The Future of Gaming on the iPad

With both the iPad 3 and the long-awaited iPhone 5 set to launch this year, it looks like 2012 might be the year that Apple finally succeeds in making some lucky fanboy’s head explode from the excitement.  And considering some of the additions they’re making with the gaming crowd in mind, the graphics overload could produce the same results.  But will these items launch as scheduled or will ongoing delays and claims of quality issues derail these highly-anticipated hardware releases?  And will the iPad 3 be preempted by an iPad 2S as rumored (much like the disappointing release of the iPhone 4S last year when everyone expected the iPhone 5)?  Consumers won’t know for sure until later in the year, but here’s a bit of the grist that’s swirling around the rumor mill and what it could mean for gamers awaiting the latest iteration of the iPad.

Anyone who registered the marked improvement in speed and graphics capabilities from first generation iPads to the current model can expect more of the same.  In fact, the A5 processor in the iPad 2 is said to be nine times more powerful than its predecessor.  And if rumors are to be believed, the iPad 3 is shaping up to go the same route.  Although it is mere speculation at this point that the new PowerVR Series6 GPU (or the A6) created by Imagination Technologies will appear in the iPad 3 (not to mention the iPhone 5), the fact that Apple holds a major stake in the company bears some thought, as does the constant pressure to release the latest and greatest gaming gadgetry on the market.  Since it’s only a matter of time before competitors copy this technology, it behooves Apple to be the first to present it to the consumer public.

So what will you get for the money?  Oh, well, only twenty times the processing power.  Are you kidding?!  It’s not quite a revolution in gaming, but it will allow game developers to push some truly incredible graphics content at greater speeds, which will certainly enhance the gaming experience for tablet (and potentially iPhone) users.  It’s certainly nothing to sniff at.  Of course, this is supposing quite a bit.  We don’t even know yet if the iPad 3 will launch in the spring as predicted or be held back to boost holiday sales later in the year (with a placeholder iPad 2S hitting shelves in the spring instead).  And further, there is no confirmation yet that it will include this game-friendly chip.  Plus, it certainly bears consideration that those willing to wait can have the same tech a few months down the road on other, less expensive devices.

In truth, the price point of Apple products is definitely a detractor for many consumers.  And while rumors have been circulating that the company will start using lower-cost materials now that head-honcho Jobs is out of the picture, there is, as yet, no real evidence to support this theory.  So whether you like to play poker and bingo online or you’d rather shoot some zombies with your friends, the highest-rated tablet is still going to cost you.  But if the rumors are true and the A6-fueled iPad 3 is imminent, it may be worth the money to get the best mobile gaming experience on the market.