Apple’s Game Center – iOS Cloud Gaming
Last time we covered Google’s mobile gaming system and we talked about the advantages of converging Android gaming through the same system. Now, let’s jump ship for a bit and take a look at Apple’s solution for pretty much the same issue. Apple’s Game Center was launched three years prior to Google’s Play Games. In autumn of 2010 it first came out bundled with iOS 4.1. This came as a strong selling point for the then new iPhone 4, and it was truly a novelty.
The Game Center features are only awesome if you have the developers to actually implement everything. And luckily, Apple knows how to gather developers on their side, and it quickly gained traction. Just a couple of weeks after the iOS version launched there already were a ton of games supporting the achievement system, and I remember actually fighting for top spots in rankings with my friends – something I’d never done before for a game on my phone. As is the case with Google’s Play Games, the Game Center can also host and join multiplayer games.
The way I see it is this: for PC gaming you have Steam, a juggernaut that brings together thousands of titles under the same „umbrella” – a software that keeps track of your games, your saves, your achievements, friends… you name it. And it was just a matter of time until something like this popped up for the biggest names in the mobile business. And when Game Center came along, it caused a huge stir.
Two years after the iOS version launched Apple launched yet another instant hit – the Game Center for Mac OS. This brought the same features that the iOS system had to Apple’s other popular operating system, and within the Apple fan community it was and still is well loved.
Even though some of the shine has worn off from the Game Center, and there are tons of other services that compete with it, the solution from Apple has managed to survive and become one of the basic services for a complete mobile ecosystem. And if you think of how often Apple fans switch their phones – what with new iPhones coming out every year – it’s a necessary app too, since many people would lose their game data without it.
By Andrei Maguleanu