iPhone Gaming: App Store Is The Secret Ingredient

When I first started playing games in the iPod nano, I thought, "okay, it could be sort of fun.  From time to time.  Waiting in line like I'm doing now".

But a lot has changed for Apple's gaming plan.  The realization that gaming could be a killer function for Apple's mobile platform was likely surprise and have been in development for a long time.  As with anything Apple does, the planning was very deliberate.

In the past, I've outlined how gaming on the iPhone was not ready.  By that, I mean to become a serious gaming platform to compete with Nintendo's DS and Sony's PSP.

Here are a couple of new features or efforts I think the iPod Touch would need to compete:
  • Camera - Nintendo's new DSi with its double cameras open up new possibilities as far as caming goes.  Not only that, new ways to communicate with other gamers for online games.
  • I'm not sure Apple will let buttons get onto the iPhone or the iPod.  I don't see it happening.  But someone needs to come up with a better scheme for interactive gaming with the speedometer and the touches.  Let's just say at times, it's not ideal in some gaming situations.
  • Parity.  Games on the iPhone needs to have the same depth as its mobile competitors.  Think of 
  • More first tier games.  I'm not talking casual games from THQ or EA.  I'm talking about iPhone ports of games that are also on the DS or PSP.  
  • More sports games.  
I've also indicated a lot of big gaming studios are probably on the sidelines waiting to see how big of a gaming push will the iPhone/iPod Touch platform be.  If anything, the only thing that is likely hold them back is Apple's track record in the past on gaming.  I think Apple should, if they haven't already, create a team that is dedicated to helping developers with games.  
Already, I think we can conservatively say there are about twenty to twenty five million iPhone or iPod Touches in the market.   Perhaps even as high as forty million by the end of 2008.  Now is the time to bring Sims, Animal Crossing, more Sega, and Madden to the App Store.

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