Interview

Spilt Milk's Andrew Smith hopes iPad 3's horsepower won't become a 'pain in the arse' for developers

Spilt Milk's Andrew Smith hopes iPad 3's horsepower won't become a 'pain in the arse' for developers
The unveiling of new iOS hardware is a moment tinged as much with fear as excitement for many developers.

With each major step forward, the issues of continued support for older models becomes more difficult, while consumers are certain to demand ever more visual polish on new and current titles.

Spilt Milk Studios MD Andrew John Smith says these concerns will be in the forefront of many developers' minds as iPad 3 unveiling looms ever closer.

We caught up with Andrew to find out his hopes and fears for the next chapter in Apple's tablet tale.

Pocket Gamer: From a developer's perspective, what's the least you're expecting from iPad 3?

Andrew John Smith: I'm really just hoping we get a nice version of the iPad that's a sensible step up from the last one, without making it a pain in the arse to develop games across all of the SKUs.

More horsepower is always welcome, but I'm the kind of developer who likes to think you can make a fun game without worrying about more polygons.

That said, no doubt more polygons will increase its market penetration, and I'm not going to turn my nose up at more potential customers.

If you were making the decisions, what's the one wildcard feature you'd include?

Glasses-free 3D! I'm only half joking here.

I think Apple would be smart to include NFC tech - one thing it did brilliantly was streamlining the payment process back in the day, and NFC could potentially be another huge step forward in that direction.

The latest suggestion is iPad 3 will come with an 'A5X' chip, rather than A6. Given we know nothing about either, is this likely to make any practical difference?

I confess, I'm not up on processor names, and I'll bet the majority of consumers aren't either.

Early adopters will care, and the rest of us will simply buy good apps and games on it, regardless of the hardware inside.

Where do you think iPad 3's competition will come from?

This depends if Apple tries to make a big move into the living room with this iteration, via Apple TV etc.

I think the entire tablet market will benefit from the iPad 3 as it will encourage more competition, as is the case in all of these hardware markets, and I'm sure there's room for Android, Windows and even Blackberry-based hardware to do good business.

Broadly speaking, what do you think iPad 3 will do for games on the App Store, and mobile gaming in general?

I think it'll just increase the fidelity of the games we see.

I'm sure some developers will chase the red herring that is 'competing with consoles' - let's all play to our strengths, eh?

Generally we'll just see more good games and more people playing. Which is great.
Thanks to Andrew for his time.

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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