Apple Announces Social Gaming Network for iPhone

Apple Announces Social Gaming Network for iPhone

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A service similar to Xbox Live is coming to Apple's popular line of gaming-enabled products.

At a media event today, Apple announced a social gaming network for the iPhone and iPod Touch (and eventually the iPad) called Game Center. The service is apparently similar to Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network and will include matchmaking, achievements, leaderboards and more. Achievement whoring is finally coming to portable devices.

As reported by Gamasutra, Scott Forstall, Apple's senior vice president of iPhone software, told the media that this wasn't a way for Apple to earn more money off of its customers. "There's no money to be gained or no competitive advantage to be gained from having your own social gaming network," he said. Instead, it's about increasing the value of Apple's products.

However, that doesn't mean the service won't be an indirect way for anyone to earn some extra bucks. Speaking of Game Center's functionality, Forstall said: "One of our goals with [Game Center] is to help the viral spread... You can see your friends, your friends can challenge you to a game you don't have and you can immediately download that [game]... And we added gifting in this OS so you can give it to someone you love." Game Center appears as if it will let gamers see what people are playing and to get in on the action. I'm honestly surprised that it hasn't been done already with the popularity of Xbox Live, Steam, and similar services.

Achievement details were not provided, but Forstall did reveal that Apple is "looking at different options" in regards to them. The more freedom Apple allows with achievements the better, but it'd be even more favorable if Apple can put a whole different spin on them.

Game Center will first become available as a preview in the iPhone and iPod Touch's OS4 update, scheduled for the summer. OS4 will hit the iPad sometime in the fall. Eventually, Game Center is expected to become a feature for all portable Apple devices. With certain gamers only purchasing Xbox 360s or PS3s just for the ability to play with friends online, this looks like a very smart move for Apple even if it won't directly earn the company any money as it says. It could also spur development of certain games meant to be played specifically through the features of Game Center.

Source: Gamasutra

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Apple copies Microsoft, makes a change.

Calumon: Tap Tap. Achievement Unlocked. Tap Tap.

I give you this

All the info on OS4.

Looks good to me

OT: I said it looked good already

whoop-dee-do

is that really what america needs? online multiplayer for their cell phones? for which games? is anybody going to use it? how much will it cost?(it will cost something, nothing is ever free)

eye doctors will make a fortune when this hits, because we will have a bunch of squinty, nearsighted people walking around

Has anyone read TIME this week? They said that Steve Jobs has never had an original idea in his lifetime. I agree, DMPs were available ten years before the iPod, Tablet PCs ten years before the iPad, and now they hop on the bandwagon again?

Maybe they'll add achievements to PSP now.

Sweet. I honestly thought sony would be first to do this since the PSN infrastructure was already there.

Well played, Mr. Jobs.

This is great. Im excited for my iPhone to be even more game centered since that is my primary use.

I wonder what this will do to services like Open Feint though who have done pretty well to include achievements, leaderboards, and chats into a large array of games.

TheNamlessGuy:
I give you this

All the info on OS4.

Looks good to me

OT: I said it looked good already

FINALLY they add multitasking. I can finally consider giving Apple's line of portable products a shot. Of course, bringing features like iBooks to the iPhone kind of eliminate the purpose of owning an iPad. Hopefully during the time between now and when the iPad gets the new OS, Apple gives the iPad some new exclusive features.

Thats...some what intresting. I suppose be kinda cool in a way...let you know how often someone commutes lol

Apple copies Microsoft, amazing news.

Either way, if it's needed or not, it's still nice it will be THERE. Only thing I am worrying about, is there any additional fees attached to it? I don't like what Xbox Live is doing and I cannot take it if my Iphone wants money to use that Game Center, or will they be like "Silver & Gold " on Live?

wow are they seriosuly trying to enter the gaming market at this time!? now we got 5 big companies. (5 counting pc specific companies.)

Catkid906:
Apple copies Microsoft, makes a change.

Calumon: Tap Tap. Achievement Unlocked. Tap Tap.

Yes and no, it looks like an xbox live type thing yes, but it also says at the end of the article that this isn't going to earn them any money directly. So maybe they are copying Sony more for free internet rather than having a pay-per-use service they might implement by copying Microsoft.

I predict a 99% chance of the service being free.

Sevre90210:
Has anyone read TIME this week? They said that Steve Jobs has never had an original idea in his lifetime. I agree, DMPs were available ten years before the iPod, Tablet PCs ten years before the iPad, and now they hop on the bandwagon again?

I sure did, and I thought that article hit the nail on the head. I couldn't help but shake my head when I read this, thinking: do we really need *another* social gaming network?...

Hopefully this will "encourage" Playstation to enable achievements and leaderboards on the PSP Go.

 

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