Why Gaming won’t be the killer feature on the Apple Tablet

Thu, Aug 27, 2009

Analysis, News

Cult of Mac brings us the following demo of what gaming might look like on the rumored Apple tablet.  The person behind the video below is an anonymous grad student who believes that gaming will be the killer app on the Apple tablet, and below, he comes up with a demo which displays what a control scheme might look like.

To be honest, the control scheme above seems unbearably limited.  For as much as people complain about the iPhone’s diminutive screen, the small screen is actually a benefit to the extent that users don’t need to move their fingers long distances to accomplish in-game maneuvers.  With a 10-inch tablet, though, users will be required to keep their hands on the screen at all times, a somewhat annoying proposition with so much screen real estate.

Also, the control scheme in the video above would only work with a tablet if it were positioned flat on a horizontal surface, and that’s simply not how people enjoy playing video games.  Granted, a larger screen opens up possibilities for greater control flexibility, but it also creates potential for more UI problems.

And lastly, it seems completely unlikely that Apple would make gaming the killer app for the tablet simply because Apple’s gaming experience is severely limited relative to other companies like Nintendo and Sony.  While gaming will undoubtedly be part of the tablet experience, Steve Jobs has pointed out on a few occassions that the gaming market is relatively minuscule, and Apple won’t be betting the horse on something that occupies such a niche role under the entertainment umbrella.

Make no mistake about it, if the Apple tablet is destined to succeed, it will definitely need a killer feature beyond “always on” Internet and a larger touchscreen.  What that feature is remains to be seen, but it definitely won’t be gaming.


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1 Comments For This Post

  1. Patrick Says:

    One big problem with touch screen interfaces is that your finger and hand obscure the view on the screen. In the Cult of Mac video above, the World of Warcraft screen has enough space that you can essentially use some of that space for the control scheme. But what happens if something interesting (game-wise) occurs underneath your finger?

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