Five reasons why gamers may love the iPad

The wait finally is over. At last, the Apple tablet everyone’s been talking about has been officially revealed. Is the iPad for work? Is it for play? Yes and yes. But is there anything to be truly excited about in terms of gaming? Maybe. Our inner cynic is telling us that the iPad is just an over-priced piece of hardware designed to prey on the masses of Apple-loving sheeple. Then again, this is the same cynic that told us that the Wii would be a total failure and that Guitar Hero was just Dance Dance Revolution with a different controller. Of course, the iPad won’t be replacing handheld gaming devices, consoles, or PCs for hardcore gaming anytime soon - but if you think Apple’s latest piece of hardware has nothing to offer the average gamer, think again.

Above: Shooters like Blue Attack! prove that iPad games can deliver a hardcore experience

Since no one we know owns a pair of pants big enough to fit an iPad in their pocket, we don’t see it competing with other handheld gaming devices in terms of portability. We also can’t see it replacing the consoles in your living room. However, the iPad’s mid-ranged size and sharp 1024x768 resolution makes it a strong contender for filling the gaming gaps in locations left untouched by other systems, making it ideal for killing time at cafes, airport terminals, or even your bathroom. Late night web browsing while curled up on the couch and nighttime gaming marathons in bed also sound dangerously comfy.

Above: Although the iPad won’t fit in your pocket, its mid-ranged size and light weight may make it ideal for killing time in other locations

“It’s a little bit like holding a high definition television just inches from your face,” explained Electronic Arts’ Travis Boatman while a build of Need for Speed: Shift ran in the background. The iPad’s extra screen real estate should address gripes we’ve had with many otherwise great iPhone/iPod Touch titles that just felt a little too cramped on a smaller screen. With so much more screen space, don’t expect your sausage thumbs to block your view of the action anymore. Instead, expect developers to take advantage of that extra screen space, improving both controls and the visual quality in upcoming iPad-specific titles.

Above: Need for Speed: Shift on the iPad