With the iPhone being marketed as the next-generation communications device, many people have yet to see it as a gaming platform – but all that will change with the release of the iPhone 3G and 2.0 software upgrade.
The iPhone 3G has all the hardware it needs to be a successful gaming platform. It has a powerful operating system backed up by a beefy processor. A [url=http://www.apple.com/sg/iphone/features/multitouch.html]touch-screen[/url] interface and [url=http://www.apple.com/sg/iphone/features/accelerometer.html]motion sensing[/url] capabilities bring unique and user-friendly input functions that are both easy to pick up and fun to use. A [url=http://www.apple.com/sg/iphone/features/gps.html]GPS[/url] receiver allows games to be location aware, while [url=http://www.apple.com/sg/iphone/features/wireless.html]3G and Wifi[/url] connectivity should allow multiplayer and fast content delivery.
Additionally, the [url=http://www.apple.com/sg/iphone/features/appstore.html]iTunes App Store[/url] will allow users to seamlessly browse, pay for, download and install applications and games directly from their iPhones, or through iTunes on their desktop. This removes much of the hassle required on other handsets, where you have to find games from a myriad number of websites, download it to your desktop and then copy it over to the phone.
On developers’ end, low software development and distribution cost (or none at all for freeware) look set to ensure that there will be a steady flow of games.
Several big-name developers have already seen the potential and have readied games for distribution once the iTunes App Store goes live. One of them is Sega, who showcased [url=http://youtube.com/watch?v=-qzUtMUXTBM]Super Monkey Ball[/url] at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference on Monday. Electronic Arts also demoed an iPhone port of [url=http://youtube.com/watch?v=u5xA8-XvjNk]Spore[/url] in March.
Even smaller developers have managed to ready games for commercial release in the short 3 months since the iPhone 2.0 SDK beta was released. Demiforce’s [url=http://toucharcade.com/2008/04/17/trism-a-puzzler-fully-exploiting-iphone-controls/]Trism[/url], which uses the inbuilt accelerometer in a clever twist to bring more depth into the classic puzzle game, will be available from iTunes App Store at launch.
The price for these games? [url=http://toucharcade.com/2008/06/09/iphone-and-ipod-touch-game-pricing-settling-at-999/]Between US$4.99 and US$9.99[/url] (S$7 to S$14) – competitive when compared to mobile games offerings, and very attractive compared to portable consoles such as the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP.
Much like how the iPod shook up the digital music retail industry in the past, we can expect to see the iPhone changing the face of gaming on mobile phones – and maybe even portable consoles.