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Apple's iPad May Look Cool -- But It Shafts Gamers [UPDATE]

Apple's new iPad has design flaws that will prevent it from being the gaming platform that the iPhone wasn't -- and from getting the respect given to the Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii.

  • Still No Controller. The iPad looks great, but the touchscreen-only design only works on certain games. As I've discussed regularly in my Mobile Game pages, many console games don't translate well to the iPhone because they require precise controls, fast movement and stable internet connections (more on that later). The iPad basically has a 10-inch screen, but no room dedicated to a real control. It will share the same problems as the iPhone unless Apple (AAPL) thought ahead and enabled third-party controller support. And no, the keyboard won't entice home gamers used to joysticks -- PC gamers perhaps, but not people on the big three consoles.
  • Not Much More Memory Than iPhone. The iPad offers 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB, the latter the only increase over the iPhone. The larger iPhone games are approaching 2 GB. Assuming iPad's basic operating system needs a gig, the smallest model has 15 GB available. Furthermore, the large 10-inch iPod screen will require more graphics and detail than the 3-inch iPhone screen, so we can expect games to quickly get towards the 5 GB level. Apple is already limiting developers.
  • Still No Physical Internet. Sure, the iPhone is almost always going to be used on the road, but the larger iPad will be used in airports, on commutes and, yes, at home. The problem is Apple has again made AT&T its default carrier, which virtually guarantees awful 3G networking in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other major urban areas. The Wi-Fi option is fine, but why not allow a direct connection Internet for home use? Games like the 10-million plus World of Warcraft would be great on the iPad - - but they'd need a super stable connection.
  • No Internet Flash. Read the related post "Apple iPad Skips Web Flash -- Call It Deja Vu".
Meanwhile, check out our BNET video on the iPad introduction: Photo courtesy of / CC BY 2.0
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