iPad Mini: iOS Game Developers Praise Apple For Price Point, Tablet's Size
Apple's newest device is already a hit amongst the development community.
As Apple unveiled the iPad mini to the world this afternoon, hundreds if not thousands of iOS developers wondered about the potential impact the device would have on their games. Depending on the screen size, resolution and overall design, they could have been staring at necessary software updates, similar to what took place with iPhone 5, when numerous studios scrambled to fit the smartphone's four-inch display.
Turns out, the vast majority breathed a welcome sigh of relief. Not only does the iPad mini retain the same resolution as iPad 2, but the inclusion of the A5 dual core chip helps eliminate the need for creating ports. On that note, we received an overwhelmingly positive response from the development community, which also commented on the fourth generation iPad as well.
Paul Johnson, Rubicon Development
Apple did not disappoint, as usual. I'm trying hard not to sound like a fan boy here, but it really is an incredible piece of kit. I commend them for going against Steve Job's statement about seven-inch tablets being too small.
This means everything for gamers. In my opinion, the iPad 3 was a mixed blessing for games. All that extra power, but you were expected to use it for ridiculous resolution displays instead of drawing more stuff at better frame rates. This new baby offers all the power with none of those drawbacks, and it's really going to rock as a gaming platform. Buy an iPad 3 for book reading, but buy this for gaming. I'm certainly going to.
There are no disadvantages for developers with iPad mini, apart from having to buy another piece of kit just to be sure. We already have to support this screen resolution for some of the other devices, and that's all that usually changes anyway. This means that when people get these machines home from the electronics store, everything's going to just work already, and that's good for everybody.
Chip Sineni, Phosphor Games
The iPad mini was pretty much what was expected, but the increased spec iPad was a surprise. The pace at which Apple is increasing its hardware makes us excited as developers, that the power keeps exponentially increasing in these small timeframes. It is ridiculous how powerful these devices are, the gap between them and something two years ago. More of these high-end devices mean that older hardware that hold the platform back, like iPad 1, will be getting upgraded by users, and developers can push the platform more. As a developer, you usually want to optimize for hardware from a year ago, as you can't count on everyone having the latest. This starts to mean the lowest end tablet is an iPad 2, which is a very capable device.
It is hard to say what iPad mini will mean to handheld gaming. Smaller tablets like the Nexus 7 and now mini feel so good as gaming devices. When I first saw our game, Horn, running on a Nexus, it felt a lot like it was on a dedicated handheld. The games are so much cheaper and it does so much more, it is hard to imagine people wanting a dedicated handheld. But Nintendo and its well regarded IP always seem to find a way, so it is really hard to ever count them out.
The price of the iPad Mini is probably too much if you are looking for the cheapest tablet around, but if you are a fan of the Apple OS and want something very powerful and elegantly designed, it is an amazing deal. Some existing iPad fans may even want it, as it fits better in a purse or small bag. It is Apple giving their users every form factor they'd want.
Alec Shobin, Subatomic Studios
Having a $329 starting price is going to make this thing a real killer, and I'm willing to bet that it will completely dominate the market for smaller tablets. I'm a little shocked that Apple's stock value hasn't increased, since that shows a lack of faith of its new product from investors. The iPad 4th gen update was a little odd, and I was bummed to see that they bumped up the processor without increasing the memory. When the Retina Display quadrupled screen size but memory only doubled, that wasn't great for developers. The increased processor speed is cool, but memory would have been
The biggest plus in my mind is that the iPad mini is keeping the same aspect ratio and resolution as the iPad 2. That is huge. Anytime they add a need for devs to support a new resolution or aspect ratio, it requires a significant amount of work for relatively little return, since that work isn't rewarded with the sales of a new SKU, but instead it simply allows them to continue selling their products at the same rate.
