GameCenter for Mac will bring some cool new features to OS X users.
During Monday’s WWDC 2012 keynote, Apple detailed GameCenter for Mac, which will be part of the Mountain Lion upgrade. GameCenter is Apple’s online gaming network. Think of a smaller-scale Xbox Live or PlayStation Network-type connection.
With GameCenter, people can play online with others, share scores, stats, challenge other players to games, etc. In other words, it adds a social element to gaming on iOS. Now that it’s going to be available on Mac, there is even more to look forward to on the gaming side for OS X users. What does this mean for them?
One of the coolest things for users will be the cross-platform playability. One person can play a game on their Mac while another plays on their iPad, which was demonstrated during Apple’s keynote. Of course the game itself must be available on each platform (Mac and iOS) in order to work.
Stream to Apple TV via AirPlay
In a move that may be partly to challenge console makers, AirPlay will also stream to Apple TV from the Mac. Some games already make it possible to so this sort of thing from an iOS device, making it similar to a console experience. Now, a player could play on their MacBook and watch their gameplay on the television screen.
Now’s a Good Time to Mention Apple’s Rumored HDTV
Think about this. Apple may be working on an HDTV. If that’s the case, they will introduce a device that has many of these iOS-like features built in. Perhaps it will run games. If not, it will definitely allow for AirPlay. Think about how their HDTV could effectively become a console when combined with a Mac, iPad, iPod touch or iPhone.
Will Apple Take on Consoles?
It’s still a bit early to say, but Apple is definitely impacting the game industry in a big way. We still don’t have the major core experiences on iOS (think Gears of War and Halo) but a quick look at the progression of iOS games over the past few years tells us that we’re probably not too far off.
It’s going to be very interesting to see what Apple pulls off with this.