Gamers Shouldn’t Upgrade To The New iPad Just Yet

Gamers Shouldn’t Upgrade To The New iPad Just Yet
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Apple’s newest iPad came out last week, and, as expected, it’s a gorgeous device. With more RAM, a beefier processor and that super-shiny retina display, the third-gen iPad is certainly a powerful tablet. And a great gaming system.

But for gamers, all that glitz and glamour isn’t worth the entry fee. Not yet.

Today I compared my new iPad with a co-worker’s iPad 2. Though there are a few minor aesthetic differences (textures look a tiny, tiny bit better!), games like Infinity Blade 2 and Mirror’s Edge run just as smoothly on both devices. The old iPad looks and feels exactly the same way when you’re playing games, to the point where you probably wouldn’t be able to tell the two tablets apart.

In other words, if you already have an iPad 2, there’s no reason to upgrade. Yet. Remember, publishers like Electronic Arts have promised to develop optimised versions of many of their iOS games, while Epic Games has already announced a new Infinity Blade game that will likely look stunning on the newest iPad. Within the next few months, I expect that we’ll start to see games that only work on Apple’s newest piece of mobile hardware, much like iPhone games started to adapt to the iPhone 3G, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, rendering their predecessors obsolete. But none of that has happened yet.

Of course, if you don’t already have a device that can play iOS games (an old iPad, the iPhone or the iPod touch), this is a good time to get one. The iTunes library is growing larger and larger every day. Mobile games for Apple’s ubiquitous devices can be cheap, addictive and surprisingly deep.

But if you have an iPad 2 and you’re wondering whether enhanced gaming justifies the $US500-$US700 it will cost you to upgrade? It doesn’t. Not yet.


    • I don’t see why they shouldn’t. I’m a gamer (pc, 360) and I still see value in mobile gaming, I’ve been playing Doom on iPad and I find it to be great fun.

      I don’t understand the whole idea that ‘hardcore’ gamers must hate mobile gaming by default.

    • Yup, if your a gamer, buy something like a vita to play games on. I’ve got an ipad, played infinity blade and dark meadow and the rest, just not deep enough or interesting enough for me. Play uncharted golden abyss, or resident evil revelations, on your portable instead!

    • I didn’t realise that my choice in recreation dictated what devices I’m allowed to own. I work as a programmer and enjoy sleeping, would you mind recommending some more things for me to arbitrarily exclude from my life?

  • The iPad isn’t a games console. It’s a portable arcade, and it provides experiences about as deep. Real games don’t run without physical inputs.

    • “Real gamer” means something different to everyone, though. I don’t consider console gamers ‘real gamers’ (why even bother with analog sticks/[email protected]) but you can bet your ass they do.

      • That’s like saying you don’t consider anyone to have been a gamer back in the year 2000. The lack of analog sticks and a high definition screen resolution doesn’t define a gamer, neither does a mouse and keyboard and a PC. Though I do agree that if you “only” played games on an iPad then it’s a stretch to call yourself a gamer. Apple n00b might be more appropriate 😛

        • I was using an analogue stick to play games in 1983; the Vectrex had one. I may have played it on a stand at Woolworths, but play it I did…
          The iPad has some great games built for the touch interface (like Train Controller); the trouble I have is great games being ported across that are not suited to it.

      • I seriously don’t know why elitist snobs like you come into articles like this to spout your rubbish.

        You’re saying you’re only a real gamer if you play at a high resolution and frame rate and with keyboard and mouse. Sure, to many people this is the optimum experience. But a gamepad is a perfectly acceptable input device for most action games and also for many others. I personally find the couch experience to be a fantastic way to play a game.

        As for the iPad, there are many games on there that can be played by “real gamers”. Machinarium, Greed Corp, Carcassonne, and (coming out this year) Frozen Synapse.

        I have a PC for my strategy games and certain RPGs, and my console for games like Halo and Gears of War.

        I really wish you people wouldn’t strut about internet forums acting like the only video games are those played with a 5,000 DPI mouse on twin GPUs with a 120 frame rate and a 110 FOV.

        • It’s people like you who drove RAGE to be a steaming pile of crap on PC and managed to ruin id software’s reputation of actually making good games.

          • Oh my God. 81! I didn’t realise. That’s it, I’m going to take my copy of Rage, and 17 other games, and go get myself a $35 discount off something else at EB.

          • Wow, you’re even going back to EB to trade in your games, of all places.
            You are the reason we pay inflated prices in Asutralia and have to enter crappy activation codes for new games trying to stem second hand games.
            Congrats on making gaming the worst thing ever, McGarnical.

          • While I’m at it, I’ll buy a MS points card for fatbox and buy my avatar a little something.

  • A tablet is a tablet. It may play games, it may play them well, but games won’t ever be the primary motivator to buy a tablet, until a more game specific version comes out.

    Besides, since when did on paper stats and graphic potential sell a system? Console history, at the very least, shows that just because a system is a beast doesn’t mean it wins by default… no matter how rabid the fan base is.

  • I thought you would say, gamer shouldn’t buy the new iPad yet, because the new iPad gets overheat easily playing games, especially 3D games like Infinity Blade

  • How will games perform when they are upped to the higher resolution on the new iPad? I know the components are beefier, but the sheer number of pixels it has to push will take it’s toll.

    I recall some benchmarks that ran higher on the 3GS over the 4 (when the higher display was introduced).

  • If you own an iPad 2, the upgrade cost only comes out at about $110. I sold my iPad 2 on ebay for $390 and bought an iPad 3 from JB for $499.

    So I figure $110 for a new screen, new warranty and better camera (which I actually use a fair bit) was worth it.

  • Judge a game based on the game itself, not on the nature of the device on which it is played.
    Absolutely, the typical mechanics, and their related input schemes, of the game we are all used to rely heavily on physical buttons, DPads and analogue sticks. Such games won’t work well as a straight port onto a touchscreen device.
    This imposes a restriction on developers trying to make good touchscreen-based games. And restrictions are a good thing, because restrictions breed creativity.

    A game designed from the ground up to be entirely touch controlled has just as much opportunity to provide depth of gameplay and thereby provide rich entertainment as any other game on any other platform.

    I wouldn’t buy a touch-screen tablet as a gaming device yet, not because of any inherent inferiority, but because (most) developers don’t seem to have cracked the designs that make proper use of it’s key features.

    • Indeed – while some games work better on touch most really dont… i hate iOS games with onscreen d-pad. White some games are impossible to do without a touch device…. id like to see them remake okami and world ends with you on a touch device.

      i can see the touch platform being more malleable interface-wise than any console gamepad today. I feel a bit reluctant calling it a gaming device but my experience have certainly colored my judgement – for a casual gamer – the ipad is a gaming device…and so much more perhaps.

  • It’s hardly a $700 upgrade. Do you just throw your iPad 2 in the bin? Mine was a $350 upgrade, which I think was well worth it.

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