What's more, the reduced price point of the iPad mini is going to be huge for the iPad's market share. It's going to mean there are a lot of new iPad owners out there that will be able to grab our products. That's going to pump more money into the handheld games market and allow us to experiment with new things, but it'll be interesting to see if those new things are more focused on casual or the core audience.
Luke Schneider, Radiangames
Aside from the price being a bit higher than I'd hoped, the iPad mini is a big win for developers. More customers, in a form factor that doesn't invalidate any current apps, is what it's all about. iPhone 5 is a bit of a pain for developers due to the resolution differences, so it's nice that the iPad mini doesn't change anything. I'm sure there will be a Retina version of it in a year or so, but again, that's nothing that will bother developers.
I bought a new iPad (3rd gen) for development purposes, so the 4th-gen iPad has no interest for me. It's a bit faster than the one I bought six months ago, but it's nowhere near the CPU/GPU leap from original iPad to iPad 2. Plus for development, it's better to have the slower of the two to make sure it runs well.
I'm a bit surprised by the 4th-gen coming so soon, since it makes 3rd-gen owners feel duped (even though they still got the best tablet on the market at the time), but I guess competition from Windows RT is forcing Apple's hand early.
Brandon Pollet, F5 Games
The iPad Mini is going to be a huge seller this Christmas. It offers a great package of performance and capability because it will run all existing iPad apps at a lower price. Looking at the whole iPad product line now, customers have plenty of options to choose from.
The mini makes tablet gaming more portable, obviously. Google just conducted a survey that said the majority of tablet game playing takes place on a couch or in bed, and that may all fly out the window now that there is an iPad that can fit in your jacket pocket. It also opens up a whole new market for iPad game developers, as people who were turned off by the iPad price will now be able to pick one up and play our games.
I see nothing but advantages for game developers today. We have new performance at the high end with the 4th gen iPad, we have new market opportunities with the iPad mini and we won't have to re-work existing games to take advantage of either. Our upcoming iPad game, House of the Lost, will look and play great on the entire line of iPad products, and I couldn't be happier.
Kunal Patel, Phyken Media
The iPad mini is a beautifully crafted device. It means more potential players joining the fold. Five-hundred for the entry level iPad is a lot of money for many of us, and perhaps coming in at a lower price but still providing consumers access to the already well-established iOS ecosystem will translate to increased tablet owners. Some people who were on the fence about the larger iPad due to its price now have something at a lower cost to jump on.
I was worried of a new resolution to cater for, but Apple actually made it pretty simple using the exact same resolution as iPad 2. So it will actually be quite easy on us to work with the iPad mini.
Even though many smaller seven-inch android tablets are lower in price at $199, the user interfaces and overall ecosystem still isn't favored by all consumers. With the iPad mini being a bit larger than the current seven-inch standard at 7.9-inches, on top of the familiarity of the iPhone and larger iPad, it may provide some holdouts the reason to finally give in and get a tablet.
Doug Scott, DeNA
We love it when Apple brings a new device to the market. Their devices have continually pushed the entire category of gaming forward and enabled new and better experiences for gamers. DeNA strives to make the best games and the best social mobile gaming platform in the world, and this device will open up those experiences to more players than ever.
Our teams take into account the ever-evolving device landscape when they design and develop products, so announcements like this are part of the plan. The development teams can't wait to see their products in gamers' hands on these devices.
The iPad Mini will benefit the entire mini tablet category. Whenever Apple jumps into a category, it increases awareness of the devices for consumers and creates a rising tide that will float all boats. Given that our bread and butter at DeNA are mobile games and we have an ever-expanding stable of market-leading first and third-party mobile games, we are poised to both support and benefit from these devices.
Aaron Isaksen, AppAbove Games
Our game, Chip Chain, is launching exclusively on iOS next month, so any opportunity that Apple has to expand its reach into new markets is really fantastic for us. I'm very happy to hear it doesn't require a new screen resolution, and it fits in that growing space between iPhone and iPad. I expect this to be very popular with children and teenagers, due to its smaller size and lower cost, as it's a more affordable way to get into tablet computing with Apple devices, which have a huge range of available software.
