few innovative games such as Max Adventure, a dual stick shooter, can already use iPad as 1080P gaming console and iPhone or iPod touch as a gamepad. However, most iOS games don't need gamepads because they are designed for multi-touch (gesture controls), anywhere thumbstick, and gyro (tilt) controls]

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