This Wednesday morning, Apple will be holding an event in San Francisco that will feature the debut of their oft-rumored and long-awaited tablet device. We've been keeping tabs on the rumors just like you, and that's what we're basing the following bits of speculation and pieces of expectation on. Stay with G4 all week for our onslaught of iBook/iSlate/Canvas/Newton 2: The Newtoning coverage, and check out Attack of the Show on Wednesday, 7PM (EST) for in-depth analysis of the Apple announcement!
Soon, all will be revealed. Apple is on the cusp of announcing its long-rumored tablet device, but before that happens, we're free to continue speculating on what it'll actually be. The editors of G4tv.com laid out their thoughts yesterday, but today, it's in the developer's court. Some studios have likely been contacted to produce demos for the new device, but I tracked down five developers who -- as far as I can tell! -- aren't in the know. These designers are sucking away our free time on the iPhone and iPod Touch and may be doing the same thing with Apple's next device, too. Here's what they want to see:
(Note: All game links will open their iTunes page with the exception of Edge)
The Developer: David Papazian, Mobigame
What's He Made? The stylish-looking futuristic puzzle game Edge.
"About the iPad, we are very excited to see Apple's next move. I only heard rumours, but all seem very promising. I guess that we will see less games with virtual d-pad on Apple iDevice, and more games based on multitouch and gestures -- that is good in my opinion. On the iPhone it is hard to control a character with a finger when your finger hides the character itself, and this should be fixed with a bigger screen. Also there is a limitation to 5 fingers on the actual iPhone OS, we wanted to use more fingers for our last game Cross Fingers and the tablet should make it possible. We hope to see an 'analogic touchscreen,' it would be great to know the pressure of the touch, and not only for games. After all, it could be something similar to the latest generation of Wacom tablet.
Finally I hope that it will have an up and downscale capability, this way you will be able to play existing iPhone games in higher resolution without any extra work from the developers, and you will also be able to take control of a Mac over Wi-Fi, or any other device. We are currently working on a science fiction project that combines video games and a TV series in a unique way, and my feeling is that the iPad (or iBook or whatever it's called) could be the ideal platform to enjoy both on!"
The Developer: Petri Purho, Kloonigames
What's He Made? Crayon Physics, a physics-based puzzle game driven by your imagination.
"From what I've seen I think there's going to be 2 cameras, one front and one back. Because that would allow some amazing augmented reality applications and games. There's been way too few augmented reality games so far, so I'm really looking forward to seeing what can be done with a popular device that would allow this kind of interaction."
The Developer: Harvey Smith, Arkane Studios
What's He Made? Other than Deus Ex?! He worked with a small team on the eccentric puzzler Karma Star.
"I've always loved the iPod because I'm a music fanatic. (Before that, I had 3 different MP3 players, including the Nomad Zen.) So when the iPod Touch came out, I got one. This in turn lead to an iPhone, then a 3G iPhone, now a 3GS iPhone. They're like devices from the future. I also got a Macbook Pro when I needed a new laptop. I love the usability, UI coherence, and -- yes -- even the form factor.
For the iSlate, mainly, I want it to function like a larger iPhone, with a front-facing camera and built-in vidconf. This is the kind of thing I see grandparents using to chat with their grandkids. Since I read almost exclusively via Kindle for iPhone, I'm hoping that's enhanced. It would be cool if it ran higher-end Mac games and an OLED display would be a bonus. Of course I hope it runs iPhone games so I can play Karma Star on it on day one. Oh, yeah...AND a decent price-point would be rad.
That's my wish list. I want it all."
The Developer: David Kalina, Tiger Style
What's He Made? The beautiful (sounding, playing, looking) Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor.
"It's hard to speculate on a device that doesn't exist yet. However, if we make the relatively safe assumption that the device will have a larger screen and multi-touch, those factors alone will allow for developers to product more immersive game experiences and hopefully encourage more experimentation and better native use of touch controls. Single device multiplayer also becomes a possibility, which could open up some exciting play options. We look forward to the announcement, and hope to take advantage of the new hardware to offer enhanced versions of our games in the coming year."
"I've not been briefed, but I do have a wish list. Here it is...
The doable stuff:
1. Tactile force feedback. (This is on a giant tablet could be potentially incredible.)
2. Better speakers. (The iPhone and iPod touch speakers are terrible.)
3. Either more access to the hardware, or better hardware so we have more to play with. (Getting more controlled access to memory (with limits, obviously would be lovely.)
4. Better camera. (Augmented reality is going to expand heavily in creative and technical evolutions, drastically over the next few years).
The super-desirable stuff that's way more unlikely:
1. Being able to project whatever's on your device, onto a wall.
2. 3D screen technology / 120Hz screen display.
3. Super-specific, locational Wi-Fi / local level GPS."
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The speculation is officially on the table. Now, it's time to see what Apple's been up to.