If you recall during Apple’s press conference last week, the iPhone maker said Game Center would be released with today’s scheduled release of iOS 4.1. Since the update just went live moments ago, it looks like all iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPod touch 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation can now take part in Apple’s first socially-connected gaming network.
If you’re curious as to what to expect with Game Center, here’s a rundown of what the service offers for those of you who have access to it:
- Friends list – You can now add friends to Game Center by either inputting their nick name directly or by finding them via their listed email addresses. When you send a friend request, your friend’s iDevice will display a message of your friend request, and vice versa.
- Online Multiplayer Gaming – Now that you’ve got a list of friends on your iDevice, you can now challenge them to a game. If you don’t share the same games, then Game Center allows you to challenge other players via matchmaking.
- Leaderboards – If you can’t smack talk your friends during an online multiplayer game, then the next best thing is to compare scores in your games through Game Center’s leaderboards.
- Achievements – So you’ve beaten your friends in various multiplayer online games and have dominated the leaderboards with a ridiculously high score. The next thing you’ll want to do is complete any achievements you can in your games, especially the ones that are almost impossible to complete. Then, and only then can your friends know that when it comes to gaming, I am not to be messed with. …YOU, I meant you.
As of right now, don’t expect many of your favorite games to automagically start working with Game Center as they’ll probably need to release an update to take advantage of Apple’s new social gaming network. We’ve also had problems getting Ms. Pac-Man to work in Game Center, which might just mean that our own Game Center service is on the fritz or that Apple has not yet rolled out the game to everyone. Either way, you should double check to make sure that Game Center is fully functional on your iPhone 4, 3GS or iPod Touch.
Of course, iOS 4.1 also has a bunch of other features attached to it, although you may want to consider your options if you happen to have a jailbroken iPhone. Word on the street is the iOS 4.1 update may be a trap. If you don’t have or need a jailbroken iPhone, then you have no reason to hesitate.
We’ll update this post with hands-on footage of Game Center in action as soon as possible. Stay tuned!