The iPad is my favorite gaming device, and it's great to play at home, but it's not as portable as the iPhone, so it rarely leaves my house. With this new screen size, we'll be able to enjoy higher quality, deeper gameplay, and larger screen games that work so well on iPad, but in a more portable form that really performs in a mobile way. It's the same resolution as existing iPads, so there shouldn't be any porting required. At the same time, developers can reach a market that previously found the iPad too expensive or too large.
This is a complete win for both customers and game developers. $329 is a much more kid-friendly price, where parents are willing to make a smaller investment in a product that may get lost or broken. For children, they won't notice the non-retina display or miss the larger screen. In fact, it will probably be a better fit for smaller hands.
Michael Schade, Fishlabs
The iPad mini will be another interesting addition to the Apple portfolio, which will close the gap between the iPhone and the regular iPad. Due to the fact that the latter is rather big in size and cannot be stuffed into your pocket like a phone, it often appears as if people would preferably use it in situations where they have a bit more time to sit down and relax, like on a train or the couch. The iPad mini, on the other hand, can be carried around easily, even if you don't have a backpack, briefcase or bag with you, and hence it is to be expected that people will use it even more frequently than they use their regular iPad. If we're talking about gaming on the go, that's an advantage that should not be underestimated, especially for action-packed games with fast-paced gameplay. The iPad mini may even be better suited than the regular iPad, because it will be a bit less bulky and easier to hold. Though the screen of the iPad mini is comparatively small, it will still be big enough to show high-res graphics in all their glory.
For iOS developers, the release of the iPad mini does of course mean quite a bit of additional work, because it will require an optimization of the respective games for the new screen size and resolution. For a game like Galaxy on Fire 2 HD, this means that the whole user interface and control elements will have to be re-adjusted. But of course, this additional work will be more than worth it. After all, its pretty safe to say that a new iOS device is always going to be a commercial success.
Dirk Knemeyer, Involution Studios
The new, smaller iPad is keeping in-line with industry trends. While it is somewhat unusual to see Apple expand its legendary homogeneity to better match competitors with a broader range of form factors, the reality is that tablet computing is ultimately specialized, and people will increasingly want machines that are more personalized and specific for their unique contexts of use.
For handheld gaming, it is a classic moment of both challenge and opportunity. The challenge is we must now create and develop for three different sizes, iPhone and the two sizes of iPad, which will ostensibly make some of our design choices more generic as opposed to optimized for an ideal format. The opportunity is we can create experiences that are tuned to this specific, new means of computing.
In terms of the market, while there is some long-term risk that Apple will erode its very clear and straightforward product family with this more bifurcated offering, certainly in the short-term it will be a boon, as it competes head-to-head against devices from companies like Amazon and Google, which thru their very portability and convenience, were able to come to market without selling directly against Apple. Now, Apple is in their little playground as well.
Matt Haggerty, Swarm
The iPad mini is a much-welcomed device to the iOS ecosystem. It will undoubtedly expand the already rapidly growing handheld gaming market and enable Apple to continue putting serious pressure on rivals such as the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD.
From a game developer perspective, the iPad mini's 1024x768 display will make existing games run seamlessly because it sports the same resolution and aspect ratio of all iOS devices prior to the iPhone 5. Devs are sure going to love that.
While the entry level price point of $329 is a bit of a premium when compared to other seven-inch tablets, the iPad mini marks a big win for iOS game and app developers. The lower price point also means that we may see younger consumers (high school, college) buy more devices. Maybe they already inherited mom or dad's old iPhone and/or iPod Touch. Now they may add the iPad mini to the fold, which could make it a hot seller this holiday season.
Rok Zorko, Outfit7
We love the addition of a smaller and less expensive iPad. This move by Apple will undoubtedly increase its lead in the tablet market in spite of other comparable priced-products that are already available. Outfit7 apps are especially popular on iPads, so a larger tablet market means more downloads for us.
