iOS Game Center to go cross-platform

Mac OS X will support Apple's gaming social network with the release of 10.8 Mountain Lion, a paid update that will be released in summer. Like Game Center on iOS, which was launched in 2010, its Mac incarnation will include support for achievements, scoreboards, online play, game invites and matchmaking, and add cross-platform play and in-game voice chat.

Mountain Lion follows the release of Lion in July 2011 and brings many iOS features closer to Apple's Mac OS. Accordingly, Game Center will allow interoperability between games for iOS and for Mac. Apple claims that Game Center boasts 100 million registered users, and that the App Store features over 20,000 Game Center-enabled games.

This means that it'll be possible for play between Macs and iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, presenting a challenge for game designers to marry mouse-based and touch-based play, but one that would reap massive reward. Apple demoed a racing game being played across iPhone to Mac which reportedly "works very well". Odds that Firemint's Real Racing series will be one of Mac Game Center's first exemplars seem, to us, high.

Mac developers will have access to a developer build of the new OS from today, allowing them to update games and apps to take advantage of its new features.

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