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The iPad 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 may be just right as the ultimate gaming device (once enough iPad-specific games surface) for many reasons, including:

  • 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 or IPS technology means you can hold it at almost any angle (it has a 178-degree viewing angle) and still get good color and contrast.

  • Faster processor. The A4 chip in your iPad is a super-fast processor that can run rings around your iPhone, making it ideal for gaming.

  • Playing games in full screen. Rather than playing on a small iPhone screen, you can play most games designed for the iPad in full-screen mode on your iPad. 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 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. 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 Nova 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 game allows you to look in your rear 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.

  • A built-in motion sensor (called a three-axis accelerometer). This device allows those developing apps for iPad to have lots of fun as they use the automatically rotating screen to become part of the gaming experience. Some racing games allow you to grab the iPad as if it were a steering wheel and rotate the device to simulate the driving experience.

    Move the iPad around to steer left or right.
    Move the iPad around to steer left or right.
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