With one small feature, iOS 7 might introduce the biggest change in iOS gaming since the App Store.
There's something I've wished for on both the iPhone and iPad for years: a true, universal, dedicated game controller. iOS 7 has granted my wish: indeed, one of the small but very significant additions to the next mobile OS announced at WWDC allows for third-party controllers. It's funny this happened to be announced during E3, because it just might be the trigger to change the mobile gaming industry.
Why it's big Third-party accessory-makers have tried making game controllers … Read more
LOS ANGELES -- I did not fall! No, really. I didn't (just watch the video). Falling was my biggest fear when I booked a meeting last week to see the Virtuix Omni, an omnidirectional, low-friction surface that allows you to move around in a virtual environment (using the Oculus Rift) without (seriously) endangering yourself, your coffee table, or others.
Hold on! The Omni is about 4 to 5 feet in diameter and is sloped toward its center. It's a low-friction surface with a narrowly grooved exterior. A circular handle surrounds your waist, affording you a degree of much-needed … Read more
Can iPads replace laptops in mission-critical, hot-and-sweaty environments? My colleague Dan Ackerman gave it a go at last year's E3, and I'm giving it a try as I head to L.A. this year with a keyboard-case twist, using iLuv's new leather folio. (I'll also have a laptop backup plan.)
A fellow co-worker who's an unabashed iOS enthusiast passed by my cube yesterday and saw me playing on a table-top arcade machine sitting on my desk. He stopped, eyes drawn to the bright colors on the sides and the top, and the arcade graphics on the small glass screen. I explained that it was an iPad sitting in the iCade, a $99 self-assemble arcade cabinet with Bluetooth joystick.
Naturally, he wanted to try it out on a few games he liked. I explained that the iCade currently only works with Atari's Greatest Hits app, which admittedly has 100 games, but lacks arcade classics like Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Joust--games that are, of course, made by other publishers. I also explained that it really only worked in portrait mode (or a slightly precarious but still-possible landscape mode, by using a groove on the outside edge).
He started to sour. Eventually, he walked away.
Of course, for arcade nuts and fans of novelty bar-top/desktop toys, the iCade is still a pretty awesome little treat. But until it can support other games--which Ion, the maker of the iCade, says will happen via a shared API--its appeal will necessarily be limited. I can think of dozens of games in the App Store that would be perfect for the iCade: Street Fighter IV. Death Rally. NBA Jam. Pinball HD. Tetris. Space Invaders Infinity Gene. The aforementioned Pac-Man. … Read more