OS X Mountain Lion – Game Center Starts Playing

There was gaming on the iPod, there was an array of third party services like OpenFeint, then there was Game Center for the iPhone, and now there is Game Center for the iPad.

What it is

The Mac is about to go up against iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch — in a friendly Game Center way. Now it’s a bigger playing field with even more competition. Just create a Game Center account with your Apple ID. Then sign in and you’re in.

One of the things that makes Game Center so hotly used by iOS owners is that it uses your Apple ID. People don’t need to create any accounts. They just log in, and everything is pre-filled for them.

Friends will find you fast, and you’ll track them down easily. Get a multiplayer game started or go up against people you don’t know. Check out leaderboards and see how your high score ranks against opponents’ scores around the world. And discover new games based on the ones you and your friends already play.

Multiplayer games between the iPad and the Mac? It’s going to be great to see where this goes.

Why it’s good
Game Center is an interesting feature for the iPhone, iPad and iPod. It’s something that was so obvious for the devices, that quite a few third party networks sprang up. Having a unified place to keep high scores, leaderboards, achievement tracking, and social interaction is awesome. Apple combines it in a way that +Plus or OpenFeint couldn’t together.

My take
Macs were never about hard core gaming. Game Center is perfect for little games that are fun and all about little achievements, and high scores. The top games in the Mac App Store are dinky cartoon games, and fun little quest games.

I think this is going to fit in nicely.

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