The pending release of iOS 4.2 will include multiplayer support, and Firemint stands at the ready by announcing that Real Racing HD for the iPad will feature online multiplayer once the update goes live. The free feature will be handled via Game Center, allowing players to log in and vie for the checkered flag in races featuring up to 4 human competitors.
This is a nice addition, as the game already supports 6 player local races via Wi-Fi as well as head-to-head races over Bluetooth: now the multiplayer suite of options is fully fleshed-out. While we don’t yet know when iOS 4.2 is coming out (should be any day now), the Real Racing HD update should be available to launch right alongside it.
The inclusion of simultaneous online multiplayer in the latest iOS update shows just how seriously Apple is competing in the handheld gaming space these days. While people largely wrote off mobile gaming back when the iPhone originally launched, Apple’s devices have become a major player in the handheld space and have sent traditional gaming companies like Sony and Nintendo into a minor panic. After all, when you can play games on your phone that are just as good or better than what you find on a traditional handheld, and you end up paying far less per game, what’s the point in buying anything else?
As for the matter at hand, congrats to all those Real Racing HD owners out there who will soon be able to take on other human competitors in the hopes of being crowned king (or queen) of the raceway. We’d throw in a “Gentlemen, start your engines” joke at this point but it just feels forced, so instead we’ll simply say have fun with this new mode.