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April 2015 Retro Gaming Article


April 25, 2015 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

From HD TVs down to mobile screens, are gamers willing to play on the iWatch?

Retro gamers from my era likely sat on the floor in front of the TV when playing video games. So prevalent is that scenario, that we recently wrote an article about moving to the couch, as we age. Along with gaming on the couch with friends, as time passed, TVs grew larger - really big. Then the mobile craze hit... for some of us.

Apple iWatch logo I'm slowly embracing mobile games, but I'll always prefer gaming on a large TV. I'm not fond of the finger-swipe controls nor the tiny screens. However, I adore my 2DS and understand the desire to game-on-the-go, so mobile gaming's success is little surprise.

Then I came across an article about game devs creating games for the iWatch. Wait, what!?! It's a wide open space and a new platform from Apple. This makes it a target-rich environment for games, but when it comes to tiny screens, a watch is about as small as it gets. I've heard of games for the Pebble smartwatch, but I was still surprised to hear of the strong desire surrounding developing games for iWatch.

Space Invaders Photoshop'd onto an Apple iWatch I PhotoShop'd Space Invaders onto this pic. Were it real, my desire to own an iWatch might rise ;) I know little about the iWatch other than I've yet to be convinced I need one. At this stage the iWatch needs to be coupled to an iPhone to be of any utility, so as an Android user, it doesn't make sense for me. Still, I wonder how it might work game-wise. With the the device attached to your wrist, you'd only have one hand available. With such a small device, two hands might be cumbersome at best. I understand the attraction to new virgin territory, but can't see the appeal of mobile gaming on a screen even smaller than a phone.

Apple's entry into smartwatches will likely open the whole market to gaming.
Nintendo's logic has often been to develop for the platform. They understand that a 3DS game needs to be enjoyable in shorter time spans on a smaller screen, while the Wii U can support an all-day marathon gaming session. I wonder if the iWatch as such a new (and small) device will be looked upon in that manner. Or will Grand Theft Auto and Assassin's Creed be ported over. As ridiculous as that sounds, I'm sure if gaming is successful on watches, every dev out there will want to put their game onto the platform.

With smartwatches still being a luxury rather than necessity, it will be interesting to see how initial games are designed. smartwatches have a unique set of challenges, but how long can it be until the iWatch becomes a second screen for an iOS game?

Play Tetris on a Cannon calculator If it has a screen, you can play games on it! :) Gaming has become an enormous force in the industry, eclipsing other entertainment leaders like the movie and music industries. I suppose it's inevitable that gaming will gravitate towards any device with a screen and a button or two. The journey should be interesting to see as the devices become more powerful. You know the screens won't get any bigger :)

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