By Jonathan Charles | Jul 27, 2012 01:16 PM EDT
Game Center for iOS is Apple's gaming hub, bringing friends list and achievements. While not as full-featured as Xbox Live or PlayStation Network, it's a simple hub for popular video game platforms, and it's now possible to play with desktop players using the app.
Apple stumbled into the gaming space, a fact admitted by CEO Tim Cook. Mac users can challenge iOS brethren to matches in turn-based or head-to-head games, provided that the users install game. The Mac App Store, launched in 2011, has brought popular multi-player iOS titles - including Flight Control and Fruit Ninja - to desktops and laptops.
All the usual functionality is here: leader boards can be checked to compare scores and send/receive friend request options, view profiles, and achievements are also available. The functionality is simple but necessary; however, the app lacks the hook of Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. It's a standalone app, not a service a user logs into by turning on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.
The app also recommends Game Center-enabled Mac games to download, but it would be great if it recommended Game Center-enabled games friends own on either iOS or Mac. A draw for users will be playing against friends, considering a large percentage of iOS users will own an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 and the respective services. The platforms offer a wealth of titles and the triple-A releases that iOS lacks. Competitive matchmaking is full-featured, supporting voice chat, with the ability to view profiles in-game, be in a pre-game lobby, and download DLC packs when not using the console.
Currently, Game Center-enabled apps in the Mac App Store amount to six, including Cut the Rope. Since OS X Mountain Lion hasn't been available for 24 hours, it's probably worth being patient.
For information on OS X Mountain Lion, and whether it's worth $20, check out mobilenapps.com's feature round-up. To conclude, even if Apple isn't introducing a killer app there's a minor expense for the ability to stay current with OS X. Unless, a machine is horribly outdated.
© 2013 Mobile & Apps All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.