iPhone -- the Hottest Gaming Platform on Earth?

iPhone SDK: Hardcore Gaming

According to Business Insider, just 1 year later, Apple's iTunes App Store has made the iPhone the hottest gaming platform on earth:

Apple became not only the hottest mobile platform in the world -- which around 15,000 developers have made software for, and all of its major rivals have tried to replicate -- but arguably the hottest gaming platform in the world. No other platform has had such a rush of developer and consumer interest in the last year.

BI highlight big name developers like EA, Sega, and Gameloft jumping into the iPhone, but also great new studios forming around it like ngmoco. And with iPhone 3.0 and its 1000 new APIs like P2P gaming and in-app purchases, they suggest we might not have seen anything yet...

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

iPhone -- the Hottest Gaming Platform on Earth?


I hope you aren't serious. As far as gaming I'd take my DS over anything available on the Iphone. The Iphone is what it is a great phone but it isn't the best mobile gaming device, PMP, nor is the best Pda or GPS...it is a great phone.
If the Iphone were to get dedicated controls then it would be in prime position to compete but I hope it keeps gaming as a secondary feature. I honestly don't want the Iphone to become a mobile gaming device like a DS or a PSP.

I can be a witness to this story. I used to have a psp. But I forgot about it. Simple story: iPhone won.
Apple's buisness model of selling the hardware for a standard profit ratio and developers selling the games for less than 9.99 is what's hot and an easier sell.
Sony and Nintendo sell their hardware for next to no profit however the games are way more expensive coming at a price of around $30-40 ( for a handheld mind you) is not hot. Could you imagine that price in the app store???? Lol

I know my DS is a superior mobile gaming device but I haven't touched it since I've owned an iPhone...almost 1 year now. Just because a technology is superior or better doesn't mean it will win out.
I love my DS but buying games for the iPhone is so much easier with iTunes than having to go to an actual store or wait on a mail order.
Push comes to shove, convenience will win out (almost) every single time.

Same. Even though I absolutely LOVED my DS games and I thought the DS was awesome, I sold it for $40 (the hinge was busted) and just got an emulator on my computer LOL..

Ok, so the pattern developing here is that as a platform the iPhone pretty much is a dud, but because its easy to buy the games it wins.
And buying the games is important both to the sellers (and apple) but also to the players who become tired of them quickly and buy another one, because its so easy.
The real story here is not that th iPhone is a good gaming platform.
The real story is that the App store is a better Game delivery platform.

I sold my DS when I bought my iPhone.
This has all happened in 1 year.
Nintendo has been making hand held gaming devices for 20 years.
IN 1 year iPhone as changed the game.
The games are only going to get better.

@icebike absolutely the truth, honestly how many games on the iPhone are more than just a waste of time

iPhone games are handier to be sure (not that I play them very often). I have a DS but I only take it with me on extended road trips. However, I do not see the iPhone as its replacement by any means. You can't compare Peggle (as fun as it is), Monopoly or Star Defense to something as immersive as Zelda and Mario on the DS or GTA and Metal Gear Solid on the PSP. There is no comparison there, that's why DS games cost so much more (plus they factor in packaging and shipping of their products). PSP Go essentially opens up full-fledged handheld titles with an OTA method of downloading them. Not that I'm going to buy one, but the titles on a platform like that are miles ahead of iPhone games for the sheer fact that game-specific developers are behind the platform and physical controls enable the user to play without looking down at the buttons or relying solely on the accelerometer for control.

As a mobile phone nut, I must say it is very impressive. I've got a N97 and a 3gs and I've been going back and fourth. Personally I love Windows Mobile and Symbian both, but the App Store is amazing and I love the games like Brothers in Arms, Metal Gear, Apple Holdem and the graphics and quality of play kills other mobile platforms out there now.
Choices are good!

And I'm just talking about mobile phones not psp or DS. These are better when it comes to gameplay (buttons are nice...) but hell the iPhone is always with me. That's the difference for me. It's there when I have a few min or just want a break.

The iPhone is a piping hot device. Because of this it is drawing alot of interest away from proven gaming platforms like the DS and PSP. The iPhone is a device that have with you all the time, so the chances of you purchasing a game is alot higher than gaming devices. So if you have a great game like Peggle, and you can sell it at .99 cents, and sell it by the millions, you can generate enough $ to make another game very quickly and repeat your success. The scaleabilty of the iPhone platform is the key here.

I'm in there with the other PSP posts. I have a PSP but, it sits in a drawer at home and is seldom played. The iPhone is with me all day. When I'm stuck waiting, I can fire up any game from my entire collection.
With a PSP, thanks to the UMD format, I'm forced to carry a PSP-sized case that holds only 8 games. I also have a DS but, it suffers the same fate as the PSP.
The new PSP might change the number of games one can carry but, it's still a one trick pony (Skype, PSP browser, and Internet Radio don't make up for a full PDA).
Why carry two or three (phone, pda, and game system) devices?
The PSP never adopted dual analog joysticks so it never became as enjoyable as a true console. If I'm going to deal with clumsy controls, I'll stick with the iPhone's virtual options.

