I was fascinated when I saw the demonstration of NBA 2K19 from 2K during Apple's iPad Event. I've owned previous versions of this game on several platforms, no later than 2K17 on the original 12.9 "iPad Pro and 2K18 on Nintendo Switch. The IPad version was one of the first games I played with an MFi Bluetooth game controller. I've actually put some time in it, but I did not have any real game options at the time. The game was ok but could be quite slow and plodding. But what kept me back was the ability to play on a very nice, portable 1
The Nintendo Switch version of 2K18 did not have the images to match up with XBOX One or PS4, but it had good controls and played on hardware. It's really portable and more versatile. While the 12.9-inch display on iPad Pro is exciting, it won the better gaming experience and increased portability of the Switchen easily. I've played lots of FIFA 18 and NBA2K18 over the past year because I was able to take a very good gaming experience with me wherever I went.
When I saw the 2K19 demo at the Apple event, I wondered if this version could be a little closer to the real thing. Apple has turned iPad Pro into an absolute power plant. Could it make game developers notice? The visuals as described on the stage seemed to fit the part. While the Switch version of the game is solid, it costs $ 59 against $ 6.99 for the iOS version. At this price difference, a game does not have to be as good. It just has to be good enough.
After a few days the tires kicked at 2K19, I think the presentation of this game on the stage was overlooked. While I'm not busy driving and buying 2K19 for Switch, I would still choose it and its better controls and better overall experience. The bottom line is, although the iOS version of the game is an improvement over the version I played a few years ago, it's still just a mobile game with a little extra polish. Is it worth seven dollars? Definitely. Is it good for what it is? Sure. Does it even match the console quality? No. Not even remotely.
The last part illustrates the question of how Apple set expectations with their demo. When you claim to have "console quality" visualize and name, drop XBOX One at a stage in front of the tech press and other media members, you're better off delivering. When you configure a specific app to deliver this message, it was better to do the job. While the NBA 2K19 is a good basketball title for iOS, there is no console competitor. It's not even a valid comparison, honestly, and Apple gives people that impression is just stupid. To be honest, I'm a little disappointed with the pictures they pumped up so hard, as they still do not look outstanding on the iPad screen. They are good, but they did not deserve the kind of praise they received on the stage.
Apple has so strange relation to games and has always. macOS was never much a game platform, and honestly it's still not. Apple tried to release a game console many years ago, but it did not go anywhere. Then, very suddenly and probably by accident, Apple became the largest mobile gaming platform on the planet. The combination of the iPhone and the App Store was fired thanks to the combination of the solid foundation that Apple has provided and the hard work of many developers.
Apple has milked this cash cow of mobile games for all its worth. They also love to talk about how popular iOS is for gaming. But that's all they've done over lip service. They deserve absolute credit to create a platform that mobile game developers love, but they've done so little beyond that and I can not help but feel disappointed. They had the opportunity to use the iPad to push ahead to play. They did not. They had Apple TV ready and ready to play games on the big screen for over three years before they finally took a move. They were late to bring iOS to the TV, and then the delivery was terrible. They botched it and everyone went on before they went back and fixed some of their early mistakes.
I could continue, but I do not want to. I had no expectations that my new Pros would compete with my Switch as a gaming machine. But I thought the game they demoed on stage could impress me. It did not. At this point, I only wish Apple would stop talking about games. They do not care about any aspect of the simple money that deposits on the bank account. They will never do anything about games beyond that. If you see them tug something about it on stage in a future event, just ignore it. When it comes to games, Apple is all talk and no show.