We all knew it was going to happen, specifically because Apple pretty much said it was going to happen when they announced that they were having a press conference today, but that makes today's news of a brand spanking new iPad device no less thrilling for the something like a bajilliondy people out there who consume expensive Apple hardware like most people blow through toilet paper. I'm looking at you, Gary Whitta.
The new iPad--which, by the way, it is apparently literally called, in lieu of the iPad 3 or iPad HD names we'd seen kicked around--will use the oft-rumored retinal display, and features a pixel resolution of 2048x1536--meaning it's essentially 4x the resolution of the existing iPad and likely a higher resolution than your TV or computer monitor. The new iPad uses Apple's AX5 CPU/GPU combo, featuring quad-core graphics, though is still based on the Cortex A9, apparently. To put that in terms people who don't spend their entire day reading tech blogs might understand: it's got a real purdy screen and it's made out of GOES FAST.
As per usual, the device will come in twelve different models split across wi-fi only and network capable categories, sizes, and colors. This time, the iPad will support 4G LTE networks from both AT&T and Verizon. Pricing for the different devices ranges from $499 to $699 for the wi-fi only models, and the 4G LTE models will range between $629 and $829, depending on hard drive size. All of this will be available to those who pre-order or feel like standing outside of an Apple store for the next week and a half on March 16. The rest of us normal people will probably buy one a few months after that.
And yes, they even showed games. First up was Namco showing off its new flight simulator, a tragically Kenny Rogers-bereft game called Sky Gamblers. What little was shown of the game offered up something that looked a bit like a slightly down-res'd Ace Combat game, with all sorts of dogfighting action that managed to not look like an incredible chore to control...at least from a distance.
Next up was Mike Capps from Epic Games to show off another Infinity Blade thing, because honestly, why else would Mike Capps be there? Mike Capps showing Infinity Blade is the Apple conference equivalent of Punxsutawny Phil seeing his shadow every February.
This new Infinity Blade thing, by the way, is called Infinity Blade: Dungeons. It tasks the player with creating the "ultimate weapon" (presumably the titular blade) and also apparently features dungeons. You can see a picture snapped of the game in action that I stole from Engadget directly to the left of this paragraph.
As interesting as Infinity Blade: Dungeons looks (it does look quite sharp), the most intriguing thing to come out of Capps' appearance was his assertion that the new iPad would have more memory and higher resolution than either the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, which sounds, quite frankly, insane, but according to resident Whiskey tech guy Will Smith--who may or may not have edited this post in an attempt to make my feeble attempt at tech blogging decipherable--it's 100% true. I'm sure he'll have a more detailed explanation of why over on Tested, which is probably where you think a post like this belongs anyway. [Ed: And here that very post is!]
So, there you have it. There is a new iPad. It looks neat, and still plays games. See you all next year!