I don't own a handheld gaming device. I'm not really a gamer at all. But I do have several free games that I enjoy wasting time with during down time at work, or while sitting in a waiting room somewhere.
The thing that makes the iPhone great is that it adequately replaces multiple single function devices. It is unlikely that any one device that has so many functions will ever truly out perform a high end device dedicated for just that purpose. So it isn't likely to ever replace a true gamer's handheld, a hacker's computer, or an outdoorsman's GPS device. But the fact that it performs all of those functions adequately for a layperson is what makes it the most popular device on the market.
Trying to say it is better than a DS or a PSP is probably untrue... but if I owned one, I doubt I'd always have it my pocket when a had 10 minutes to kill, nor would I be able to surf the web with such a device if I got bored with playing games.

@evilhomer. I don't see how his statement is trolling, though.
I think when you look at the quality of games on both, you'd have to agree that DS/PSP have the more engaging ones. iPhone games are fun, but none have yet engaged me with a story that has made me cry, or one where I am terrified of for my main character. The only difference is that which Icebike pointed out

Nah I Have to say psp is the best handheld and ps3 is the best console... Http://EgrahamiPhoneSolutions.co.uk

I'm pretty sure the title said the Iphone is the hottest platform it doesn't say it's the best. In the past year the devs have flocked to make apps for the iPhone reagardless if it doesn't have comprable gameplay to the psp or DS it's still the hottest. I'm not a gamer but I can read the title. iPhone platform is Hot right now!

I agree with the comments saying iPhone games kinda suck, but convinience is it's biggest strength!

Completely agree with frog.
If I was a little kid, I would carry a DS/PSP with me.
Well I don't have either one but I would never be caught dead carrying one and whipping it out in the public. iPhone on the other hand it generates interest from people but it's good attention.

@icebike: Nice screenshot from a totally dud platform. That's the way you put it right? You are still a Troll and you don't get that I was speaking figuratively about being a BB user. You are always knocking the iPhone so why carry one? Get a BB or some other dud OS device.
The most expensive game I've seen for the iPhone is $10. Most games for the DS and PSP are 3X or more as expensive. Many of the games that are a "waste of time" cost less than a bottle of water and time wasters are the point. The iPhone gaming platform is getting better all the time.
You are entitled to your opinions but when I read your posts, you are usually complaining about the iPhone or Apple. That makes me believe you are pretty much just a troll.
If you are going to state the iPhone platform is a dud, why not move on to something else?

Are people forgetting it costs money to use an iPhone? If you use the phone without a data plan it's no better than a itouch. The app store's delivery of content like icebike said is great but the device itself isn't a great mobile gaming platform.

@Stervegas: Good point. I'm not sure why people come here and look for reasons to knock the iphone.
@Chris: If you handheld games are scaring you and making you cry, I suggest going back to your Tickle Me Elmo. Seriously, are you 9 years old???

@ truth's comments
you don't have to be the best at anything to be crowned "the best". That sounds silly but you only have to chosen more. Sales will crown the best, the iPhone is a gloried "itouch". You are right but millions have a true "need" for a smartphone. So they pickup the iPhone. Which. Oh by the way, gets you where you need to go with turn by turn directions. It is an "iPod touch" because it serves up media like any other player. Back to the gaming topic it will let you play almost any game imaginable and growing. To the hardcore gamer(the 1080p game with out of your mind storyboard, running at 36+fps) maybe the iPhone is not the king gaming platform. But they aren't maketing to this gaming demographic..yet. They are marketing to the entire middle to upper class. From soccer moms->>>>to the business professionals. From the 18 year olds with a job and a humble flat-->> to the 13-14 year old silver spoons that have had PDA/smartphones since there first one. When you ad this demographic in the iPhone is the hottest gaming platform on earth.

Anything beyond casual games like bejeweled, poker, etc aren't worth playing on an iphone or other portable.

Casual games are just that....games. And they are to be considered when talking about a GAMING platform.

Sorry. iPhone gaming cannot hold a candle to Xbox, PS3, or even Wii. I mean, come on. You're trying to sell that playing little game applets on a 3" screen is somehow going to be better than playing any reasonably popular console game? Not even convenient access to games tops the total gaming experience on any of the mainstream consoles. I understand the motivation for the claim, but let's not lose all objectivity here.

Seriously?! Obviously you have never played Silent Hill or Breath of Fire IV where (spoiler alert) where Cray kills his love to end her misery...
That it is bad that someone allows their emotions to be tapped into by a storytelling medium says something of our society D:

To be fair, Real Racing is a better racing game than anything available on my current generation home console (Wii)

The iPhone can be a great gaming device. It's just that no great sports games have been released yet. I'm really hoping madden is going to come out for the iPhone

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