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Apple's new iPad: What could it mean for gamers?

Apple's iPad, as well as other tablets and a sea of smartphones, have changed the face of video games over the last few years. In seeing the unveiling of the new iPad on Wednesday, I couldn't help but wonder what the latest Apple tablet might mean for gamers such as myself.

It's because of the iPad, the iPhone -- and competing devices such as the dozens of rivals running Google's Android operating system -- that the casual gaming series Angry Birds is known to about as many kids nowadays as characters such as Nintendo's Mario and Link from the Zelda line of games, as well as Microsoft's Master Chief from the fantastic Halo shooter games.

The screen of the new iPad is still 9.7 inches, but the 2,048-pixel-by-1,536-pixel resolution on the third-generation device is double that of the first iPad and the iPad 2. That's a higher screen resolution than what is considered full high definition by today's standards.

A full 1080p HD TV has a resolution of 1,920 pixels by 1,080 pixels. You want HD gaming? Now the iPad can serve that up -- that is if developers take advantage of the added screen real estate.

The A5 chipset found in the iPad 2 kicked things up a notch from the first-generation iPad, giving gamers details such as new impressive particle affects in games such as Infinity Blade, which on the first-generation device were already producing graphics worthy of a home console.

The new iPad packs what Apple calls its A5X chipset, which has the same speedy dual-core CPU from the iPad 2, but adds a quad-core graphics processor that will help specifically with handling complex 3D graphics that today's best games (Angry Birds, Cut the Rope and other less graphically demanding games notwithstanding) command.

So, what will this all mean for gamers? That's unclear so far. Heck, the new iPad isn't even in stores yet -- that happens March 16. But the potential for some really great games are there, I think.

Take a look at the quick video my colleague David Sarno shot on a cellphone at the new iPad's unveiling event at the top of this post. What do you think? Can the new iPad take us to a new level of sophistication in mobile gaming?

Feel free to sound off in the comments to let us know what you think.

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Follow Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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