More and more companies have a tablet first strategy, and we think the advent of more affordable tablets will only speed up the inevitable move of game developers from consoles and PCs to tablets. The fact that the new iPad mini has a standard 1024x768 resolution means that older apps and games will already look perfect on it. This of course is great for developers because we won't need to adjust the user interface to the iPad mini.
We don't like to predict the future, but our general sense is that the overall effect on tablet sales and iPad sales will be net positive.
Woody Sears, Zuuka
This looks like a very promising form factor. The eBook readers have found success here, and I believe the iPad mini will as well. This really opens the door for further adoption by the education market, and I think we'll see more proliferation in school systems because of this price point.
The opportunity for interactive book developers and interactive eBook developers is immense, as this has the potential to greatly expand the reach to eBook buyers. This really opens up a new option to consumers who are looking to purchase a tablet to use as an eBook reader first. The fact that Apple matched the screen resolution to the original iPad means there are no disadvantages to developers. I believe this device will cut into Kindle Fire sales more than it cannibalizes the current iPad line-up
Anthony Soohoo, Rumpus
We're very excited about the expansion of Apple's product line, especially the additions to the iPad family. By making iPads more affordable and adding the iPad mini and iPad 4, Apple is increasing the accessibility of its tablets, thus increasing the number of mobile users.
The iPad mini and 4 will bring users richer, higher performing and visually stunning apps as well as a better gaming experience to a device that delivers visuals superior to the iPhone, while being equal to the iPhone in mobility. Eventually, we see it potentially replacing the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS. Ultimately, both devices are a huge upgrade from previous devices in terms of delivering a dedicated and optimized handheld gaming experience.
We feel the main advantage is that the iPad mini extends Apple's lead in the tablet market, and cements the fact that to make successful handheld games, developers must concentrate on developing for the iOS platform. Also, the iPad mini is backwards compatible. That is, it supports the same resolution that we have now, so tweaks that developers need to make to their current games are minimal.
Eventually, the iPad mini has the option of being the most accessible device within the iPad family, while also being the most optimized for handheld gaming experiences.
Dave Castelnuovo, Bolt Creative
Apple did a really smart thing in making the resolution of the iPad mini exactly the same as the iPad 2. Now we don't have to do any work in order to make our game, Pocket God, support the new device. It's all automatic. I am incredibly thankful for this because it would be a huge headache to support a new resolution or even worse, a new aspect ratio.
I take my iPad around everywhere with me, restaurants and the movies, but that's me. I doubt that most people really take theirs with them everywhere. The iPad mini is great because not only is it easier to take with you, but the smaller form factor actually allows you to reach game elements in the middle of the screen when you are carrying it in your hands.
Obviously, the mini will somewhat eat into iPad sales, but I think the sum will still be greater than what the iPad could do on its own. It will definitely eat into the Kindle market. It's just an all-around better device. One might say that the Kindle still has an advantage with a $200 price tag, but that is only temporary. Once the iPad mini gets its first product refresh, I expect the price of the mini to come down to $229. No one in their right mind would buy a Kindle when they can get an iPad for only $29 more.
David Whatley, Simutronics
I think the iPad Mini easily replaces the iPad 2 from a market perspective. On the plus side, the device is light and easier to hold for extended lengths of time. I, for example, enjoy reading a book on a Nexus 7 than a Kindle Fire because of the weight and hand-feel of the device.
Personally, I found the specs to be a bit underwhelming in terms of processor and ram. Both of which, we game devs, want to see more and more of. Considering the price, this part was a bit frustrating.
Jerome Dumont, Frima Studio
The iPad mini fills a hole in the iOS environment, due to competition from Amazon's Kindle Fire and Google's tablets. For people who do not already own an iPad, it may be an interesting choice. I'm truly amazed by the thickness of the device, as it's a big difference from a Kindle Fire. It's surely going to be a better e-reader than a "regular" iPad, however I'll stick with my Kindle for reading books.
