Game Center, the social gaming network Apple introduced with iOS 4.1 in September and iOS 4.2 for iPad a few weeks ago, is not doing bad. After a quick search in the App Store, I noticed that Apple has almost 2,000 games ready for Game Center – 1917 to be exact.
In fact, the App Store contains two specific sections to showcase Game Center games for iPad and iPhone: 517 apps are available for iPad, 1400 for iPhone. That’s not too bad, considering that Game Center has been around for a few months.
Game Center functionalities are different across all these apps, though. Some games only allow you to check on leaderboards and your friend’s scores, other come with full-featured Game Center integration with online multiplayer, matchmaking, achievements, voice chat, leaderboards. Games like Real Racing by Firemint or Fruit Ninja are the ones that sport deeper Game Center integration with full-featured online multiplayer options; users, anyway, don’t seem to disdain hits like Doodle Jump that only ship with achievements and leaderboards.
In spite of cross-platform compatibility with iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad support, Game Center won’t be available for Mac App Store apps, at least initially. When Apple announced the Mac App Store at its Back to the Mac event, many (including yours truly) thought that it would be great to be able to play the same games with friends across mobile devices and computers. Think about Flight Control on an iPhone, iPad and Mac. Well, that won’t be possible with the first version of the Mac App Store.
Game Center is a growing platform within the App Store that has jumped to 2,000 compatible games in a relative short period. That’s not bad at all for Apple, and we look forward to seeing what comes next.