The iPad 2 as a Gaming Platform

The iPhone is a fun gaming device, but the screen is too small. Your computer is a good gaming device, but it lacks some of the tactile input of a touchscreen. iPad 2 may be just right as the ultimate gaming device (once enough iPad-specific games surface) for many reasons, including these:

  • The iPad's fantastic screen: You've got a few things going for you here. First, the high resolution, 9.7-inch screen has a backlit LED display. As Apple describes it, it's "remarkably crisp and vivid." They're not lying. The in-plane switching (IPS) technology means you can hold it at almost any angle (it has a 178-degree viewing angle) and still see good color and contrast.

  • Faster processor: The A5 chip in your iPad 2 is a super-fast processor that can run rings around your iPhone, making it ideal for gaming.

  • A built-in accelerometer and three-axis gyroscope: Gamers will find these elements useful to shift around in a more versatile manner as they virtually move through games that involve motion. The built-in accelerometer and three-axis gyroscope let you grab your iPad and use it as a steering wheel or other game feature, so you really feel in the action. With iPad 2, the gyroscope, accelerometer, and compass also help apps like Maps to pinpoint your location and movements as you stroll around town.

    Move the iPad to steer left and right.
    Move the iPad to steer left and right.
  • Playing games in full screen: Rather than playing on a small iPhone screen, you can play most games designed for the iPad 2 in full-screen mode. Having a full screen brings the gaming experience to you in an even more engaging way than a small screen ever could.

  • Dragging elements around the screen: The Multi-Touch iPad 2 screen may be based on the same technology as the iPhone, but it's been redone from the ground up for iPad. It's responsive, and if you're about to be zapped by aliens in a fight-to-the-death computer game, that responsiveness counts.

  • The ten-hour battery life of an iPad 2: This long battery life means you can suck energy out of it playing games into the wee hours of the night.

  • Specialized game-playing features: Some games are coming out with features that take advantage of iPad's capabilities. For example, Gameloft came out with a version of its "N.O.V.A." game that includes a feature called multiple-target acquisition, which lets you target multiple bad guys in a single move to blow them out of the water with one shot. "The Need for Speed" racing games allow you to look in your rearview mirror to see what's coming up behind you, a feature made possible by iPad's larger screen.

  • Great sound: The built-in speaker is a powerful little thing, but if you want things even more up-close and personal, you can plug in a headphone or microphone using the built-in jack.

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