iPhone OS 3.0: What it Means for Gamers
TiPb has been following the iPhone and gaming for quite some time now. Now that the iPhone OS 3.0 announcement has come and gone, we've learned that there are 1000 new API's for developers in the SDK. This will not only help developers make better games but it also shows Apple is deadly serious about making the iPhone a true competitor to Nintendo and Sony within the handheld market. What a bright future there seems to be for iPhone gamers.
More after the break!
Apple's ace in the hole has been the App Store since the day iPhone OS 2.0 was announced. This year, the App Store will be available in 77 countries around the world. The App Store is like having a mobile version of Gamestop built into your phone, which is something the likes of RIM, Microsoft, or Google cannot compete with (though they've all released, or will soon be releasing versions of their own).
With iPhone 3.0, however, Apple is again raising the bar. In-app purchases will allow you to get even more out of a game for additional fees. Say you’re playing a First Person Shooter (FPS), you can pay an additional $0.99 for example to gain access to a better gun, stronger armor for your character, or $4.99 for an expansion pack with new maps/levels. Or how about in-app purchases with the upcoming Electronic Arts game, The Sims 3. Want to buy a radio for you house? Not a problem, you can make these purchases right in the game. Now something to keep in mind, these additional items that you can purchase must have some sort of game changing ability for them to charge you. An item that would not change game play can not be sold to you. The possibilities, however, are endless.
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) connectivity is also a huge plus when it comes to gaming and handheld devices. It is something that will be key to Apple's success in the handheld wars. What this will allow gamers to do is to play multi-player games and share information using Bonjour and Bluetooth. All of this can be done with no pairing needed what so ever. Pretty sweet deal if you ask us.
For a perfect example of what to expect from Peer-to-Peer connectivity be sure to check out the iPhone OS 3.0 announcement and head to the 54:00 minute mark to view a impressive look at a First Person Shooter called Live Fire. This game not only utilizes Peer-to-Peer but the push notification feature as well. How would a First Person Shooter use that feature you ask? It's pretty simple, say you want to play with a friend of yours who has Live Fire on their iPhone. While you are playing simply send your friend an invite that gets pushed directly on their iPhone. They can choose to accept the invite or ignore it. Pretty nifty indeed. Will it be long before we have a friends list similar to that of Xbox Live?
It really is a pleasure to be able to watch something like this be built from the ground up. Apple really is doing a nice job at turning the iPhone into a portable gaming device. Some will say it is limited in terms of controls with games, which at the moment may be true. The platform is so new and developers have not even begun to scratch the surface. Until that happens we have yet to see exactly what is possible.
That's not to say there isn't any room for improvement, however. Instead of screen shots we'd still like to see streaming video previews for games. It'd be nice to be able to see a game in action right on your device within the App Store before you make your purchase.
Still, if there is a single company out there that you do not want to bet against, Apple is the one.