* The PC is dead.
Arguably one of the most significant yet understated points of WWDC 2011 was that Apple is not only acknowledging but enabling a new breed of consumers that have shunned all things PC (and Mac). For the first time, iOS devices will no longer require a clunky desktop computer to active. iOS is all grown up now and is ready to leave the nest and strike out on its own.
* Where are the XCode deltas?
With much applause came the announcement that iOS updates would not require downloading the entire OS. Instead a ‘delta’ update will provide only changes from the last version. Developers, however, are still left in the 90′s requiring the entire 4GB download for even minor XCode updates.
* Consumer focused ‘developer’ event.
The “D” in WWDC stands for “Developer”. Far too much stage time was spent pandering to the average consumer and media during demos of new features that are just not relevant to developers. Ironically, the information that is important to developers was tucked away on a slide of ‘other stuff’ with no other mention made. It would be nice to have seen mention that OSX Lion will support OpenGL 3.2; finally bringing DirectX10 capabilities to the OS.
* Where is desktop OpenGL-ES 2?
Apple announced that its next version of OSX, Lion, would be released in July and that it includes numerous enhancements and new features. Lacking is desktop support for OpenGL-ES2. Since the days of OpenGL2, game developers have been lamenting the bloat that is full desktop GL and asking for a lighter, cleaner, API. Most importantly though, it would simplify porting between iOS and Mac AppStore™.
* Sharing is caring
Still absent from iOS is the ability to safely and securely share your device with a friend, family member or co-worker. A ‘guest’ mode would be a very welcome addition to iOS so you don’t have to worry about someone borrowing your device.
As with last year’s E3, this year saw lots of increments of established game titles. Amazingly, the grandfather of all game increments, Duke Nukem Forever, did not find a place in the spotlight.
Microsoft chose to focus on its Kinect peripheral during its E3 presentation. Yet more child actors were brought on stage to show how family friendly Xbox is now. Can “Kinect: Disneyland Adventures” and “Call of Duty: Black Ops” co-exist peacefully on the platform? Time will tell.
Sony opened its show with an apology to PSN members for the service outage (“We’re sorry, our bad”) before continuing to beat the dead horse that is 3D TV (“Put on your 3D glasses!). Most notable was the PlayStation Vita announcement showcasing Sony’s vision for its PSP successor. With mobile devices encroaching on its territory and $1 AppStore games, it remains to be seen if consumers are still interested in ‘portable consoles’.
Last, but not least, was the Nintendo E3 event. After spending way too much time paying tribute to its loyal fans with orchestral renditions of game sounds, they stole the show by announcing Wii U: A next generation high definition Wii console with a new tablet-like game controller.