GameGuide » Blog Archive » Apple Unveils The iPad

Apple finally unveiled the tech industry’s worst-kept secret today: a tablet-style computer dubbed the iPad. The device looks essentially the way speculation pinned it, as a larger iPhone that utilizes a full touch screen. Steve Jobs and a host of other presenters showed off its functionality for web browsing, iWork, and more. The device starts at $499 for the 16 GB WiFi-equipped model, then $599 for 32 GB and $699 for 64 GB. 3G functionality adds $130 to each price ($629, $729, and $829 respectively). Data plans range from $14.99 per month for 250 MB of data, to $29.99 per month for unlimited data. The WiFi models are due in two months, with the 3G models coming a month later. Apple claims the device holds an impressive 10 hours of battery life.

But what about the games?  

First, most of the apps currently available on the iPhones App Store are also compatible with the iPad; apps can be shown in regular size, or scaled up to fill the screen. But new games were presented as well. Apple apparently invited developers to create some samples for stage demonstrations, and that quick work was shown off. Gameloft showed Nova, a first-person shooter ported in only a few days. The touch-screen functions let you swipe to throw grenades, turn your fingers to open airlocks, and target enemies by drawing on them. Sam Kennedy said, “it seems like a lot of the same concepts that have been attempted on the iPhone/iPod, but made a lot easier because they’re on a much bigger scale.”

The other game shown proved rumors about EA involvement correct. Travis Boatman from Electronic Arts showed off a version of Need for Speed Shift modified for the iPad. It packed additional functionality like tapping to switch views or look in the mirror. Boatman also commented that EA has a lot of games in the works for the iPad. [1up]

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