A New Hope: How Apple Reformed the Mobile Games Industry

A New Hope: How Apple Reformed the Mobile Games Industry

This week's Pocket Gamer Report looks at how Apple singlehandedly accomplished what every other mobile platform developer before it could not: It made mobile gaming mainstream.

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Can we please get a note that in this case, mobile games = iPhone games? Handhelds like PSP and DS still have better games.

Abedeus:
Can we please get a note that in this case, mobile games = iPhone games? Handhelds like PSP and DS still have better games.

Yeah, I agree. Until recently, the words handheld and mobile were pretty much interchangable, considering no-one cared about "mobile" gaming. Hell, most people have probably never seen a N-Gage.

Nimbus:

Abedeus:
Can we please get a note that in this case, mobile games = iPhone games? Handhelds like PSP and DS still have better games.

Yeah, I agree. Until recently, the words handheld and mobile were pretty much interchangable, considering no-one cared about "mobile" gaming. Hell, most people have probably never seen a Neo Geo.

*Runs to Google*
I have now! :D

Cpt_Oblivious:

Nimbus:

Abedeus:
Can we please get a note that in this case, mobile games = iPhone games? Handhelds like PSP and DS still have better games.

Yeah, I agree. Until recently, the words handheld and mobile were pretty much interchangable, considering no-one cared about "mobile" gaming. Hell, most people have probably never seen a Neo Geo.

*Runs to Google*
I have now! :D

Uh, my bad. I meant N-Gage.

Nimbus:

Cpt_Oblivious:

Nimbus:

Abedeus:
Can we please get a note that in this case, mobile games = iPhone games? Handhelds like PSP and DS still have better games.

Yeah, I agree. Until recently, the words handheld and mobile were pretty much interchangable, considering no-one cared about "mobile" gaming. Hell, most people have probably never seen a Neo Geo.

*Runs to Google*
I have now! :D

Uh, my bad. I meant N-Gage.

My friend had one for a while.

eeh, most of the games on the mobile are still pretty gimmicky 5 minute time wasters, I still prefer to keep my DS with me, just because the quality of games is better, until games are at the level of that, I'm not really fussed, and I'm fine with Tetris.

Plus the controls irk me.

Most cellphones can handle at best Java games, which don't even come close to competing with actual handheld consoles. And now that Nintendo and Sony are finally getting into downloadable games, there's even more incentive to take your DS/PSP with you, seeing as you don't need to carry a bag of game discs/carts.

Abedeus:
Can we please get a note that in this case, mobile games = iPhone games? Handhelds like PSP and DS still have better games.

I think the best terminology split would be this:

Mobile gaming = phone-based apps
Portable gaming = dedicated handheld gaming devices

I'm pretty sure that if the iPhone can handle something like Myst it could handle something like Pokemon or the newer DS titles. It's a matter of time before really good iPhone games start coming out.

Nothing will ever replace the game-boy in my ignorant mind. It's like the ultimate bathroom reader, and the best distraction you'll ever have on a road trip, not to mention great for those meticulously long ceremonies involving loved ones/"important people". I don't have any games on my cell phone, and my iPod only has the three games that it came with, but the nostalgia that comes with seeing a good ol' fashioned game-boy is hard to come by with anything outside of a NES or possibly SNES. For that reason, I'll never betray my sweet, sweet, handheld.

I wouldn't say we have the iphone to thank exactly. I would say the coming of a uniform and basic open source(think little big planet) style of developer kits for the public and reputation of a what people like to call cult to thank.

Mobile games problems was that there were too many operating systems to develop a game for and usually the cell phone carrier was the person you had to go to in order to distribute the game. That was a very bad business model.

Enter apple and the iphone and you instantly have the "I have to have mac product" group which is a lot of people and it was the first HIGHLY marketed phone that promoted its own operating system. This was critical for mobile game development. Other OS already did exist but even those such as blackberry and symbian still had to have a cell phone carrier software such as AT&T or T-mobile. That essentially hindered the OS from being a stand alone like the iphone. Apple was in control and not the cell phone carrier.

It will expand and it does appear Sony is going to chase apple's style but Sony will find it is a losing battle if they change to have games more like the iphone and less like the older PSP models. Remember 16gigs isn't a lot of games that used to have a UMD format. I went to the PSN store with my 8gig pro duo card and I could fill that game with 4 games...that's it. Now imagine doubling that to 8 games on a PSP go. That makes me very underwhelmed because developers are now going to have to worry about how much memory their game takes on the PSP go and consumers will have problems deciding if downloading the game at all is worth it because the consumer would have to delete another game. I still think UMD had a good place for the handheld but didn't get the right marketing or support to advance the format for the handheld.

Honestly we have apple to thank and blame for a big change to the gaming industry. While the next generation who accepts digital downloads by force will like it, the older generation who is used to owning property will not like the format when companies go under and cannot actually have a record or copy of the game they enjoyed playing. Oddly enough this is the one part of being a consumer I like, knowing that you have an actual product you can show others and to be held in a museum.

I read the article and I'm not really sure what the iPhone has done. They've got games. So does the PSP and DS. Whats the point? That they're on a phone? Who... cares?

Tenmar:
It will expand and it does appear Sony is going to chase apple's style

I don't really understand.

