Jobs Speaks! Joz Speaks! iPhone and iPod Touch to Bring the Game!

Apple's CEO, Steve Jobs, is quoted in the WSJ as being bullish on iPhone and iPod Touch gaming:

"I think the iPhone and iPod touch may emerge as really viable devices in the mobile games market this holiday season."

His VP of iPhone and iPod marketing, Greg "Joz" Joswiak, meanwhile, spoke with T3 recently about his views on the iPhone and iPod Touch in the gaming space, wrapping up strongly with:

"if you squint your eyes you can see a future where you say it’s amazing the things you’ll see as far as gameplay, and we know from working with these developers and the things they tell us they’re working on, especially original content ideas, I think they’re going to blow everyone away. Because again the computer power and the 3D graphic power here [iPod Touch] is significantly greater than what you have here [picks up Nintendo DS]. So this allows people to do significantly higher quality games. And the Touch is always in your pocket, whereas you can’t always carry some other games consoles."

So while cut and paste and turn-by-turn may still be complicated, Apple may actually be putting some muscle behind gaming this time -- something they've never historically done well on the Mac.

Still at issue, however, is whether low price points and an unwillingness among some consumers to pay for premium apps will drive the bigger developers away (thanks Julien for the tip!). Dieter and I would happily pay $20 for Jobs of War or Grand Theft Auto: Cupertino Vice, but with people complaining about $1.99 puzzlers, we may never see the Mario or Halo of the iPhone. (You get what you pay for is a cliche for a reason?)

What do you think? Does iPhone gaming have a bright future? Would you pay for premium play? And are you ready to ditch your Nintendo DS or Sony PSP yet?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

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

Jobs Speaks! Joz Speaks! iPhone and iPod Touch to Bring the Game!


I think the biggest complaints about a $1.99 puzzler are that more times than not, the puzzler is simply a variant of an existing game. It doesn't really add anything new.
I will gladly play $1.99, $4.99, $9.99 (or even $19.99?) for a game that clearly has the time and effort put into it. Creating a version of tetris or bejeweled and selling it for $2.99 doesn't meet that criteria.

To me the biggest drawback is the lack of physical buttons. Some games like FPS need them. Can you imagine trying to play Socom or Gears of War on the iPhone?? I have an iPhone, but I'm getting either a DS Lite or PSP this Christmas for travel gaming.

I've got a few premium games on my iPhone that are really good but I've also paid around $10 for some games that are pretty poor. I'm sure there are people out there like me who'd be happy to pay $10+ for quality games. Even at that price, they're still cheaper than games for the DS.

i bought the iphone to be a communication device not a damn game console. Bring the turn by turn, copy/paste, push notification first and then worry about the stupid games, im starting to thinl this phone is for little kids, time to go back to bb? Seriously if i wanted handheld gaming id just buy a psp that has physical buttons

yeah if they want it to be a game machine then they need to sell an add on that has buttons because playing games with tilt sucks

I'm not into gaming at all so I'm kind of "meh" on the subject of the iPhone competing in in the mobile video gaming world. Would it be cool to see PSP-caliber level games on the iPhone? Sure, I guess, but should this really be the top priority area for Apple?
Let me put it this way: if the iPhone's Safari browser was actually STABLE, and the iPhone wasn't missing some essential features already seen on other smartphones, then I'd say to for it. Video games would be icing on the cake. But if NOT, shouldn't Apple worry more about the basic smartphone feature first? In other words, get the basics down FIRST before trying to branch out into a whole other world of competition. I love the iphone and can't survive a day without it but IMHO, there's still PLENTY of room for improvement. Maybe with the upcoming success of the BB Storm, along with the HTC products, the growing Android army...maybe Jobs will be reminded of who his competition is supposed to be (ie: RIM, not Nintendo). Get the basics of the iPhone first, Steve. Worry about the games later. IMHO. :)

I agree with Chris, if the game obviously show quality, then I am will ing to pay the $19.99.
I was surprised by the graphics in Guitar Rock Tour ($9.99). So it's possible to make a good app on the iPhone, I sure hope it's nothing like the original PC game using God-mode and what not...

I stopped playing games when I was 9 years-old (I was more interested in girls). I wouldn't recognize a PSP or Nintendo if one were placed on my lap.
I'm a grown man who bought a "communications device," not a child's toy.

I think apple just needs to worry about the phone features for right now. Once they have "perfected" the iPhone then they can do more things with the technology such as better apps and better graphics.... I have nothing but free games on my itouch because some of the games in that damn app store is garbage, and I'm definately not about to pay 7 dollars for pacman when I can play the damn game at an arcade for 50 cent! They need to rethink some of the prices on some of the games in the app store too cause it'd getting ridicoulous foreal!