Launch pad for casual gaming – and more

The iPad is bedding in nicely and before the iPhone 4 arrives to steal some of its thunder, it’s time to take a look at someof the titles making it a must-have for gamers with deep pockets. Three broad trends are emerging. The first is iPhone games that have been tricked out for the iPad – think the excellent revamps of ‘Plants vs. Zombies’ (above, left) and ‘Flight Control HD’ (above, right). Then there are big-name console titles making the jump. ‘Mirror’s Edge’, (top, left) has had a new lease of life on the ‘Pad and other impressive IP’s look set to swiftly follow. The final category sees developers making unique games that use the gadget’s innovative features. Two that have been eating up my free time are ‘Pad Racer’, where you can use two iPads side-by-side to play on a bigger screen and ‘MarbleRacer’ (top, right) that can be played with up to four players – showing that the device is opening up multiplaying in away the iPhone couldn’t. Exciting times.

Sesame Street gives Wiimotes a new look

As consoles go, the Wii is pretty cute – it’s a dinky white box with simple controllers. But Nintendo’s entertainment machine is about to get a lot more loveable, thanks to these cuddly Wiimote covers (right). Designed to cover up unnecessary buttons to make gaming simpler for little ones (although I’ve yet to meet a three-year-old who can’t work a Wii), they’ll be bundled with two ‘Sesame Street’ titles that will go on sale in autumn. Furry good fun for all the family.

Run for the hills – it’s X Factor, the game

Think you’ve got the talent needed to wow Simon Cowell? Well, now you can prove it, without having to leave your living room. Games companyDeep Silver has just announced that it will be releasing a virtual version of ‘X Factor’ for the PS3, Wii and Xbox360later this year. As well as warbling in front of stony-faced judges, players will get the chance to perfect their pitch in a boot camp mode as well as visiting their mentor’s abodes. You might want to warn the neighbours now...