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.
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.

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