Apple To Launch Unified Online Gaming Network

iPad

iPad

Apple will be revealing it’s unified multiplayer service coming to the iPhone in next week with the release of Apple’s Game Center in iOS 4.1. This service boasts of matchmaking, operating friends lists and more.

Apple revealed its plans for a unified gaming service way back in April, and we have been in the dark since then. The only details revealed were that this Game Center would hone a social gaming network, the ability to invite and track friends, matchmaking, leaderboards and achievements. Today at the Apple event in San Francisco, Steve Jobs revealed that the Game Center would be a part of next week’s iOS 4.1 update for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

The new service acts much like a watered down Xbox Live service on the iPhone and iPod Touch. It requires a constant screen name, enhanced multiplayer functionality and score comparisons. It also makes it easier to find other games that are similar to the genre of whatever you are playing at the moment. This may come off as minimally hypocritical, considering how Steve Jobs has complained about how Microsoft has copied off of him. They basically made a carbon copy of Xbox Live, which is certainly one of the first online video game services made available to video game consoles.

For iPad users, they will be able to experience the Game Center in November, when iOS 4.2 is released along with the multi-tasking capability.

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