Word is spreading that Apple will be debuting a tablet computer - ideal for gaming - this fall. The Telegraph quotes an anonymous analyst who says that the so-called "MacBook Touch" will be like a really big iPod.
"The touch-screen tablet...is expected to have a 10in touch-screen and be similar in look and feel to a large iPod touch," the Telegraph reports, "Experts expect it to cost around $800 (£500), and to be positioned as a home media hub, capable of streaming content and services in much the same way as Apple TV does, and doubling as a games console."
So what about that last bit - touch-screen gaming. We've seen a lot of hit-and-miss exploitation of this feature on the iPhone. The best games - such as Rolando or Dr. Awesome - make the touch-screen an integral, but not gratuitous element of gameplay. This works for the quickplay experience of mobile games, but what about more robust, long-play computer games? Do we really want to spend a lot of time sliding our fingers around World of Warcraft? Won't that get annoying? I don't think existing titles will be able to simply add touch-screen movement to the action without it feeling lame. The best titles will be created from the ground up with the touch-screen in mind.
David Kushner is the author of many books, including Masters of Doom, Jonny Magic & the Card Shark Kids, Levittown, The Bones of Marianna, and Alligator Candy. A contributing editor of Rolling Stone, he has written for publications including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Wired, and The New York Times Magazine.