When Apple launched Game Center earlier this year, many media outlets started to wonder if the company was about to join the console market eventually. Many folks started to wonder if the combination of Apple TV, Game Center and the rest of the iOS devices would be strong enough to compete with the likes of PlayStation, Xbox and Wii.
I think thatís too much too ask at this point. But, one thing I learned a long time ago is to never underestimate Apple. Game Center seems to be growing at a good pace with almost 2,000 compatible games in the App Store already.
Apple introduced Game Center as a social gaming network with iOS 4.1 in September timeframe. In November, Apple released iOS 4.2 with Game Center compatibility for the iPad. In just over two months, the App Store is showing almost 2,000 games compatible with Game Center.
source: Game Center Approaching 2,000 Games at App Store – What’s Next? | PadGadgetThere are a variety of Game Center compatible games in the App Store. Developers have decided to implement different features across all apps. For example, one of my sonís favorite games, Fruit Ninja, allows him to enjoy full-featured online multiplayer options, matchmaking, as well as achivements and leaderboards. Other games simply provide access to leaderboards and your friendís scores.
Of course, Game Center needs much more time and work to be able to compete with the likes of Xbox Live and Playstation. If Apple wants to compete at that level, it will need to come out with a stronger gaming experience and a bigger inventory list to be able to face-off heavily developed console games such as Call of Duty and others. However, weíre seeing how companies like Epic have made the transition to iOS showcasing their technology and Appleís potential. In addition, Game Center has allowed lesser known developers to become creative and produce games for Appleís iOS devices.
Itís too early to tell where Apple will go next in the gaming segment. But, letís not overlook Appleís huge cash reserves. The company has plenty of cash for investments. Will they decide to build their own gaming platform? Will they decide to leverage Apple TV with the other iOS devices? Will they decide to buy someone like EA? We donít know. The point is that Apple has been testing the market, it has plenty of money, and the desire seems to be there.