Apple Unveils 'Game Center' iPhone Gaming Network

By Brian Leahy, Apr 08, 2010 11:43am PDT As part of its developer preview for iPhone OS 4, Apple revealed "Game Center", a "social gaming network" for the iPhone , iPod Touch, and the recently released iPad.

The network might be launching alongside iPhone OS 4, which is scheduled for a "summer" release, but could be after the initial launch. The announced features are:

  • Friend Invites
  • Matchmaking
  • Leaderboards
  • Achievements (point-based)
Game Center was not discussed in-depth at the preview event, but this is sure to be a hit to companies like ngmoco and Aurora Feint, both of which operate an iPhone OS gaming network in Plus+ and OpenFeint respectively.

Unfortunately, iPhone OS 4 will not work across all iPhone SO devices.

iPhone OS 4 will work with iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and the second- and third-generation iPod touch this summer, and with iPad in the fall. Not all features are compatible with all devices. For example, multitasking is available only with iPhone 3GS and the third-generation iPod touch (32GB and 64GB models from late 2009).

This has huge implications for iPhone gaming and a standardized social gaming network is something that I've wanted on the platform for a long time. The iPhone OS 4 SDK is available now to developers and will launch to consumers this summer. Other announced improvements include multitasking, an Apple-run advertising network, iBooks, folders and more.

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9 Threads | 18 Comments

  • The early rumors pretty much had the way Apple is doing multitasking down perfectly. It should work well enough. It remains to be seen if this really does save battery life, but if I can run Pandora and This American Life in the background, I'm okay. Game Center is interesting, but I wonder if they will have an easily accessible and exportable system like Xbox Live or Steam, or if it will be all locked down like the Sony's trophy system. I will be a little disappointed if they don't have some SDK that people like The guys over at Giant Bomb can use. I'm kind of upset that I'll have to get s new phone to use multitasking, but 3G is really slow anyway and if the new phone's on Verizon, it won't bug me too much.