What Are iPad’s Gaming Strengths?

What makes the iPad a great gaming system? The iPhone is a fun gaming device, but the screen is too small. Your computer is a good gaming device, but it may lack some of the tactile input of a touchscreen. iPad may be just right as the ultimate gaming device for many reasons, including these:

  • iPad’s fantastic screen: If you have an iPad with Retina display you have 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 get good color and contrast.

    If you own a third-generation iPad (or later), things get even better. These versions of iPad with their Retina displays give you four times as many pixels as earlier iPad models (3.1 million, to be exact). You get 2048 x 1536 resolution, greater color saturation, and a crisp image that rivals many HDTVs.

  • Faster processor: The dual-core A7 chip in your iPad Air is a super-fast processor that can run rings around your iPhone, making it a great device for gaming. The A7 chip is very speedy and drives the Retina display without sacrificing the ten-hour battery life iPads are known for.

  • 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 were added to help apps like Maps pinpoint your location and movements as you stroll around town.

  • M7 coprocessor: This feature, new with iPhone 5S/5C, provides the ability to sense your movements. This ability is likely to result in some interesting new gaming and exercise apps.

  • 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 a more engaging way than a small screen ever could.

  • Dragging elements around the screen: The multi-touch screen in iPad may be based on the same technology as the iPhone, but it’s been redone from the ground up for iPad. The iPad screen is 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 on every version of iPad 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 large screen, compared to an iPhone.

  • Great sound: The built-in stereo speakers in iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display are powerful little things, but if you want things even more up-close and personal, you can plug in a headphone, some speaker systems, or a microphone using the built-in jack.