What the new iPad means for gamers

Ladies and gentlemen, there’s a new serious gaming platform in town: The iPad. Apple stunned the world by failing to reveal the eagerly-anticipated iPad 3, instead reverting to a MacBook-esque naming convention which does away with numbers and instead simply reboots the hardware with each iteration.

The New iPad

The New iPad

A new 5 megapixel camera is nice, and the extra features in iOS 5.1 are pretty shiny, but most of the changes this time around focus on things that don’t really impact on the current world of gaming.

…that is, most of the changes which aren’t the lovely new HD Retina display, offering four times the pixels of the iPad 2.

Philip Schiller, Apple‘s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, gushes:

The new iPad redefines the category Apple created less than two years ago, delivering the most amazing experience people have ever had with technology. The new iPad now has the highest resolution display ever seen on a mobile device with 3.1 million pixels, delivering razor sharp text and unbelievable detail in photos and videos.

Behind the scenes of “the new iPad” is the A5X, an impressively hefty quad-core graphics chip powering the whole lot – offering double the performance of the iPad 2’s A5 chip. The new display promises to be so dense that, when held at a “normal” distance, the human eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels (we’re assuming until one of them dies or becomes stuck). Saturation’s also been boosted by 44%, providing “unbelievably richer, deeper and more vivid” colours – sure to be a bonus for gamers and developers alike.

If you’re more into moving pictures than interactive media, movies are now capable of playback at full 1080p HD-resolution, bringing the new iPad up to speed with most current consoles, despite a form factor that will fit in your bag.

An additional bonus for gamers who like a bit of online action: The new iPad brings with it super-speedy 4G LTE capabilities, meaning it can chew through your data allowance before you can blink. The positive spin: You’ll be able to download game updates in virtually the same amount of time it took you to decide to play. (If your area doesn’t support 4G just yet, you’ll still be able to hook into your carrier’s 3G network without any drama.)

The new iPad

Shiny!

The best news? All of these newfangled bells and whistles happen without any significant dip in battery-life, by the way: Apple is claiming 10 hours of juice, enough that you should be able to use this one all day. In case you were curious: The new iPad is a mere fraction of an inch thicker (0.03, to be precise), and weighs just 30 grams more than the iPad 2, so that extra power hasn’t simply come from a bigger battery.

Given that a few hours have passed since the announcement of both the new iPad and iOS 5.1, we’re expecting the wave of new gaming announcements to hit any time now. (All eyes on you, ChAIR and Firemint!)

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