It’s been a long night. Pizza, beer and a wall of iPad 2 news has equated to a tiring but ultimately interesting evening. No, sadly not all days are like this at the Know Your Mobile office.
The iPad 2 is a mighty beast from the looks of things to the extent that it looks like it will hold its own when compared with its dual core competition. It had to be, though, as the Motorola Xoom and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 really do up the ante.
So why is the iPad 2 going to improve gaming? Read on, young Padawan.
Apple has included a dual core A5 processor, which means twice as much potential processing power. Okay, so it doesn’t quite work like that, as is the case with technical equations, but Apple has claimed it’s actually twice as fast so we can get away with saying that.
What does that mean? Pushing polygons around on screen actually takes maths. And the more maths a processor can cope with, the more polygons it can shift at anything above 30 fps, the speed at which images link together. Think of films.
Physics processing also puts strain on the CPU, as well as a whole host of other things, so being able to have more power under the hood means existing games will be run with plenty of juice. New games can afford to be more grand. We may well see games being specifically optimised for the iPad 2 like what Nvidia is doing with Android games on its Tegra 2 devices.
Mobile games, no matter how graphically aweosome, still suffer from two fundamental flaws over their console and PC/Mac brethren – screen size and awful speakers.
That isn’t such a problem when you have HDMI connectivity. Plug your iPad 2 into your television, assuming it’s HDMI compliant, and you are good to go. Angry Birds on a 56-inch monitor; an oddly amazing thought.
The other plus is the ability to enjoy sound through the HDMI cable. As it can transmit sound, your 5.1 surround system can bring a whole new level of immersion to the proceedings. Unless a game doesn’t support 5.1, in which case, it won’t affect a thing.
Two cameras, one of which is front facing, could open up the potential for some Nintendo DS-like photo games. This already exists on the iPhone 4 but it’s nice it can now translate to the iPad 2.
More interesting is the inclusion of Gyroscope functionality. Now you can literally turn on the spot and the iPad 2 will change your direction within the game. Personally, we can’t say it will ever set the gaming world on fire but it’s a slight nod towards Kinect and its body-control goodness.
One last factor, one that might be overlooked, is the weight. It’s a bit lighter, which means you can play games without your arms aching for that bit longer. It may seem trivial but if you feel like playing some Real Racing in bed, the weight of the iPad can be a bit uncomfortable. It’s a minor positive but a positive nonetheless.
Drawing on Apple’s 65,000 apps, there is a major games library for iPad 2 adopters to enjoy. Not all of those are games but when you look at the support for Android tablets, in the hundreds, Apple destroys the competition. Still, quality over quantity is preferable, but thankfully there are some brilliant games to be had for not a lot of money.