Last month, details and screenshots emerged for Apple’s Game Center for the iPhone & iPad. Even though the details were pretty straightforward and not much of a surprise compared to other online social gaming networks, such as Xbox LIVE & Playstation Network, one thing I felt Game Center needed was a graphical overhaul since what was revealed was bare bones compared to similar services. It looks like Game Center in fact did get that graphical change as well as a few tweeks in the latest iOS 4.1 SDK for developers last week.
As you can see from the screenshot above, the login screen is a lot more inviting than what was previously used. A nice, big graphic with the Game Center logo as well as a short and accurate description on what the service is all about. As with the previous version of Game Center, you’re able to sign in and create a new account at the login screen.
Once you log in, you’re presented with your “Me” page, which displays the number of friends, games, and achievements you have. You’re also able to update your “Status” on this page as well. At the bottom of the screen, you’re able to move to pages showing your friends list, games, and friend requests, which players can look up either your nickname or one of multiple email addresses connected to your Game Center account. You’ll be able to toggle your account to be able to receive or not receive either friend requests or game invites. New parental controls will also make it possible for parents to lock their children from playing online multiplayer games with strangers.
With this latest update to Game Center, the app looks to be making some very impressive improvements. I’ll withhold judgment until I actually get some hands-on time with the service, especially with its online matchmaking component as this could make or break an online social gaming network, just ask Nintendo.
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