The above video demo of AirPlay mirroring using MetalStorm: Wingman is prompting some in the gaming community to wring their hands with anxiety over what the future of living room video gaming will look like. The fear: Will gamers opt out of traditional console platforms in lieu of mobile units that are not shackled to the living room media center?

At a recent gaming conference, Valve head honcho, Gabe Newell, spoke about the possibility that Apple might soon “launch a ‘living room product’ that changes people’s expectations, leading to the disappearance of a separate gaming console.”Newell claimed that this model of business would likely lead to closed-platforms with “walled gardens.” Speculation in the industry was that an upgraded Apple TV with the new A5 processor and faster GPU could accomplish that task.
After seeing the video of what Apple TV 2 (ATV2) and iOS 5 mirroring can already do, it looks like we don’t even have to wait for a new version of Apple’s media hub in order to have a traditional console gaming experience.  In MetalStrorm: Wingman, you aren’t just mirroring the images you see on your mobile device, you are using your device as the controller while the TV is displaying the action.  Produced by Z2Live, this game shows what iOS5 can really do when paired with ATV2. The company’s COO  Lou Fasulo said, “AirPlay Mirroring could put the mobile device at the center of all home entertainment.”

In my opinion, Newell and others’ fear that iOS 5 will make console gaming obsolete is unfounded. Various types of games on multiple types of technology have existed for decades and no single company will overthrow the entire industry. Gamers play on PCs, dedicated consoles, mobile devices, even homemade inventions. They have been for decades and will continue to for as long as games and equipment to play them on keep getting made. Apple’s iOS 5 mirroring capability will only serve to allow small-time developers become members of the larger gaming community. The big dogs will have to step it up a notch if they want to continue to participate in healthy competition with the plethora of independent game developers that will rise from the lower echelons as iOS 5 mirroring grows in popularity.

I don’t see this news as the beginning of “The Living Room Wars” so much as the beginning of a broader inclusion of games by independent companies that have not been able to break into the console gaming market.  How can that be considered “closed-platform”?



Add comment

Security code

iPad 3 Best iPad Yet?

Most Popular