Today, Apple announced their newest product: the iPad. It’s a 9.7” diagonal touch screen computer. The iPad is what netbooks should have been. It’s a sexy piece of technology. And it maxes out at just above $800, with the base model costing $499.
iPad MMOs could revolutionize the genre. The graphical capabilities will not be up to par with even a low-end gaming PC, of course, but the ability to play on the go with a touch-screen interface—that is, literally, game-changing. The iPod Touch was a step forward—the iPad’s screen size make more serious gaming inevitable, and games designed with the touch interface in mind will change the way we play in a fundamental way. Think of commanding a starship with your hands, with a user interface ala Minority Report. Imagine drawing on your screen the path your character’s sword will travel. Multi-touch opens up so many fine-grained interactivity options for combat, crafting, maneuvering, and just about anything you do in a virtual world.
Think that typing on a software keyboard (one that appears on the screen and provides no tactile feedback) will wear thin? Apple has an accessory that allows you to plug the iPad into a keyboard dock and type more comfortably as the machine charges. Combining keyboard input and touch screen input will lead to some exciting changes in how we implement game interfaces.
Micro-transactions will be easily implemented through in-app purchases. We might not even need separate billing sites—just use the iTunes store and in-app purchasing mechanisms.
I’m really excited about this. This device is something special.