iPhone gets into the Game
Forget the DS and don't bother taking your PSP. If Apple has its way, all you'll need is the iPhone.
Apple's iPhone just became more appealing, not just because it goes 3G July 11, but also because the company plans to roll out a dedicated Apps store that'll allow users to download and use all sorts of cool programs, most notably, video games. Although there aren't tons of cool games for it, at least not yet, its powerful technology and user friendly controls could make it a threat to the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP.
From what we've heard, over 70% of the apps will be free, with game publishers charging $.99 to $9.99. Ten bucks isn't bad, especially since Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo often charge the same price for their downloadable games. We'll gladly fork over the cash if it means we get to play Sega's fun looking Super Monkey Ball ($9.99). The iPhone version of the popular series not only runs in 3D, but also uses the phone's accelerometer, so you'll maneuver the game boards by tilting the phone. So long as it runs smoothly and doesn't have the annoying boss battles in Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz for Wii, we're sold.
In addition to Sega, Digital Legends (makers of the impressive N-Gage fighter, One) is also on board with development. Its upcoming action adventure game, Kroll, seems to have a God of War style flavor to it, and we look forward to killing its monsters and enjoying the attractive fantasy environments. When we're done slaughtering countless beasts, we'll take a drive in Pangea Software's caveman racer, Cro-Mag Rally, or test our skills in its puzzle game, Enigmo.
Despite these exciting announcements, keep in mind that the Super Monkey Ball franchise has gone downhill since the second game, and that Kroll isn't a lock simply because it looks good. For all we know, those monkeys could run horribly, but the potential for the iPhone as a games platform is huge. That said, we doubt it'll tear into Nintendo's market share, primarily because it would need mega exclusives to pull kids away from their new Pokemon DS games. It's Sony that should worry, since it touts its PSP as a movie, MP3 and games player, three features the iPhone already achieved. Again, however, Apple will never secure the next portable God of War or SOCOM.
Still, companies could make this system...err...phone an attractive platform for mature gamers desperate to escape Nintendogs and Super Princess Peach, and with some ingenuity, this could revolutionize the mobile gaming scene. Just imagine playing a driving game where you tilt the iPhone to steer your vehicle, or a first person shooter (similar to this version of Quake) that lets you blast opponents and race through maps by physically manipulating the device. If that's the future, then you can expect to see Activision on board with Call of Duty. We already know that Electronic Arts plans to bring its highly anticipated Spore to the device and it looks incredible.
Keep in mind, however, that this isn't a guaranteed money maker. Console manufacturers are always quick to point out the long list of developers creating games for their platform, and having them on board doesn't mean success (case in point, N-Gage). To be fair, iPhone is a hell of a lot better than N-Gage, and considering its popularity, we can't wait to see what the game industry comes up with.