This was quite an eventful week with Apple’s announcement of iOS 5 and Nintendo’s presentation at E3. While Apple’s improvements of the iPhone and iPad make some of their best-selling apps obsolete, Nintendo introduced the Wii U, a game tablet with a pretty similar form-factor like the iPad. Let’s look what that means for games, the LBS folks and Gbanga.
Are Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook, WhatsApp still important for iPhone users?
At the WWDC in San Francisco, Apple presented the new features of the next version of their operating system: the game center with profile pictures, a notification center, iMessage, a newsstand, location-based reminders, Twitter integration and wireless synchronization. As Brenna Ehrlich mentioned, Apple’s integration of Twitter directly competes with Facebook, because it’s more convenient to share stuff with other iPhone and Twitter users.
Also, Foursquare and Gowalla might be heavily challenged by the built-in location-features such as the location-based reminders. iMessage, the cross-iPlatform messaging service probably is the “roughest” feature that replaces a hole range of group messaging services or SMS-alternatives such as WhatsApp.
Nintendo is significantly innovating gaming. Again.
Nonspecialists might expect the gaming industry to be among the most innovative industries that exist. However, big players are rather slow in adapting and in introducing new technologies. One exception is Nintendo which does innovate its core business “games”. In 2006, Nintendo introduced the Wii with the motion-sensitive Wiimote while others focused on improving processing power of their game consoles with old-styled game controllers. A couple years later, Microsoft and Sony followed with their variants of motion-controllers. Now, Nintendo enters the tablet market which has been prepared by Asus’s Eee tablets and Apple’s iPad. The tablet sort of acts as an over-dimensioned controller if you sit in front of a TV set.
A «game cloud»: Nintendo’s cross-media game system
But Nintendo not only introduces new hardware. That’s not the main point here. The Wii U is not extremely novel compared with previous tablet computers on the market. But they play with the hardware to advance gameplay. For instance, when the TV set is switched off, the game state is instantly stored and transferred to the screen on your controller and you can continue the exact same game. Nintendo has introduced the cross-media game system.
The player does not care about the hardware, but wants to play wherever he is located. We share the vision with Nintendo in this respect.
Gregory Ferenstein from FastCompany writes about even more exciting possibilities.
What’s in for Gbanga players
We’re currently refurbishing the user-interface, the game-play, integration with platforms and so on. The next generation of Gbanga will reinvent location-based gaming, context-based gaming, mobile gaming, console gaming and social gaming. We certainly will adapt to latest developments like the stuff I mentioned above… we’re excited when you play Gbanga and drop us a line when you have suggestions how to integrate stuff like above into Gbanga.