EA developing Apple tablet games - WSJ

Publisher said to be working with iPhone maker to create products for soon-to-be-announced touch-screen-enabled device.

Next week, iTunes creator Apple is expected to hold a media event at which it will unveil what is widely believed to be a new tablet device. Unfortunately, Apple has maintained an iron curtain of secrecy as to what to expect from the device, though insider chatter indicates that the touch-screen-enabled tablet will target the newspaper, television, and education industries. Today, the Wall Street Journal reports that it will also contain some form of game functionality.

Apple's tablet sounds a lot like a supersized iPhone.

According to the WSJ's sources, Apple is collaborating with Electronic Arts on an unspecified project for the touch-sensitive tablet. The WSJ offered no additional details on the arrangement, and EA declined to comment on the matter.

Apple has made bellicose overtures at the gaming market, thanks in large part to the runaway success of titles on the iPhone and iPod Touch. In September, the electronics company advocated the superiority of its handheld devices over Nintendo's DS and Sony's PSP. As noted by Apple's SVP of worldwide product marketing Philip W. Schiller, DS and PSP games are "too expensive" and "not a lot of fun" compared to iPhone games.

EA appears to be just one of a number of companies that Apple is collaborating with to bring content to its new device. According to the WSJ, the company is also in talks with the New York Times, Conde Nast, HarperCollins, and News Corp. to bring newspaper, magazine, and book material to the device. Apple is also reportedly in talks with TV networks such as CBS, which owns GameSpot, and ABC parent company Walt Disney Company to offer monthly subscription services.

The exact specifications of Apple's new device remain a mystery. However, the WSJ's sources indicate that the device will indeed be a tablet computer with "about a 10- to 11-inch touch screen." The tablet will reportedly sell for between $800 and $1,000. Tech blog Gizmodo has a comprehensive rundown on a variety of unconfirmed rumors and speculation surrounding the soon-to-be-unveiled device.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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55 comments
Nick_2266
Nick_2266

sounds just like a touch screen computer like they have, just portable. Sounds worthless to me....

BloodMist
BloodMist

@IvanKavinski The market they're targeting is the same market Apple always targets, trendy suckers.Apparently it's pretty huge.

jeffv541
jeffv541

@LadyAnneS Okay, so I like Doom. I listed Doom, I get it. 17 years old. That doesn't make it a bad game, and it's a superior port. You don't have to pick apart everything I say just for the sake of argument. Also, I was not reaching. There are many more great games on the iphone, Doom is just one of my favorites. Would it be less of a reach to say wolfenstein rpg or Doom Resurrection? Because those are great too and both on sale for 99 cents, perfect for casual gamers like me. Now take a look at the independent game market, and all the fun artistic games that you never gave a chance. The app store gives fun and innovative little games a chance to exist, open your mind or close your mouth.

cajunstrike
cajunstrike

Agreed. To be successful at the rumored $800 to $1000 price point, the Apple tablet needs to do more than simply run iPhone OS apps, it needs to be a computer capable of running Mac OS X programs.

IvanKavinski
IvanKavinski

I'm still confused as to exactly which market tablet PCs are targeting... I mean, you can get a better laptop for cheaper, and iPhone or DS or PSP for cheaper, or even a good desktop computer for cheaper... I mean, why get a mini laptop that is just as much trouble to carry around as a full sized one that doesn't even play CD's?

LadyAnneS
LadyAnneS

@jeffv541 Compare 2.5D vs true 3D--more degrees of freedom. As for NOVA, that's beside the point: you listed DOOM, a 17 year old computer game which has been ported to every known platform. So you were just reaching with that one. (It probably would have been better if you mentioned NOVA in your original post instead.)

jeffv541
jeffv541

@LadyAnneS There might be later, but there isn't better. The iphone Doom is a flawless port of pure nostalgic glory redesigned by Carmack himself. And if your only into new games, do your homework and find that iphone also has N.O.V.A. which outshines ANY FPS on the PSP or DS. Look it up.

