Is iPhone The New Gaming Platform?

26 thoughts on “Is iPhone The New Gaming Platform?”

  1. As a gamer, I don’t see the iphone as a gaming platform. It’s very limited, the controls for most games depend on tilting the thing, which is really ineffective and imprecise.

    At most, it will become the best cellphone for casual gamers, but the “hardcore” still would prefer a PSP, or a DS (depending on genre preferences) for their needs.

    The whole iPhone fad and such is making people talk about it as if it was the one gadget to rule them all: PDA, Phone, Mobile Internet Browser, Digital Media Player, etc… But it’s not the best at all (or any) of them… It’s just has all of them in one package.

    It’s not the best PDA, not the best phone and not the best audio player because of lack of essential features… As well, it will not be a gaming platform to be taken seriously imo.

    But then again, it wasn’t meant to be the best at any of those things. And its versatility/style is what sells.

  2. Ben, the iPhone is the best browsing experience. And I disagree, the i{hone may be top Mobile Internet Browser, Digital Media Player, gaming… for MOBILE. Don’t forget, we’re talking in the mobile domain.

  3. @ben; The iPhone is hardly limited to accelerometer only games, that’s just what most of the games made so far are utlitizing, much like Wii games tend to utilize the motion sensors over the normal buttons-only approach. It can be very much the same with the DS… and as far as precision goes, the accelerometer is actually quite responsive in the games i’ve played. Another thing going for Apple is the fact the iPhone has a rumble pak basically, which could make for soem awesome FPS games.

    @michaelportent; It’s possible that the game development might not be relegated to casual gamers. I’m curious to see how Bioshock works out, that might end up being what helps to decide how feasible the iPhone is for serious gaming. What people are failing to factor in is that the SDK is free, making it quite a bit easier to obtain than the dev kits for the other two handhelds.

  4. iPhone is a great platform for a certain type of casual game, but to say that it will kill the DS seems a bit of a stretch.

    Without a stylus, control buttons, voice activation there are a lot of games that would be much harder to do well.. eg- Nintendogs, Brain Training, Ninja Gaiden.

    @Dan, I tried a couple of FPS on the first gen jail-broken iPhone and found them near impossible to control. As a proof of concept great, but as a workable game..not really. Any new ones that have managed to solve this problem?

  5. Where Apple have been smart is in how people can buy games. Mobile games to date have been most successful on platforms like BREW where it’s easy to buy and install a game. On Java, it’s a pain, and on Symbian it usually involves downloading to a PC first. Both put off buyers and lead to unfinished transactions. Because it’s so easy to get games for the iPhone and because development is a breeze compared to other platforms, I can see a lot of games appearing. Whether it’s good business or not is another matter.

    Even though the iPhone ships in millions, it’s still small beer compared to the billion other handsets that ship each year, so will it provide a big enough ecosystem for many players? It’s pretty tough making money from mobile games, so although the hit rate is good at the moment on the iPhone, is this just new device euphoria where people buy a new game to go with their phone, or will it maintain momentum and provide a fertile enough ground for the bug guys to get a decent return?

    Also, the price you can charge for a game depends on the public perception of the platform. The iPhone is a phone, so people don’t expect to pay more than a few dollars for a game, or probably expect it to be free. The DS and PSP are dedicated game devices, so gamers expect to pay a lot more. So, whilst we might see a ton of games arriving and being installed, whether that equates to a longer term good platform for monetizing game IP is another matter.

    The big impact as far as I can see is that other manufacturers will start to include 3D in higher end phones more often. As a longer terms speculation, we might even see ARM, who supply the processor design, will emulate what Intel did on the PC and just bundle in graphics, making it a commodity, not a special feature.

  6. Maybe it has a chance of meeting the hype within the phone realm for game sales but I can’t see it reaching anything near the 20 million sales of the DS (US since launch). Why? I’m not sure 12 year olds and iPhones are exactly in competition nor will they want to pay up for another rush back the 8 bit console age to play the “latest” thing that’s their parents grew up with. Every two months the subscription to the iPhone would pay for a new DS or several games to keep one going. Then there’s the power issues which alone should kill off the Iphone as a serious flight/ road trip candidate. ( sans a mess of adapters)

    Really seems like a case of comparing Apples to … 🙂

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