Interview

Chillingo gives Apple's new iPad the thumbs up

Chillingo gives Apple's new iPad the thumbs up
Chillingo co-founders Chris Byatte and Joe Wee both came out in support of new iPad today in the wake of Apple's San Francisco reveal.

Speaking at an EA Mobile showcase across the road from Apple's high profile event, Byatte said "It looks like a great evolution of the iPad standard, and we're looking forward to getting back to the office and taking advantage of all these features.

"We're very reactive, and we reach out to a lot of developers. We want to maximise this extra horsepower and extra resolution," he said.

Power play

Joe Wee expressed particular surprise at Apple's claim that the third iPad would boast four times the power of Tegra 3.

"I definitely expected a faster processor, but when it said the A5X delivered four times the performance of Tegra 3 - woah! I mean that itself, for me, is like, 'Wow, okay. Cool!'"

But Byatte insisted that the important thing was to bring it back to what it meant for gameplay.

"The core thing about how you make a good game, and having even better hardware is exciting," he said.

Breaking down boundaries

Nonetheless, Wee argued that this extra horsepower in the latest handheld and tablet devices continues to blur the line between the quality of mobile and traditional console games.

"Walking around GDC, the quality of some of the mobile games is incredible.

"The trend we're seeing with indie developers is that more and more are coming from a console background. Like our upcoming game Air Mail - it's this really big 3D Pilotwings-style game, and the capabilities are heading towards console quality, it's all converging - or even exceeding them. These are exciting times."

However, despite acknowledging that projects would likely be more ambitious and more expensive, Byatte wasn't fazed by the challenges ahead.

Money matters

"Our role is to supply funds to the right projects to help developers get their game done, and get them from a seven to a ten out of ten. That's our remit, and it's a good opportunity for us," Byatte continued.

"We always strive to help the indie developer, and help them in ways that they can't do themselves. We see a lot of games, and it's something we're really passionate about. Finding those hidden gems is what we're good at.

"So far, we've had 12 number ones on the App Store, and half a billion downloads. It's a good track record."

Looking ahead, Apple's AirPlay features are also going to be a bigger focus for the company.

"We're totally in the zone with that, and want to take advantage of Airplay, playing as the controller, multiplayer, full screen 1080p... there are so many possibilities.

"As soon as we get back to the office, there's going to be a big push to take advantage of Airplay. It'll be at the forefront of our minds.

"We're still going to concentrate on making the best games, and that won't end. This is another opportunity," he added.

There's no such thing as 'not enough time' in Kristan's world. Despite the former Eurogamer editor claiming the world record for the most number of game reviews written before going insane, he manages to continue to squeeze in parallel obsessions with obscure bands, Norwich City FC, and moody episodic TV shows. He might even read a book if threatened by his girlfriend.

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