Dave at Magic Jungle Software wanted to turn the iPad into a video game console. So he got on his thinking cap and did a little bit of development to turn his idea into a reality. The video you see here shows an iPad running a demo of his game, Chopper 2 (currently in development), while connected to a 42" TV via Apple's component cable.
Even better, David notes that he used all public APIs to accomplish this feat. As of the 3.2 SDK, Apple now offers App Store-safe ways to send video out through a VGA connector or through a component video or composite video adapter cable. You can get an idea of some of the details behind this technology in the slides from this 10-minute impromptu talk given by Erica Sadun over the weekend at the Voices that Matter conference.
But wait! There's more! The super fun part is that he's controlling the game with is iPhone via Bluetooth. He's using a GameKit two-device connection, effectively turning the iPhone into a wireless controller for the iPad. It's very cool, and the first we've seen an iPhone controlling an iPad game in this way. Connecting it to a TV was the cherry on top.
This isn't the first time this kind of gaming on the TV using an iPhone has been done. Freeverse engineer created a proof-of-concept system using private APIs to achieve video out with an iPhone back in 2008. You can watch the video they created, using routines that Erica published over at Ars Technica. Magic Jungle isn't using any private calls, however. Their software is publishable, which means unlike that early demo, the chances of this ending up in your hands so you can try it out on your actual device are pretty high.
All in all, this is pretty neat. Games often suffer from your hands being in the way (I'm looking at you, Resident Evil). On-screen smudges can diminish a real immersion experience. You simply don't experience those issues when the device itself is merely a controller.
Here's hoping we seem more of this.
I can't wait to play.