updated 01:45 pm EST, Wed December 21, 2011
PlayBook gaming dilemma shown through Rovio launch
RIM saw its problems in the tablet arena emblematized Wednesday after Rovio released a version of Angry Birds for the BlackBerry PlayBook. The releases of the regular, Rio, and Seasons versions comes two years after the iOS version showed and is significantly more expensive than the iPad app, at $5 versus $2 on Apple's tablet. They have the same features as the earlier releases.
The company has had a difficult time attracting developers to the platform as a whole due to its low sales, but it also hurt its own chances through its developer strategy. RIM released its native app SDK only in October, leaving most game developers without a way to bring over apps that need the same hardware access that Android and iOS apps already have. Most PlayBook games are either simpler 2D titles or came through privileged early access, such as EA games like Dead Space or Need For Speed that themselves are ports of earlier titles.
Its arrival is still a consolation for RIM, which won't have native e-mail until February. The PlayBook was launched in the April with early ambitions of becoming the iPad's main rival, but the decision to ship with unfinished software and to price its seven-inch tablet as high as Apple's 9.7-inch iPad 2 left it with steadily declining sales that led to emergency price cuts to clear stock.