Will the iPad 5 be a step toward a gaming console?

News and release of the next generation iPad or iPad 5 is imminent and I wonder what Apple has done to the innards?

Even though it’s been a top seller since the first one hit the streets, it’s not really jumping ahead in leaps and bounds anymore. Samsung is making some impressive hardware and Amazon is following suit with some really impressive and cost effective devices.

It would seem the iPad is going to come with 64 bit which is very cool and makes me wonder if this is the first step in the iPad becoming a game console. Well, the first step would have been to build a massive game catalog which Apple has already done, so 64 bit and multiple cores would be the second step.

You can’t deny the quality of the games that are coming out for the iPad and not just silly games like Angry Birds. Look at Need for Speed, Asphalt and Real Racing. They push the device to it’s limit and allow a multiplayer experience that is comparable to their desktop counterparts.

People have been saying the death of the PC is upon, but I completely disagree. Desktop machines aren’t going anywhere. In fact, they are going to get more and more powerful each year. Hell, we’re already up to 8 core processors you can buy for less than $200. I know because I have two of them. 16Gb and 32GB machines are common. People, like me, are building staggeringly powerful machines that will last for the next 5-7 years before needing replacement. Sales may be slowing, but when people upgrade, they spend a lot and get a lot.

Tablets sales are still climbing and will keep going. If you want to talk about something dying off, look at game consoles. People are still excited over the Xbox One and the PS4, but that is a dodgy market these days. Gamers have to keep "reinvesting" if they want to keep playing. Old games don’t work on new systems. Those old titles will be dead on the new platform. We aren’t seeing that on tablets. Old games still run on new tablet, they just run better.

As far as cost goes, they’re looking about the same. And don’t roll your eyes saying the iPad is so much more than an Xbox. For the hardware, you have a point, but for the actual games, oh hell no.

Let’s say you invest $600 in an Xbox and $500 in a Xbox. Once you get the bigger drive, the controllers and all the other bits and pieces you may be well over that. Now, how about those games? What’s a new title for the Xbox cost? $50? And for the iPad? $10? Maybe $4.99? Maybe $2.99?

Xbox, PS4 and iPad will have multiplayer. You will be able to play online with your friends. You DON’T have to pay monthly fees to play the iPad. You can play against iPad and Android users (not in all cases, but it is happening). And we’ve seen plenty of demos where you can take your tablet, go to a friends house, connect it to the TV with Airplay and play together. And I can take my iPad anywhere. I can play at work while on break or lunch, I can take it outside, I can retreat to a different part of the house and not monopolize the TV, I can play my games while travelling. Can’t do that with a console can ya?

Seems to me the iPad is easily and quickly encroaching on that game console market.

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