Last week, Apple made one seemingly final adjustment to the developer build of their forthcoming Apple Game Center. As of August 11th, developers can now add leaderboards and achievements to their games, allowing them to – in Apple’s own words – “test the full capabilities of Game Center.” If this truly is the final piece of the puzzle, can a public release be far behind?
When the service was first announced back in April, Apple confirmed that we would see a public release “later this year.” With September right around the corner, we’re quickly running out of months where Apple could live up to that promise.
One thing that’s holding it back is the iPad/iOS situation. Apple Game Center is a feature of iOS 4, but the iPad is still running iOS 3. Apple has committed to bringing iOS 4 to the iPad this fall, which would in turn make it Game Center ready. Tying the Game Center release into the iOS update, so long as it truly is ready, seems like a no brainer.
Furthermore, Apple likes to tie their big announcements to press events, and one such event is rumoured to be taking place in mid-September. Wouldn’t a full explanation of Game Center, followed by “and you can set up your Game Center account today!” seem like a typically Apple thing to do?
With Game Center’s development seemingly complete, Apple just needs the right time and place to make it happen. With a rumoured press event around the corner and iOS 4 for iPad on the way, I can’t imagine a better time to launch the Game Center platform. And who knows? Maybe it’ll even tie in to the hypothesized Apple TV gaming announcement that so many of us are speculating about.