Since the launch of the first iPad, many people believed that it would be the new gaming platform. And after the iPad 2 was announced this year, the “theory” gained even more traction. But is the iPad really a perfect platform for games to the point of displacing desktop consoles?
The iPad is an avant-garde and advanced tablet, as many say: “it is a window to the future”. But let's put the cards on the table soon and tell the truth. Even though it's perfect for accessing the web, watching videos, using some apps and some games with touchscreen-oriented gameplay and powerful graphics. The truth is that it is far from being a perfect platform for games. The defect? Many!
But Dário, the blog is about mobility, it would be nice to pick up the sardines… No! I really liked the iPad in uses ranging from music applications, web browsing, casual games, RTS and adventures, but in certain games the use of the device is irritating. See the list of complaints regarding this year's most coveted gadget.
1st - Width
Despite the large screen and the controls and HUDs being well positioned, making it easier to see, the advantage becomes a disadvantage in games like FPS or TPS. The iPad was never specifically built for this type of game, so in many games of these styles, the iPad feels very wide and in some situations, like moving the camera, you need to move your hand by taking your fingers away from the trigger button and this, for example, can be fatal in multiplayer.
2nd – Weight
Even the iPad 2 weighs over half a kilo (604g), and holding one for more than an hour of play can be good exercise or cause RSI for anyone who's really addicted. At this point the smaller siblings who weigh around 100g win. A hint? Play with the tablet leaning on something.
3rd - Smooth
This is a recurring problem at Apple, the iPad (especially the 2) is very slippery. A PS3 Joystick, for example, only comes out of your hand when someone doesn't like it (lol). But try holding an iPad for a long time and coupled with the weight problem, you'll find that it belongs on a table or lap (which limits hand movement). Lend it to careless people then… only after buying a case.
4th – Heat
Without a case and running heavy games like Infinity Blade and Modern Combat 3, the iPad heats up to the point of annoyance. I know a lot of people will say no, but a Nintendo DS or a PSP has never warmed up in my hand.
It's common for casual gamers who play less than 5 minutes a day to fall into the trap of thinking of the iPad as a replacement for consoles or handhelds. But those who play long hours know that even a smartphone beats the iPad in terms of convenience when playing games.
The iPad was not made for long hours of gaming, although many games that use and abuse the touch screen give this impression. If a PS3 controller was boxy, weighed 600g and got too hot, complaints would rain. Of course, some people who have been infected by a virus (fanboyism) will say that the device is flawless and its use as a video game is perfect! But even being the most adored and idolized Gadget of this year, it was easy to notice some defects for some specific uses (and games) (pay attention).
[originally published October 28, 2011]