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iPad can challenge PSP and DS – lbx games

New Apple hardware could position itself between mobile and console development, says German studio

Apple's new iPad could challenge Sony's PSP and Nintendo's DS and become a link between mobile and home console gaming, according the German developer lbx games.

But CEO Fabian Thiele also said that a lack of support for Flash and multitasking may hamper the iPad as a home entertainment device when compared to Netbook offerings already on the market.

"Thanks to the iPhone/iPod feature set, the big screen and the fast processor, it's a real challenger for PSP and DS," said Thiele, speaking to GamesIndustry.biz.

"It combines the best features of these two devices and excels them in nearly all functions. Sure, some hidden button and a directional pad would be brilliant, but for all the games the iPhone is famous for, the iPad will shine. And I'm pretty sure, that there will be a lot of iPad specific games and applications."

Pitched as an entertainment device for the home and with an interface and operating system already familiar to iPhone and iPod Touch users, the iPad offers opportunities for both mobile and console developers, said Thiele, and further increases Apple's expansion into the games market.

"The iPad could be the link between mobile gaming and normal computer games. So both ends, the mobile developers and the 'normal' computer developers, can use the platform as an extension to their product strategy.

"Besides, it could help to strengthen the Apple position in the gaming world. Even MacBook users can hope for more games. Sure, it will be a challenge to please both crowds, but with the expansion on more devices the opportunities are wonderful."

lbx is already planning to port its iPhone hit, Spongebob Jellyfish Jam, to the iPad, with upgraded assets, controls and new features. In the future, there will be opportunities to release versions of lbx games simultaneously for both formats, said Thiele. But the device may face some hurdles with consumers accustomed to certain features.

"There are two problems - the missing support for Flash [and] the lack of multitasking. Yes, thanks to Adobe´s CS5 you will be able to transport flash-applications to iPhone/iPod and iPad. But especially surfing through the web can be disappointing without Flash. I hope that Apple or some resourceful developer will add Flash support later.

"Multitasking can be a problem, when you compare the device with a Netbook. They both play in the same price league, but with a Netbook people are used to have a look at their mails without for example stopping the movie playback."

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.

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