The iPad is official now.
Why does it matter for the game industry?
1. The App Store.
It ships with 130,000+ available apps, of course … but more importantly the on-device App Store is a proven money maker for developers. Now the higher resolution combined with the ability to easily publish apps will attract the majority of PC game developers to this platform.
WiFi, we expected. 3G was a surprise. The Data Plans? ($29.99 for unlimited, $19.99 for 250MB/mo.) a shocker. For an unlocked device this is quite impressive.
The big screen and connectivity makes it a natural for social and team gaming. Think of board games, MMORPG’s and card playing.
3. The Price.
Add the keyboard and you have a competent laptop with better features than most. Add a Bluetooth headset and use it as a phone (Skype, no doubt). For games? It’s not much more expensive than the PSP was when it shipped (in real dollars, about the same) and obviously its got some nice capabilities.
The bold thing is that Apple ships this at half the price of its entry level laptops.
The iPad is simply the best social game device ever produced for these reasons.