I don't think it's going to be a market changer, as the price point is still high compared to the competition. It will convince people who hesitate to buy an iPad, only because of its size, but people looking for Kindle Fire and its Amazon environment will not be interested, nor Android users.
Marco DeMiroz, PlayFirst
We're really excited about the iPad mini. We think it is a great addition to the product line, and this expansion of the iPad platform will help us extend our reach to a larger audience. Our belief is that smart phones and tablets are, and will continue to be, the dominant handheld game and entertainment devices, and will ultimately replace other game-only handheld devices. We expect iPad mini to broaden the iPad's appeal to a much larger audience without adversely impacting the new iPad. Although it'll put competitive pressure on other tablets, it is absolutely beneficial to the consumers and market growth, as the need for constant innovation to differentiate becomes the driving force benefiting all.
Dennis Dunn, Hope This Works Games
The introduction of so many hardware devices is astonishing, but also exciting in it's own right. However, the only major changes that seem to be happening are screen size, processing size, resolution and battery life. Though it's great to see Apple's technology march onward, the key factors surrounding user experience will definitely be deep rooted within the way the operating system offers access to all of the aforementioned tech. Basically, we're seeing the evolution of the human experience through accessible technology and information in the palm of our hands. This is another step towards singularity as we become tethered to all the information in the world, all the utilities we would ever need, and to one another in a full complemented communications hub. In terms of technology, it's miraculous and incredible how thin and how powerful we are able to create things these days. Apple is definitely a leader in making the future not only look bright, but very attractive as well.
Mainly, I believe that the size difference we see in this new model will make gaming more accessible for smaller hands, younger children, and will allow far more mobility in terms of offering up entertainment no matter where you are. The original iPad is a little too large to be considered a take-along, and the iPhone is a little too small to offer a full-featured experience. The iPad mini will allow people to open up greater experiences no matter where they are. The only concern I would see here is that the screen space may detract in the controlling of a lot of applications that have been built for a larger screen. But with the iPhone gaming market doing so well, I can't see it being a major problem.
For example, I user AmpKit+ (a pre-amp/digital recording program for guitar) on my iPad because it offers up the space and accessibility for me to tweak and alter things without a lot of hassle. Whereas on my iPhone, I would be less likely to use it because of the smaller screen, even though it would be far more portable, due to the challenge of usability. So I could see some applications being less attractive on the small iPad screen, especially when it comes to gaming because of the reaction time and controls that go into a lot of these titles. But the size will definitely make it far more accessible for people to treat the iPad as a mobile gaming device.
Since the walls of the iPad mini are smaller to give people the ability to use the device with one hand, I would assume that the control issues involved in touch screen gaming would definitely need to be reconsidered to offer an ergonomic solution to fight cramping and controls that cause you to drop the device.
Apart from the controls, the speed that the hardware is being developed and released is making it harder and harder to program games to fit into these different resolutions and screen size ratios. It can be programmed into the app to resize based on the device, but when you've developed for a platform that changes half way through your production cycle, it may cause customers to feel short changed because the app they purchased does not support the latest tech, or the resources created may have to be reworked and recreated in order to cater to the latest changes. For example, on my company's latest release, Polara, we went through a production cycle that saw the introduction of the iPad 3 and the iPhone 5. Not only did we have all of our art assets built towards the iPad 2 (which is half the resolution of the iPad 3), but we also had to work within the 0-day updates from our game engine in order to support the iPhone 5. During our launch, there were a lot of questions surrounding our game not supporting the latest hardware. As a small agile developer, we found it very difficult to keep up with the breadth and scope of the latest upgrades that detracted from the overall experience of our latest release. So it can be challenging when these things happen after spending a lot of time and money on something that can be out of date within a few months time.
