Should You Get an iPad for Gaming?
No, you shouldn’t. Not for gaming, anyway. It won’t even completely replace a laptop, and they cost about the same. They are fun, and there is some cool functionality you can get out of the apps, but the web still works better using a standard browser on a PC or Mac. And don’t forget Apple’s hater-aid for Adobe Flash. I’ve even found some Youtube videos that won’t play on the iOS You Tube app. But the real question is gaming. There are some good games, but none are worth the minimum $500 entry fee for the device. Scribblenauts, Fruit Ninja, and Infinity Blade are all really cool on the iPad, but I doubt the remastering of GTA3 is as cool as everyone says it is right now. I hate to make that call for anyone, but I don’t feel that the price is worth it for solely a gaming device.
If the plan is to use it for other things, though, like easy access to remote desktop, mobile browsing (still better than most smart phones, yet worse than computers), drawing, and… well… any non-gaming reason to justify that kind of purchase, then yes it is worth it. That is, if you don’t own an iTouch or an iPhone. Most of the functionality with a smart phone is going to overlap and cause a redundancy in technology. This will force you to pick one or the other, limiting the value you’ll get out of your device.
The iTouch/iPhone versions of most iOS games can be less functional or missing features from the iPad counterparts of the same app, but the price difference usually reflects that. Not always, of course. For example, in Ticket to Ride, you can only get one map on the iPhone/iTouch, whereas there are multiple maps for the iPad. You have to pay for the extra maps, but they aren’t even available on the smaller devices. When you buy an app with the little “+” sign next to it, that means it is compatible with both iPad and iPhone/iTouch. Some apps are only one or the other.
I somewhat tried to sound discouraging, but I will say that iPads really are cool to have around. I use them most when I am doing trophy-grinding on the PS3, like collecting the last few treasures in Uncharted or the difficult Riddler trophies in Arkham City (which is to say not that often). It’s not a whole lot more functional than a laptop, but I don’t have to worry about the cords and viewing angle while holding a controller.
The iPad novelty has worn off without me ever having to fork out the cash for one. They are awesome devices, and my kids (both 1 and 6 years old) love the games and interactive books. I decided for the few things I actually use the iPad for, I’d get more bang for my buck out of a Kindle Fire. It’s only $200, and I love it. Understand, I have an iPhone with me almost all of the time. I got the Fire for reading books and a chance peak at the Android market. As I said earlier, there is a lot of redundancy between an iPhone/iPad, though not complete overlap. If I had a different phone, I’m sure Apple’s siren song would lure me to dropping the cash for an iPad. Even then, I wouldn’t be able to justify it as a gaming device. It’s just not solely worth it for that… yet.