If Nintendo and Sony were having problems competing with the likes of the iPhone and iPad, things are about to get a whole lot worse! Apple recently announced the iPad Mini, where finally, they have found the perfect balance of beauty and comfort.
Weighing in at 309-312 grams and with a screen size of 7.9 inches, the iPad Mini takes the best features of both the iPhone and the iPad and has given the consumer/gamer a gadget that is both fun to use and great to look at.
All of this is well and good, but what does the new machine mean for gaming and whether it will have a huge impact on the industry as a whole, and can it lure the hardcore audience?
In my opinion, it’s not a straight-forward answer. In the next following paragraphs, I will be discussing on how iPad Mini may end up being the harbinger of doom for Nintendo’s 3DS and Sony’s PS Vita and where it may be found a little lacking.
The single most important feature of the iPad Mini is its size of the screen. Its screen is easily bigger than that of the 3DS and the 3DS XL as well as the PS Vita.
This is where iPad Mini takes the lead because it’s 7.9 inches screen makes for great handheld gaming. Where iPhone has a very small screen and the iPad is just too big to make for comfortable portable gaming, the iPad Mini fits that bill almost perfectly.
So now a gamer can enjoy a lush visual portable experience. For hand-held gaming devices, it’s paramount that playing games is hassle-free and the gaming device is easy to carry around; some of the greatest handheld gaming machines had that feature from the likes of the GBA or the DS. The iPad Mini is another addition to that fine lineage.
Battery life is another feature of handheld gaming devices that garners a lot of attention from gamers. The DS had amazing battery life and gamers who would be out and about had no complaints in this regard.
For both the 3DS and PS Vita this has become a bit of a problem as their battery life, which lasts between 3-5 hours, is just not enough for gamers who are not at home for long stretches of time.
Although further revisions of both the system will address this issue, but even then beating the 10-hour battery life of the iPad Mini will be tough and must be giving sleepless nights to the head honchos at Nintendo and Sony.
Now an iPad can put a huge dent on one’s wallet/purse but the iPad Mini has that base covered. Coming in at $360 for essentially an iPad is a huge incentive for gamers. Having the ability to play all the iPad gaming software on a machine that is half the price is a coup in my opinion.
As for cost of games, a lot have been written about this topic already. Games that usually cost from $0.99 to not more than $20 has already put Nintendo and Sony in a bind, and now having to deal with another attack from the flanks via the iPad Mini; Apple will be taking more than a bite of the handheld gaming market, more like devouring it!
iPad Mini For Gaming
The new iPad Mini does seem to have all the weapons to scare the day lights out off Nintendo and Sony, but in my opinion, Apple still needs to do a lot more to attract the hard-core audience who still regard MicroSoft, Sony and Nintendo as the crème de la crème of gaming and view Apple as a pretender.
Yes, for the last 4-5 years, Apple has seen a massive surge in terms of sale and has been successful wooing gamers esp. the younger demographic and effectively breaking Nintendo’s monopoly over the handheld gaming industry; it still doesn’t hide the fact that playing some of the more complex games on a touch screen is a battle attrition for the most hard-core gamers.
Apple needs games that cater to the hardcore audience by sticking to the iOS strengths. It will indeed be a very tough thing to pull off, but if anyone can do it, it is Apple, who already has to show that it has the ‘game’ to come up on top in a very demanding market. The iPad Mini maybe not be that solution yet, but it’s a move in the right direction for Apple.
There are also a lot of talks that the iPad Mini maybe a game changer and will revolutionize the gaming industry. Well, I don’t agree with that statement. Although the iPad Mini feels like it’s a natural progression for the iOS, you cannot count out that it was the Wii-U controller that may have influenced Apple for developing its new device.
The iPad Mini doesn’t connect to the TV as yet nor can it connect to a hub like how the Wii-U controller is tethered to the main console, but I can’t help but feel that Apple might be thinking on these lines for the future. Until then, the Wii-U will do its own thing and the iPad Mini will be busy competing with the rival handheld.
So in conclusion, iPad Mini is a great marriage of form and function. It will definitely give the 3DS and the PS Vita a run for its money.
Casual and serious gamers will be interested in the new machine, if not the hardcore audience. It will still equate in Apple making a bucket full of money and Nintendo and Sony scrambling to stay relevant in the handheld market!