I feel that this iPad mini will be more of a niche product. The reason I say this is because though we all want a tablet experience, the cost of including another device in-between the sizes of our smart phones and our other tablets/iPads is not really worth it unless the consumer believes that the size difference will in fact increase their usage of their touch device. I would assume that most people considering this device will be looking for a secondary cheaper alternative than buying another full size iPad. Or they haven't adopted the technology yet and will be incorporating this smaller device as a mobile alternative to using their computers at home. But those that want the full experience will stay with their full sized iPad.
Think of it like this: we all have televisions at home that are large and clear and wonderful devices for entertainment. How likely is it that you will buy a portable screen to watch entertainment while you are mobile, especially if you've owned a smart phone for any amount of time? The iPad mini will definitely be for a crowd that expects to use the device for certain reasons, rather than just having a full-fledged computer in their pocket. Only those with disposable income and a thirst for technology will bother to adopt the iPad mini for the sake of having themselves plugged in at all times. But that's from a logic standpoint, otherwise people tend to get excited at the prospect of new technology and will consume whatever is released based on the experience it gives them.
Gabriel Leydon, Machine Zone
Small and portable, the iPad Mini is a great advancement for the mobile gaming market, as it will expand the market and create an even better portable gaming experience. We should start seeing the beginning of an explosion of cellular connected tablet devices enabling whole new online experiences.
Louis-Rene Auclair, Hibernum
It's an additional gateway to the gaming experiences that developers like us want to provide to our players. The new size makes it more portable and easy to carry around. With the lower price point, it will probably spread through the market faster.
Ernest Woo, Woo Games
I see the iPad mini as a capable device that will help augment Apple's tablet offerings versus the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD. Although not technically impressive on paper, I expect the iPad mini to continue Apple's tradition of responsive, high-quality devices. A seven-inch tablet occupies a nice niche between the smaller iPod Touch and larger iPad. As a result, Apple will extend its consumer reach even further, putting more devices in more gamers' hands. Mobile gaming can only benefit from greater demand for games.
Greg Harper, Supercell
Christmas came early, and we're fired up. We are super excited about the iPad mini's potential to dramatically expand the market. The combination of a lower price point with the new size and form factor should attract an entirely new set of customers to the iPad family. And, due to its size, we expect it to be an even more mobile iPad because it will fit more easily into a purse or jacket pocket. As they [Apple] demonstrated, the mini fits nicely in your hand, which should also make it easy and fun for playing games.
By not changing the resolution on the Mini, Apple has demonstrated how thoughtful they are when it comes to its developers and their existing apps. Because of Apple's consideration, there is actually very little we need to change to bring our games to the mini. It is a big win for us because it means we are able to leverage our existing tablet first strategy without making any major changes.
The iPad Mini is handheld gaming. I'm not sure who should be more worried today, the other mini tablets, or the dedicated handheld game systems. Both seem to have pretty major challenges ahead because of today's announcement.
Vlad Ceraldi, Hothead Games
It is great news that it has the same screen resolution as the existing iPads, which makes our job much easier to ensure customers have an excellent experience. The iPad mini will certainly steal some thunder from the seven-inch tablet market while limiting the impact to sales of the larger iPads. Some analysts were predicting a reasonably high rate of cannibalization that I believe will be much lower than anticipated based on the entry price point and how it fits into the iPad line up.
Customers that do not already have a tablet will be tempted by the lower price to consider an iPad mini, and will have to wrestle with the decision to also consider the excellent iPad 2. Having said that, they did leave more room than expected for competing platforms by going with $329 pricing with the mini.
Jon Clifford, Endeavor Bros
At this point, the iPad mini doesn't do anything revolutionary. However, there is now an opportunity to create games for a product that is easier to hold than an iPad (for gaming) and has a larger screen than the iPhone/iPod Touch.
