Images 2007 08 Duckhunt

What does the iPhone lack? Besides the obvious -- 3G, Office Doc editing, the ability to actually make julienne fries -- what the iPhone lacks is games. Real, on-board games. Some of this pain is mitigated by the fact that you can get web-based games (including some great iPhone games by our very own forum member cmaier). Still, though, do you know what the most popular video game on the planet is?

Solitaire. Because it's built into Windows.

So getting native games on the iPhone is a Big Deal because people are much more likely to form an affinity with a device if they can play a game or two on it. I speak from experience -- the most painful part of leaving the PalmOS for me is still the fact that I can't find a crossword application as good as stand alone's. Add the love for the iPhone to love for a device with games and you'll start seeing people getting buried with these little guys.

...All of which is to say that seeing that Apple is extending their trademark to include handheld gaming strikes me as a good sign. Sure, as MacRumors points out, this doesn't mean much -- Apple's been making games for the iPod Classic for awhile now. Still, though, we need games, Apple, please please release a couple when you announce the SDK. Or announce that partnership with EA that we've been hoping for.

Coda: Another reason we need native games (to say nothing of apps): stuff on the web disappears. For example, I just realized that Duck Hunt has shuffled off this series of tubes mortal coil.