Here is Apple making efforts in tackling the gaming demographic with some pretty awesome update. The electronics giant, which now has a decided cloud angle to its business strategy, is encouraging an entire ecosystem around its mobile “gaming” devices.
First off, we have the OnLive app for the iPad, which allows users to play full retail titles that were once only possible with PC or games consoles, and it has live micro-console that can be tethered to a TV. The new app was announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo Tuesday in Los Angeles.
OnLive allows users to play PC games without needing a powerful hard drive. It also eliminated the need for expensive consoles, having its own micro version that’s available for only $99, and often comes for free with pre-orders of selected games. There’s also an iPad and Android app that allows users to look at what other players are playing, with over a hundred games available to choose from in their cloud-based game catalog.
What’s more awesome though is the app’s upcoming update that will let users stream PC games to the iPad or Android tablet. You can choose to pay on per game basis, or by monthly subscription, with some 50 games available. You can choose to play games with the game’s virtual controller, or with the console, though the console is more ideal and can be hooked up via Bluetooth.
Another cool iPad feature is mirroring. It’s pretty much like the AirPlay app which allows users to stream content to one another. The difference is that you don’t only get to see what’s streaming on the other device, but what exactly appears on its screen. We’ve already had iPad mirroring with iOS 4.3 together with iPad 2 which are hooked together by a cable like you would a DVD player or an xBox. This time is better for iOS 5 will eliminate cable and replace it with a Bluetooth connection.
However, the iPad 2 is not exactly the cheapest, with a $499 starting price tag, along with Apple TV for $99. But considering Apple’s user base and growing number of game fans, this is not an impossible combo for consumers. Yet nothing is without its flaws. Considering that mirroring is still in its early stages, we can expect it to be unable to translate well on certain devices. You might find yourself wanting to hook it up with the biggest screen possible, only to deal with compatibility issues later on. Moreover, the iPad doesn’t seem to be an ideal controller for games.
While the iPad is trying to get into games, Microsoft’s xBox is trying to become more than just a gaming console by engaging into non-game activities. Microsoft claims that “While people are still playing a ton of video games, 40 percent of all Xbox activity now is non-game.” Xbox owners watch an average of 30 hours of video streaming per month. What’s clear is that the iPad and Kinect consoles are trying to blur the gap between gaming and non-gaming devices by trying to become both. We’ll see who wins out and in which markets they’ll be able to dominate in the end.