Should Sony and Nintendo Fear the iPhone?

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Should Sony and Nintendo Fear the iPhone?

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EA founder Trip Hawkins thinks that the success of the iPhone and iPod Touch as gaming devices is making the competition start to sweat.

You know what? I'm going to come right out and say it: I don't get the iPhone. Sure, it can do some cool things; I'm not going to deny that. But at the end of the day, it's just a phone - a horribly overpriced phone at that. I will never understand the slavish devotion that the iCult has to all things Apple.

However, even if I personally don't get the fuss, that doesn't mean that the iPhone hasn't been establishing itself as a legitimate gaming platform lately - because it has. After Metal Gear Solid Touch, Hideo Kojima expressed a desire to get "crazy" with the iPhone (that's Hideo Kojima crazy, which is pretty nuts). We've seen games like Assassin's Creed and Wolfenstein 3D released for the device, Audiosurf is rumored to be on its way, and games are just tearing up the iPhone App Store left and right.

One of the developers who has found success with the iPhone is Digital Chocolate, helmed and founded by Trip Hawkins - the man who founded a little studio called Electronic Arts back in '82. Speaking to VentureBeat, Hawkins said that Digital Chocolate's iPhone successes took him by surprise:

"The iPhone for us was a spectacularly pleasant surprise. We had no idea it was going to be as good for us as it turned out to be ... It's by far our most effective platform. We make as much money with these games on one device as we do putting a game on 100 different cell phone platforms."

Hawkins thinks that the iPhone frenzy should be making fellow handheld makers Sony and Nintendo rather nervous about this surprising and unexpected new competitor: "Between the iPod Touch and the iPhone, I think the platform is freaking out Sony and Nintendo. Apple has sold 30 million units so far and it has created tremendous awareness. It has taken ground all over the world. But it has only penetrated one half of one percent of its total market."

I don't think anyone would disagree with Hawkins' claims that the iPhone has shown itself to be a legitimate mobile games platform, but I'm not quite sure that Sony and Nintendo have any reason to panic just yet. After all, with the iPhone's hefty price tag (and focus on other features), it's hard to imagine anyone buying it just to play games. However, it might be enough to make iPhone owners who might have otherwise purchased a DS or PSP change their minds.

(Via GI.biz)

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But the iPhone is horrible...

Wow who knew that the powerhouse of this console generation would be the Iphone.

although the ipod touch games are fun, they are nothing more than a distraction. i couldnt play it for hours like i could DS or PSP. there good for "im on the bus for five minutes, and im bored" situations

I doubt the iPhone will be any more than a fad...
Like the iPod, the Mac and everthing else made by Apple

You know what's better than the iPhone?
Everything.

Not because the phone itself is bad, but because of the aforementioned "iCult."

Yeah I agree with Razer17 about the games.

But I do get the iPhone. If you are sick of shitty mobile phones with shitty user interfaces, then the iPhone is a breath of fresh air. And it doesn't cost that much. A refurb is even $100 with a contract. I paid $80 for my Sony Ericsson W810i, and it is a major POS. The thing isn't even a good MP3 player, and they advertise it as a Walkman.

Let me start by saying that I am not a fan of mac, never have been. My first computer was an Apple and it didn't run Starcraft. And so began a long relationship of hate between us. That said, I love my iPhone to death. I got the 3G, it's the first thing I've bought from Apple since the 90's and it's awesome. It's like the Batcomputer, portable edition. When I was 8 I asked my parents for a portable radio that had in it everything electronic that I could name, they looked at me like I was out of my mind. Who would make such a thing? Well, after more than a decade, I found out the answer. Apple.

Pi_Fighter:
I doubt the iPhone will be any more than a fad...
Like the iPod, the Mac and everthing else made by Apple

iPod and Mac are fads? For technological devices, they are practically immovable mountains in the market. Apple has a stranglehold with the iPod since 2001, and the Mac is the only computer you will ever touch in any graphic design or art related industry for the past 15+ years. I'd hardly call those fads.

The real problem is that the mass market of consumers expect electronic devices to do everything for them and this is what video game consoles, phones and various other devices have been doing for a good couple years now. So to net the most fish one would say is where the itouch and iphone have the advantage over the DS and PSP.

However there is another problem that plauges the DS and PSP and that is the audience. The itouch and iphone are cutting in on the action for hand helds which are both kids, teens and adults. Adults are a very obvious pick up because of two reasons. The first being what is acceptable to have while at work. No one here can easily say they are going to bring their DS or PSP to work when they are in their 30's and not be bad mouthed by their co-workers or superiors. An Iphone or Itouch changes that because although you may be playing games to most the assumption is that one is interacting in important business, which leads to the second reason, social status. This is apple's brand, to be trendy and show people that you are "tech" savvy and well off. People look at people using apple computers as the height of being professional especially if one is a editor. This is why adults look to the iphone and itouch to be acceptable more and more as a gaming device over the PSP and DS. They can bring the itouch or iphone to work, play games and not be criticized by co-workers for being inneffcient or neglagent.

