For the last few days, I've been playing one game on the iPhone. Cube Runner. Nothing intricate about the game. with your ship in a 3D environment, you're moving forward trying to dodge, that's right, cubes. Easy. Zero learn curve. The graphic is as spartan as it get. But extremely addictive.
For folks like myself, casual gamers, smartphone based games can offer fun in short busts. For any developers out there consider getting into the market, 2009 could be a great time to do it. Wireless networks primed to be opened up and gamers may be able to download games without having to get the approval of wireless providers.
This will become easier once platforms like Windows Mobile and Android sets up shop with their own download store. One glanced at the iTunes' popular download list is proof enough that if there is a great delivery system, users will swarm towards it. Currently games occupy eleven of the top twenty paid downloads.
For dedicated gaming platforms like the PSP and Nintendo DS, no one should be surprised to see gaming stores of their own for online downloads. Whether the game is as simple as Cube Runner (free but I would have easily paid $5 for it) or Mario Kart, easy access can mean a lot more sales.
Folks can forget about trying to predict which game system will dominate and whether what the market share is going to look like 5 years from now. It will not be a while until the portable gaming systems, DS and PSP, will merge with the smartphone gaming market.
Impact: Developers can know with certainly that the doors to these mobile devices have opened or will open up soon. For gamers, choices and great prices. So, enjoy and let the hardware companies court you better systems and pricing.
Note: Gizmodo reported Sega (developer of Super Monkey Ball for the iPhone) claimed iPhone is Dreamcast. Not to bad. Yup, 2009 will be a great year for mobile warriors/gamers.