Apple’s Game Center and iOS 4.1 Launch Impressions

If you’ve plugged your iPhone or iPod Touch into your computer and brought up iTunes, you’ll know that iOS 4.1, with the long-awaited Game Center, is now live. We gave it a try and here’s what we’ve found so far.

Game Center is the biggest new feature in OS 4.1 (sorry, HDR lighting), but it only works on newer iPhones. The original iPhone and iPhone 3G have been left out of the playroom.

Currently on Game Center, you can register a username (ours is SlideToPlay), add and view your friends, and view a list of compatible games. Currently, there are practically no compatible games available, and the “find compatible games” button brings you to this unrelated page.

A growing list of games that will soon be compatible with Game Center can be found here, but only one is currently live: Ms. Pac-Man.

If you have Ms. Pac-Man on your device, you’ll see a list of your achievements, leaderboards, and a button to launch the game. We don’t think Ms. Pac-Man has been this exciting or relevant in nearly three decades.

Hopefully more games will follow quickly, and the Game Center icon will become the best way to launch and view your games. In the meantime, feel free to add SlideToPlay to your buddy list and try to beat our high score in Ms. Pac-Man.

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