This is a direct competitor to the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire, so it'll be interesting how things pan out in that arena. It is an Apple product, so no doubt they will do well. I wonder if the price point is going to hurt them initially, since the other device prices are far lower. As for the current iPad, I think it gives people options, so it will have an effect on iPad sales, but Apple will still make money.
Bill Porter, Raved Mobile
At Raved, we could not be more excited for the iPad mini. It is a bit more expensive than we anticipated, but it has features that are exciting, such as the faster processor with the A5 chip. Mobility is a huge plus for users, and the ability to take this on the go and utilize favorites apps, such as Raved, makes it accessible for tablet users with the influx of iPad minis entering the market.
For app users, fast processing and portability from the iPad mini will go a long way. Apple's products are always cutting edge technology, and we were not surprised by today's announcement. Between the iPad mini and the iPad 4, we anticipate the mobile space to continue to flourish with new apps and huge updates for current ones. We are curious to see how the pixel density will make the apps look, given it is the same resolution as the iPad 2, but with a smaller screen.
For the end user, it is all about improvements and better experiences. Apple delivers on these fronts and wants to get ahead of the holiday season rush. This just means Android tablets will need to play catch up, but we look forward to the outcome. It's all about keeping the end-user happy and it should be a fun future for tablets.
Niccolo de Masi, Glu Mobile
Apple raised its own bar in the tablet market with the iPad mini and new iPad 4th generation. Consumers will be undoubtedly pleased with the increased portability of the iPad mini and the increased performance of the iPad. Most importantly, the twice as fast A6X chip in the iPad 4th generation validate our commitment to high-production value gaming content. These devices allow us to develop even more immersive experiences on Apple devices.
As a developer, we are thrilled that Apple maintained the 1024x768 resolution display, as it instantly makes all Glu games compatible on the iPad mini. This streamlines the development process and offers users consistently brilliant experiences across Apple's device portfolio.
There is proven demand for mid-sized tablets, and Apple's iPad mini delivers where others cannot. As a developer, we are enthused by any device that drives the continued growth of the smartphone and tablet industry. I expect the iPad mini to be yet another catalyst for the rapid consumer adoption of tablet devices. With a 7.9-inch display and smaller form factor, the iPad mini could prove to be the defacto device for mobile gaming.
Patrick Wylie, Big Fish
The iPad mini has a great form factor and a beautiful fit and finish. The size and weight will be perfect for throwing the device in a purse or a suit pocket for adults, and will be a lightweight and easy-to-handle tablet for kids. I will now gasp less when I see my five-year-old running down the hallway with an iPad Mini versus the larger iPad.
For starters, games that require thumbs/hands will play much better. The smaller screen will make it easier to play landscape games, like Fairway Solitaire, with both thumbs reaching toward the midline instead of requiring a player to use one hand to hold the device and the other to interact with the game. The resolution is the same on the iPad mini as the iPad 2, so our games will seamlessly work on the new device. I don't see any disadvantages.
The iPad mini will further strengthen Apple's mobile gaming position with a less expensive tablet that will be more accessible for younger audiences, as well as for those who want something more portable. The question may now be whether you buy an iPod Touch or an iPad mini as a carry-anywhere mobile gaming device.
Steve Lin, GREE
Whenever Apple releases a new product, we've seen an expansion of the overall market, which is great for developers. I've been using the Nexus 7 around the house quite a bit and have found the seven-inch form factor really compelling. It's a fantastic size for reading and games really benefit from the increased real estate. Combine that experience with iOS and the App Store, and it's pretty clear that the iPad mini will be one of the hottest gifts this holiday season.
For developers, I'm sure we all breathed a sigh of relief when they announced that the mini would run at 1024x768, making it easier to get games on the device without having to support yet another resolution. With the same processor and resolution as the iPad 2, it stands to reason that most developers will not have that much extra work on their plate.
Overall, it feels like there will be a lot of new tablet owners in the coming months and it's up to us as game developers to create fun and entertaining experiences for those users.