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Saturday, March 26, 2011, 02:00 pm PT (05:00 pm ET)

iPad 2 sneaks closer to console gaming with 1080p Real Racing 2 HDTV output

Apple's iPad has expanded upon the casual gaming beachhead the company first discovered to be a popular role for its iPod touch. Now, developers are working to deliver titles that combine motion-based play with 1080p HDTV output.

Australian developer Firemint has announced it will be supporting 1080p direct HDTV output from its Real Racing 2 HD title on iPad 2.

Unlike Apple's standard video mirroring mode, which can display any iPad 2 game or other app on a big screen, the new title will provide full resolution output without the black letterboxing bands or need for resolution scaling.

The developer says it's the first iOS app for iPad 2 to take advantage of custom 1080p video output, and can use an external HDTV display to show the main action of the racing game while the iPad 2 itself depicts a map of the racetrack.

Users play using the iPad as a controller, making use of its multitouch screen and motion controls, as iPad 2 now includes both accelerometer and gyroscope sensors.

New HDMI and existing VGA output adapters for iPad enable games to leap from the tablet to an external display for a console-like gaming experience, further entrenching Apple into a market it has long ignored.

This winter, the developer of World of Goo reported that its iPad launch exceeded its previous sales and revenue records for both Nintendo WiiWare and Steam desktop gaming, as well as the indie markets for Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade and Sony's PS3 PlayStation Network, establishing new legitimacy for Apple's iOS as a significant gaming platform.