Electronic Arts, Namco hype Apple tablet to gamers

Video gaming giants Electronic Arts and Namco have praised the potential of an Apple tablet, expected to be unveiled Wednesday.

The device is likely to be launched Wednesday at a special event to be held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. According to Bloomberg, Electronic Arts and Namco are both already considering titles for the yet unnamed tablet.

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“If it’s got a great screen, some buttons, you can turn it on and it connects to the Internet, it’s got the ability to be a games machine,” Peter Moore, president of sports games at Electronic Arts, the second-largest game publisher, told Bloomberg.

“I’m having fun thinking about all the wonderful things we can do with the device when it’s announced,” added Jon Kromrey, general manager of the Apple games group at Namco, who until recently had some insider knowledge, having worked as a designer for Apple.

Electronic Arts and Namco are already keen iPhone developers, having produced some of the best selling and highly praised games for iPhone and iPod touch including SimCity, FIFA 10, Monopoly, Scrabble, Pac-Man, and Ridge Racer Accelerated.

Apple’s likely tablet has an opportunity to take players from the Xbox 360, Wii and PlayStation 3 according to Simon Jeffery, chief publishing officer for Ngmoco, a maker of several popular iPhone and iPod touch games, as the device is likely to be played in homes. However Apple needs to avoid a simple port of existing iTunes App Store games. “The game play needs to be more satisfactory and engaging,” Jeffery insisted.

Smaller iPhone developers including Tapulous, the company behind games that have been downloaded 20 million times from the iTunes App Store, also reacted enthusiastically to Apple’s new device.

“The centre of gravity in gaming is moving away from the console to these other devices,” Bart Decrem, chief executive officer of Tapulous insisted. “We’re going to wake up a year from now and see that this is a very important part of gaming.”

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