Do you mean that I can play games I've downloaded from a store on my PSP? I've been able to do that for a long, long time.

The fact that all PSP games will now be sold on the PSN as well as in UMD format doesn't mean they are following the style ~ that's absurd. That would be like suggesting that the Wii is following style because you can download games and play it on the console.

Yes, thank the iPhone that everyone with AT&T's crap-ass mobile service can play games!

I have no clue how creating a tiny monopoly on mobile gaming just because you're trying to trick people into thinking your phone isn't a phone is going to work...oh right, it's apple, king of misdirected marketing.

Abedeus:
iPhone games

-projectile vomits-

AceDiamond:
Yes, thank the iPhone that everyone with AT&T's crap-ass mobile service can play games!

Also, look at MRI scans.

Seriously, I have so much loathe for Apple and their experimentation with iPhones. A phone should be a phone. A gaming system should be a gaming system. And MRI scan viewer should be an MRI scan viewer. I'm sick of this amalgamation of features into a ball of hideous shit.

hmm the ds is pretty popular

RAKtheUndead:
Oh wow! I can play either badly-designed games or games of limited long-term appeal on a device which is underdeveloped, overhyped and overrated beyond the point of any reason! Oh, and I can run my batteries flat in a few hours straight, necessitating a complete recharge because Apple arrogantly decided that people don't need to be able to change their batteries on their own!

If the iPhone actually does change the mobile games industry, it will be for the worse. It is poorly-designed anyway, and even worse for games than normal use.

Quick, name a cell phone that allows you to change batteries on the fly. Now name an mp3 player that allows you do that. EVERYBODY charges - mp3 players, cell phones, hand-held gaming since the GBA SP.

Also, a lot of the games are free. A lot of them are also crap, but the most you've lot is however long it took you to decide that it was crap. Also, mobile gaming (which we're defining as gaming for cell-phones, blackberrys, etc.) is designed to have limited long term appeal - they're supposed to be fun games that you can play for 10 minutes on the tram and then turn off, because your phone's primary function is, well, a phone.

And the App Store has definitely changed mobile gaming (again, as separate from handheld gaming), and definitely for the better. How? Updates, updates, updates. This is one of the big advantages mobile gaming has over every other gaming type - these days mobile devices are often or always connected to the internet, and the file size of the games are small to begin with, making what is essentially downloading a new copy of the game very quick and easy. Though not strictly a game, there's a drum kit app that I bought back in the first couple weeks of 2.0, and it's the most value I've ever gotten for #2.99, because the developer constantly updates it, making the controls better and adding new features. Since their continued revenue is dependent on people buying their games, and since people buy based on reviews, and since the first reviews listed on iTunes are of the newest version, the good developers are often fixing bugs, tweaking controls, and adding features.

Yes, there's a lot of crap on there, but that's what happens when you forego quality control in favor of letting everyone have a try at it. I don't see anyone decrying LittleBigPlanet because it allows anyone to create and make a level (well, except for Yahtzee), or Spore for the Sporepedia - in fact, those are the strengths and draws of the games, same as such a large selection of software is the strength and draw of the iPhone over other similar devices.

Zivlok:
Quick, name a cell phone that allows you to change batteries on the fly. Now name an mp3 player that allows you do that.

Nokia E71, and strictly speaking, because the E71 also has provisions for a music player, the answer to the second question is also the Nokia E71. Oh, and by the way, you can actually change the battery of the Nintendo DS. It's screwed in, so it's not a 30-second job, but it's less hermetically-sealed than a device which stuck the battery inside a shell, unlike almost every single mobile phone in existence.

Zivlok:
Also, a lot of the games are free. A lot of them are also crap, but the most you've lot is however long it took you to decide that it was crap. Also, mobile gaming (which we're defining as gaming for cell-phones, blackberrys, etc.) is designed to have limited long term appeal - they're supposed to be fun games that you can play for 10 minutes on the tram and then turn off, because your phone's primary function is, well, a phone.

Well, if you have an iPhone, I'd contend that it isn't particularly good as a phone, or anything apart from a music player. But I digress. My idea of a good mobile game would be one that you can play both on the move for short periods of time, and also that you could play for a while when waiting for the dentist or something. As I've seen it, the only mobile games I've seen that could do that have been the ones you play on emulators.

Zivlok:
Yes, there's a lot of crap on there, but that's what happens when you forego quality control in favor of letting everyone have a try at it. I don't see anyone decrying LittleBigPlanet because it allows anyone to create and make a level (well, except for Yahtzee), or Spore for the Sporepedia - in fact, those are the strengths and draws of the games, same as such a large selection of software is the strength and draw of the iPhone over other similar devices.

Key words in this discussion: Fart apps.

Zivlok:

RAKtheUndead:
ranty snip

If the iPhone actually does change the mobile games industry, it will be for the worse. It is poorly-designed anyway, and even worse for games than normal use.

Quick, name a cell phone that allows you to change batteries on the fly.reply ranty snip

My enV can. In fact, all LG and Motorola phones I've seen (which are the only 2 real makers around where I am) can. Pull a little lever or use a paperclip to pop one out, place a new one in, BAM! Good to go.

 

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