If at any point today you find yourself playing a favorite handheld game, you have one of the greatest creators of our time to thank. Steve Jobs will no doubt be remembered for his contributions to Apple and Pixar, his creative mind and simplistically brilliant approach to design. One of his biggest impacts was left upon the world of gaming; an impact that was a footnote on the book of innovations that Jobs has left us.
During Jobs’ first stint at Apple, as the head of the company and as a creator, he brought us the Apple II. Many may remember plugging in large floppy disks into an Apple II to play some of their favorite games. The home computer was a force in the gaming world, sporting a color-capable monitor and an 8-bit processor. While it may not have been Jobs’ intention to create one of the first major gaming platforms, his computer proved to serve as just that.
Upon Jobs’ return to Apple in 1998, he brought an entirely new approach to product development. From it came some of the biggest innovations in technology, and rolled them out in less than a decade. The iPod, iTunes, OS X, iOS, iPhone, and iPad all changed their respective fields and set the bar for all competitors. The lasting effect of these products come from the doors of creation that they hold open. The prominence of the capacitive touch screen and the easy acces to development tools for the iOS operating system have allowed the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad to become a legitimate gaming platform. Thanks to Jobs’ insistence on creativity and sleek, straightforward design, Apple now plays host to some of the biggest franchises in gaming, and many popular games are happy to call Apple products their home.
While most don’t think of Apple as a company known for game support, the advances that the company and Steve Jobs have been behind have and continue to shape the world of gaming as we know it. As more and more gamers embrace iOS-run products as gaming platforms, and more developers see the promise of mobile gaming, remember that much of it is the product of one of the most brilliant minds of our and any generation. Steve Jobs set out to change the world. Gamers everywhere, consider yourselves blessed that his vision touched ours.