Kids and teens have also exchanged their DS and PSP for itouch and iphone and there are a couple reasons why as well. Once again social status comes into play. Being that kid with all the gadgets always made some kids cool in school especially now that jocks can call themselves nerds when they want to and then jocks the next. Second reason, parents fear. This is something I see day to day when I go to work. Parents want to protect their kids and the idea of having a device to communicate with them makes them want to get a cell phone. While the child does not need a cell phone it is that paranoia that makes the parent want to pay more every month because it is one of those "I might need it someday". The more means of communication the better for parents now and since they are using a PDA, why not their kids get an iphone? They effectively kill two stones with one device. Child gets a device that can text, call, browse online and most importantly DOWNLOAD FREE GAMES while the parent gets the feeling of security and means of contact.

So this is the problem and it lies not what the child would or would not want, but with the parents and what they decide to buy for their child. Also the app store where children can buy cheap games or free games is also going to be a growing trend where hopeful developers can try to build a portfolio and some cash and big name publishers are investing to get in on that market that targets everyone.

My worry is that Nintendo and Sony will try to make their devices more like the iphone which is a problem to me and the reason is first battery life and the second being that they can't beat apple. Battery life sucks on those iphones and itouch. I don't care what you say most of those phones and the number one customer complaint I have to deal on a daily basis is the battery. The actual talk time on those things is not the 8 hours advertised but 4 hours and the same applies to those who surf the net, play games and watch movies. Sony and Nintendo can't beat Apple either. There are already too many competitors trying such as Microsoft, Palm, RIM, and Nokia to compete with apple and they still have the number one spot because their marketing campaign to be "cool" is one of the best things made on this planet. Apple literally defines cool for people and when you can change the meaning you will be forever cool.

Kojiro ftt:
Yeah I agree with Razer17 about the games.

But I do get the iPhone. If you are sick of shitty mobile phones with shitty user interfaces, then the iPhone is a breath of fresh air. And it doesn't cost that much. A refurb is even $100 with a contract. I paid $80 for my Sony Ericsson W810i, and it is a major POS. The thing isn't even a good MP3 player, and they advertise it as a Walkman.

You speak the truth and the problem with getting a clean and easy OS is not the developers of the phones but the cell phone carriers such as AT&T and T-Mobile, and Verizon. The only phones that don't have AT&T mandated software on the cell phones are the smart phones(I.E. blackberry, windows mobile and Iphone). Standard phones are required to promote cell phone provider services that will encourage the consumer to buy more from that provider to increase their profits on a monthly basis. One example I do have is the Nokia E71 which runs a Symbian S60 3rd edition OS. It is a really solid phone and has served me well at an inexpensive cost since I only have to pay 15 bucks a month for data from AT&T. AT&T is getting the same phone and calling it the Nokia E71X and after trying out that phone with AT&T preloaded software I can tell you the phone will SUCK. The phone is locked so instead of being encouraged to download applications online, users will have to buy applications from AT&T. The phone will also cost 30 bucks a month because they loaded up express mail on the phone to make the device a "smart" phone, which it already was before AT&T loaded up their software.

Most people are used to not having and easy phone to operate or not wanting to learn how to operate their phone that the iphone is the rumored godsend just by its marketing campaign. Blackberry phones are also just as reliable but people still look at that and tell themselves "I can't handle that" and buy an iphone.

I don't think Sony or Nintendo really have anything to worry about.

Kojiro ftt:

Pi_Fighter:
I doubt the iPhone will be any more than a fad...
Like the iPod, the Mac and everthing else made by Apple

iPod and Mac are fads? For technological devices, they are practically immovable mountains in the market. Apple has a stranglehold with the iPod since 2001, and the Mac is the only computer you will ever touch in any graphic design or art related industry for the past 15+ years. I'd hardly call those fads.

You pay tons for an underpowered machine and an apple logo.
The OS is hardly worth it. And with that said I am done, I'm not turning this into the engadget forums.

Kojiro ftt:

Pi_Fighter:
I doubt the iPhone will be any more than a fad...
Like the iPod, the Mac and everthing else made by Apple

iPod and Mac are fads? For technological devices, they are practically immovable mountains in the market. Apple has a stranglehold with the iPod since 2001, and the Mac is the only computer you will ever touch in any graphic design or art related industry for the past 15+ years. I'd hardly call those fads.

What I meant was, they take a minor advance in technology and sensationalise it.

As a semi-professional artist I disagree, I rarely use Macs because the user interface is so unintuitive.

Some games work well on the platform. I have an iPod touch and I play Wolfenstein 3D a lot, as well as Katamari. If more games come out (Audiosurf especially) then I'll buy them and I'm sure many others will. Hoping for some more good, cheap (relatively) games

oliveira8:
But the iPhone is horrible...

No it is not!.

I have one, and I dont get the hate, its the finest phone I've ever had.
The gaming part is just a sub menu.

