iPhone Gaming Giving Consoles Some Stiff Competition
The games of the iPhone have come a long way since the casual gaming experiences of Angry Birds, and now the handheld devices are actually giving the big three (Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft) a real run for their money. A combination of developers making good use of the technology, overall cost and the convenience of a download are all responsible for this, but to understand how an iPhone could stand to take down any of the big three consoles requires a little more exploration.
We’ll start with the developers. Back in the early days of the iPhone’s life, there really were not a whole lot of games. What was available could be considered “casual gaming.” What this means is that the games were simple, lacking tremendous depth but still being addicting enough to keep people coming back. Developers, at the time, really had no idea what they were working with in terms of the hardware, but managed to snag the casual gamers early on so that, by the time they go their act together, they already had a large, teeming audience.
Next came the cost. Smaller teams of developers were used to create these games which offset the production costs and allowed Apple to sell their games for as little as two bucks – sometimes even free. When developers started crafting more complex games with better graphics and gameplay, they started exploring other options like “pay as you go” plans. In the end, what you had were console-quality games that were available at a fraction of the cost of games you could actually buy on consoles. Instead of paying $60 for a game on the PS3, you could purchase 10 or 12 decent games on your iPhone.
But probably the biggest thing the iPhone had going for it when it came to games was portability. If you were home, all you needed was a good HughesNet Internet connection to download some truly enormous games in a matter of minutes. Sure, Nintendo had a DS and Sony had the PSP, but none of those had 3G or allowed the user to download new games on the move.
When you look at all the things it has going for it, is it really any surprise that the iPhone is giving the other consoles such a scare? As triple-A consoles and titles get more advanced, they are costing more. And yet console-quality entertainment on the iPhone remains cheap, sophisticated and easily accessible.