Apple just announced what’s the equivalent to a new gaming platform with potentially thousands of popular games at launch, and you probably didn’t even notice the news. It was just one part of this week's big unveiling of Mac OS 10.8, aka Mountain Lion. Among the features hogging the spotlight are the expansion of iCloud file support, full AirPlay mirroring (not just a few specific applications), Twitter integration, and iOS’ Messages, Reminders, Notes (no longer tucked away in Mail) and Notifications (goodbye, Growl) all being ported to the Mac. But what gamers should be most excited about is the addition of Game Center.
Game Center for Mac, like the iOS app, allows you to track your points, achievements, and leaderboard rank among Game Center-supported games. There’s also a tab at the top that includes game app recommendations, both free and paid. Word of mouth, however, is the best way to discover new games, and for that, Apple is including a “Friends” tab. Seeing which Game Center games your friends own is likely to encourage you to go to the App Store and download the same apps for cooperative and competitive play. There’s nothing more motivating than going to a friend’s profile and seeing a mutually owned game listed with the words “Ranked higher than me.”
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