The Apple Watch has been out for a while now and it has established itself as the market leader in terms of smartwatches. It is an excellent tool for at-a-glance information and works very well for text messaging, phone calls and other functions.
But how well does it work for games? Is the Apple Watch really a viable gaming platform? Or is gaming little more than an afterthought for the device?
There are definitely some fun games available for the Apple Watch as you can see in one of my earlier posts called “15 fun games to play on your Apple Watch.” But it remains to be seen if Apple Watch gaming will ever rival that of the iPhone or iPad.
Andrew Hayward at Macworld has a great article that provides an overview of the state of Apple Watch gaming from the perspective of game developers:
Will the Apple Watch ever be as significant a gaming device as the iPhone? It seems unlikely, given the limitations of the platform, its dependence on the iPhone itself, and the less-essential stature in our digital lives compared to a smartphone. However, it’s important to acknowledge that it’s still very early. The Apple Watch is the first smartwatch to offer a solid selection of games, and watchOS 2 has only been available for a matter of months.
As newer hardware eventually comes and more capabilities are added, developers will surely find more sparks of interest and pursue bright new wearable gaming ideas. And as more and more people buy the Apple Watch and explore the available software, further companies will be tempted to enter the market and take advantage of that growing user base.
It’s why some developers remain excited for the future of wearable games, despite the current limitations and perhaps sluggish initial interest or knowledge from players. We’re only a year into this. What about a year from now—or five years from now? The iPhone gaming market seemed to explode pretty rapidly, but the Apple Watch could take longer. In any case, so long as early pioneers keep pushing, there’s hope for bigger things on the horizon.
There are plenty of games for the Apple Watch
My earlier post about Apple Watch games aside, there are quite a few games available for it. If you want to find the latest Apple Watch games, here’s an easy way to do it:
1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
2. Tap on the Featured tab.
3. Tap on Categories.
4. Tap on Games then All Games.
You’ll see the Games section of the Apple Watch store, and you can peruse some featured games at the top as well as other games in the rest of the store.
It’s still very early for Apple Watch gaming
Now I admit that the number of games available for the Apple Watch pales beside that of the iPhone and iPad. But let’s not forget that both of those devices have been available for a much longer period of time than the Apple Watch. Developers have been producing games for iOS for years and years now, while watch OS is still relatively new.
And the Apple Watch itself is an entirely new form factor, so it has taken developers a while to figure out what works and what doesn’t work in terms of game development. As more time goes by, developers will build on what they’ve already done to make more and better games for the Apple Watch.
Apple Watch 2 will bring better performance and better games
Let’s not forget also that the Apple Watch 2 is looming on the horizon. Nobody knows when exactly it will be released or what it’s final hardware spec will look like. But if it comes with a faster processor, more storage space and more RAM then it could be a big boon for Apple Watch game developers.
Frankly, I can’t wait to get my hands on the Apple Watch 2. I suspect it will run today’s Apple Watch games even better than the first Apple Watch. So it might be worth upgrading to it just for that, never mind what it will bring to us in terms of new games.
One thing is for sure: gaming on the Apple Watch is just going to get better and better.
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