If you enjoy playing on your X360 or PS3, raise your hand… OK, metaphorically raise your hand, because I want to try and work out what Apple think they’re trying to do. Let’s see:
First of all, a recent report on gamesindistry.biz written by Rob Fahey suggests that iDevices are making home-consoles obsolete. This, obviously, is total rubbish; not only do portable Apple products start at roughly 16GB of storage, but if you’re gonna play a game on your iPhone, through your Apple TV (for those of us who in this day and age can clearly afford the tech.), on your television, then why bother having a portable game at all when you can just play a better quality, much more interesting RPG on your X360? It makes no sense, especially considering apps are designed with portability and screen-size in mind.
Secondly, it’s not only Apple but Windows who are attempting a similar move. With the introduction of BlueStacks to our desktops we are suddenly able to play games from devices such as the newer Samsung phones, which run on the basic principals as Apple apps, with a mouse and keyboard. I decided to try it out, after recently becoming utterly addicted to Angry Birds (yes, I have to admit it…), so I free-downloaded this software and gave it a go – the first thing that appeared was a remake of the infamous Bubble Buster.
Now, being totally unbiased between Apple and Windows, I have to say that as far as the concept goes, BlueStacks comes first. Here’s why: BS doesn’t pretend to allow access to your device’s apps, instead it gives you free roam with a separate set of scoreboards and controls, designed for the PC. On the other hand, this concept of playing your apps through your TV seems to me to be cheating in a sense, because if I was going to play Cut the Rope seriously, I’d sit myself down in a comfy chair, somewhere quiet, and prepare for the screen size in front of me.
However, having said these things, Nintendo are arguably attempting the same sort of thing with their upcoming Wii U. I honestly don’t believe that consoles will die out for one second. There’s so much money in gaming because of upgrades to the obvious consoles, and as much as “Airplay Mirroring” may be easier and cheaper, there certainly is a lot missing when compared to the real deal. But The Wii U is perhaps a different story altogether.
In my opinion, Nintendo really hit motion-sensor technology on the head with the release of the Wii in 2005. Since then, there has been the X360 Kinect, increased use of motion ability in controllers (like the wireless PS3), and of course, movement capabilities with many newer phones. But nothing compares to Red Steel, when gunning down bad guys and whapping out your katana both come into play instantaneously. Considering they held the fort for a few years, what could Nintendo possibly offer into the ring next? Of course, the answer had to be a new controller….
The big question amongst fans at this point, is whether you’ll have to go out and fork out for a new Wii console to go with this new controller, or will it be an upgrade similar to the Motion Plus? Of course, if you don’t already know about the new Wii U controller, let me briefly fill you in: its buttons and analogue sticks represent an upside-down PS1 controller, it has a touch-screen just like Nintendo’s multi-dimensional DS, and, quelle surprise, when you switch channel on your TV, what you were once playing normally has suddenly appeared on the screen. Like Airplay Mirroring.
*cough – bandwagon – cough*
Anyway, the point of this seemingly pointless rant is that as technology advances, gaming traditions look to me as if they may be faltering. This means that we have to play more classics and support our favourites. However, due to the recent fall in gaming jobs in the UK, this may not be easy. I’m not here to tell you what to think, but I certainly won’t be spending much on new hardware in the near future…