madSomnambulist
madSomnambulist

Way to hype up a non-news news story that was merely glorifying a press release. EA has a rather sizable presence at the iTunes store so it's not like this should be surprising or important to anyone. I'll admit the touchscreen controls are more fun than their console versions sometimes, but ports of their and any big-publisher games for iAnything have yet to prove to be more than a novelty in gaming at best. Honestly? Reeks of a cash sink for EA. Low-spec and simplified versions of things are considered justified for "mobile" applications, but move to a tablet you've actually got to put production quality into it and have something that would look normal as any PC/mac application. You can't justify a performance and graphics under a $4.99 tag on anything even close to a typical display size. Even if they can make decent things to play, it will just be ports of a broader mac port of all their normal annual releases. Larger-size Madden on touchscreen kinda sounds fun, but for that I'd expect and be willing to pay normal software prices.

LadyAnneS
LadyAnneS

@jeffv541 Wait...did you just list Doom?--the 17 year old PC game?! Hate to break it to you, but there are newer and better FPSes on both the DS and PSP.

cjasko94
cjasko94

So with this "tablet" can you draw on it like the Nintendo DS? And I also herd that this is like a netbook??

cjasko94
cjasko94

I still want a iMac as everyone is telling me how great they're and that my PC is nothing compared to it. But $*%& apple prices there items way too high.

cjasko94
cjasko94

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

quirky_clayboy
quirky_clayboy

The more popular their products get, the less cool they will become (which is pretty much their only selling-point).

nicklech16
nicklech16

OMG OMG OMG it's coming next week! I can't wait to see what will be Steves next "one more thing"!

haydergm
haydergm

with that price you can buy a ps3 or xbox360 + 32" HD LCD TV + few games................. Stupid pricing but the problem that may be there is enough stupid people out there to buy this product....!!!!!

Stesilaus
Stesilaus

Most iPhone games are roughly on a par with the free Flash games that are available all over the Internet. It's not difficult to see why Apple has never approved Flash runtimes for the iPhone and iPod Touch ... If they did, their "App Store" would probably be dead in a matter of weeks!

NAWAF005
NAWAF005

the DSi DSiWare and and the PSP has the Minis and iPhone has the appstore. WTF!!!

SDBusDriver1979
SDBusDriver1979

EA jumps for any platform ever made and even some that haven't been announced apparently but they couldn't come and save the Dreamcast. Let me cry in a corner.

kejigoto
kejigoto

I remember some big companies like EA and Ubisoft supporting a little device (that was actually built for gaming) called the NGage and NGage QD. Worked out real well there didn't it? I'm sure having EA's support will make this over price smart phone a must have and an instant win.

OwnageGuy
OwnageGuy

lol apple trying to boast superiority again. the games on the ds and psp offer way more depth of gameplay that has yet to be matched by any iphone game. There are many things that just need good old physical buttons. and 800 to 1000 bucks? why not get a decent gaming desktop or a psp and a bunch of games.

metalkid9
metalkid9

Whats the use of a tablets these days when you have smartphones.

lbptoady
lbptoady

iphone apps are fun but cant beat the ds or psp. There very good for the price usually.

kingsi7e
kingsi7e

@alexkn64 Actually no, those games are available for MacOS. And even with dual-booting Macs look, work, and feel better than average PC laptop. But yeah, buying Mac to dual-boot does feel like a waste of money.

jeffv541
jeffv541

The charm and creativity of many iphone titles have yet to be matched on the DS, much less the PSP. It's a different audience, and the games feel like no other platform. Before opening your mouth give iphone games a try, they are just a better value. (Zenonia, Doom, Hook Champ, all less than 3$)

alexkn64
alexkn64

@kingsi7e That's a funny way to say you dual-boot with Windows 7, thus making your purchase of an apple computer utterly worthless since you're required to run a separate OS to do anything worthwhile.

sumoslug
sumoslug

And why are they saying that ds and psp games are "too expensive" and "not as fun" and all that? NOBODY HAS TIME FOR YOUR LIES!!! And last time I checked, 99% of the titles EA is putting out is at a full $10, which is half the price of a DS game and not even the fraction of the replay value. Philip Schiller, you will pay for those words!

junglist101
junglist101

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

sumoslug
sumoslug

Apple, anyone about to shell out $800 dollars on a mega-tablet PC probably aren't out to buy EA's waste products for their little 6-year olds to get their grubby little fingerprints all over it, so just give it a rest.

kingsi7e
kingsi7e

@alexkn64 Yah, that's why i play EVE online, Crysis, GTA Chinatown Wars, Need for Speed on Apple devices. And you should probably try to play iPhone games like NOVA, Chinatown Wars and many other before you make an abrupt (and, frankly, incorrect) judgment about which games are games... @VXLbeast iPhone does not compare to PSP, true, but you are comparing a cellphone vs. a playstation.

sumoslug
sumoslug

Sure, you can spend $40 on a small collection of iPhone games, and have a pretty good time, for about two and a half hours, but you just end up with a migraine and a wasted afternoon. Please EA, quit shoveling out this mobile phone junk, and put out a real game for once! Haven't seen that for nine years.

alexkn64
alexkn64

You can't play games on anything apple makes. Those "things" you find on iPhones and other smartphones are not games.

VXLbeast
VXLbeast

Anyone who owns a DS knows that a simple Iphone game cannot compare. Saying the Iphone is a better game system than the DS, or PSP for the matter, is ridiculous, and a statement I am sure no one but Apple stock holders buy.

Danybrown
Danybrown

800 to a 1000? thats just way too much you could get a mac laptop for that kind of money which runs a real OS you probably get less battery life but you can do all the same things and more im guessing. although i doubt the games on it will be very expensive coz they have to be download only. also(i know im dragging along) why do gamespot feel the need to remind us that they are owned by CBS every time the name comes up in an article anyway peace out

Puffinuffigus
Puffinuffigus

These tablet PC's sound awsome. :D I'll probably wait until I know what kind others are offering and buy the one that has a good price/feature ratio. As far as the apple tablet goes I'm sure the price will get slashed very quickly just like the iphone did. That thing better be busting at the seems with features though.

Genexi2
Genexi2

Why can't the tablet just be a slim computer running their latest OS? (OSX Snow Leopard, 10.6) Wouldn't need it to be 'game enabled' at that point, since it would be able to run anything the OS is capable of within the given hardware. -.-

xbox_psp
xbox_psp

Looks awesome. Can't wait to preorder it

sephirothsfan02
sephirothsfan02

All the apple geeks will buy it regardless of the price.

mariostar0001
mariostar0001

@gnbfd of course they'll say that. They can't say they're better (Even though they are), because then people will buy them instead. I'd take DSiware over iPod games any day.

gnbfd
gnbfd

"As noted by Apple's SVP of worldwide product marketing Philip W. Schiller, DS and PSP games are "too expensive" and "not a lot of fun" compared to iPhone games." umm...what?

zomglolcats
zomglolcats

"Apple's SVP of worldwide product marketing Philip W. Schiller, DS and PSP games are "too expensive" and "not a lot of fun" compared to iPhone games." Yeah well my DS didn't cost me 500 dollars. And right, the games on the DS are TERRIBLE! Who likes junk like Zelda, Advance Wars, Mario Kart, etc? /sarcasm.

tremor33
tremor33

Games on this expensive piece of ****? Read a ****ing book

rockstar_88
rockstar_88

Everyone was being negative about games on the iPhone, and now look how much developers are making off of them. It's guaranteed to make them a profit (look at GTA: Chinatown Wars on the iPhone as opposed to its PSP and DS counterparts), and if the Apple Tablet can spearhead its target industry like the iPhone did with smartphones, it's going to sell.

Zerosumgame
Zerosumgame

Good luck EA, I will always short your stocks.

NND1
NND1

I Mean C.R.A.P.P.L.E

Jak_Napier
Jak_Napier

stepping in deep water here. I cant see this working out.

NND1
NND1

S.N.A.P.P.L.E. is a big JOKE but the enthusiasts swear by them.......

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

1700$ tablet + 70$ games .... and the sad part, im sure those hypnotized by the Mac religion will undoubtedly buy it all.