For a phone, gaming platform (sniggers), and mp3 player its quite well priced.

MaxTheReaper:
You know what's better than the iPhone?
Everything.

Not because the phone itself is bad, but because of the aforementioned "iCult."

OK i concede this point, being on a train and having a mac enthusiast trying to talk to me simply because I have an iPhone is an exercise in soul crushing.

megapenguinx:
I don't think Sony or Nintendo really have anything to worry about.

Kojiro ftt:

Pi_Fighter:
I doubt the iPhone will be any more than a fad...
Like the iPod, the Mac and everthing else made by Apple

iPod and Mac are fads? For technological devices, they are practically immovable mountains in the market. Apple has a stranglehold with the iPod since 2001, and the Mac is the only computer you will ever touch in any graphic design or art related industry for the past 15+ years. I'd hardly call those fads.

You pay tons for an underpowered machine and an apple logo.
The OS is hardly worth it. And with that said I am done, I'm not turning this into the engadget forums.

Underpowered?, since when?
the processor is locked out to 600mhz, guess what the DS and PSP processors are maxed out at?

OH DEAR GOD... i'm turning into one of them

I got an iphone 3 weeks ago. It's been working perfectly until today when it decided I wasn't allowed to navigate back to my main page. I'm still trying to fix it. I REGRET NOTHING.
I'd just say I'm not an apple fanboy but this is something they do well. Games on it are epic.

ColdStorage:

megapenguinx:
I don't think Sony or Nintendo really have anything to worry about.

Kojiro ftt:

Pi_Fighter:
I doubt the iPhone will be any more than a fad...
Like the iPod, the Mac and everthing else made by Apple

iPod and Mac are fads? For technological devices, they are practically immovable mountains in the market. Apple has a stranglehold with the iPod since 2001, and the Mac is the only computer you will ever touch in any graphic design or art related industry for the past 15+ years. I'd hardly call those fads.

You pay tons for an underpowered machine and an apple logo.
The OS is hardly worth it. And with that said I am done, I'm not turning this into the engadget forums.

Underpowered?, since when?
the processor is locked out to 600mhz, guess what the DS and PSP processors are maxed out at?

OH DEAR GOD... i'm turning into one of them

Oh I wasn't talking about the iPhone. I was talking about their computers and iPods (not the touch ones).

So far the iPhone has only proven to work in terms of small, independent developers. Hence why Apple will soon be segregating content made by big industry into a "Premium Store" where the latte-swigging public will be able to pay $20 much easier on products made by EA and so forth, rather than supporting the little guy.

I'm doubting that Nintendo is really that worried. Sony? maybe. But we have to remember the DS has pretty much been printing money.

And that Nintendo is 10-0 in the portables market.

Of course, I could be talking out my ass even though the developer of Fieldrunners pretty much said that first-party developers were having a difficult time selling games on the iPhone. However, having no iPhone or iTouch or iFondle or whatever, I'd have to run this by the people I know who do own iPhones and see how many of them are concentrated on using them for gaming. Given how most of them are just using it to stay connected with their various workgroups, I would say gaming is not a big concern of theirs.

And I still don't see the iPhone being a gaming powerhouse because of its inability to deliver reliable online play. AT&T's network is too iffy and I definetely don't see how multiplayer against competing wireless networks would work.

I like my keypad on my LG Voyager, thank you very much. It has a touch screen as well if I ever feel like I want to make some sort of...tech-fashion statement. Which is never.

bue519:
Wow who knew that the powerhouse of this console generation would be the Iphone.

It really isn't...I have an iPod touch and while it is fun it is no replacement for a DS or a PSP. It's the system for people who don't want to be "that guy" playing a DS on the subway.

AceDiamond:
So far the iPhone has only proven to work in terms of small, independent developers. Hence why Apple will soon be segregating content made by big industry into a "Premium Store" where the latte-swigging public will be able to pay $20 much easier on products made by EA and so forth, rather than supporting the little guy.

I'm doubting that Nintendo is really that worried. Sony? maybe. But we have to remember the DS has pretty much been printing money.

And that Nintendo is 10-0 in the portables market.

This is true

I highly doubt Sony or Nintendo give a crap about the iPhone. The games aren't good, they are just cheaper.

Daveman:
I got an iphone 3 weeks ago. It's been working perfectly until today when it decided I wasn't allowed to navigate back to my main page. I'm still trying to fix it. I REGRET NOTHING.
I'd just say I'm not an apple fanboy but this is something they do well. Games on it are epic.

You don't decide if you're a fanboy.
I do.

ColdStorage:

MaxTheReaper:
You know what's better than the iPhone?
Everything.

Not because the phone itself is bad, but because of the aforementioned "iCult."

OK i concede this point, being on a train and having a mac enthusiast trying to talk to me simply because I have an iPhone is an exercise in soul crushing.

Exactly. I don't get why people who own one think they're part of a fucking family of Mac customers.
If I felt a deep connection to everyone with a PC, how many years would I spend just chatting people up?

ColdStorage:

oliveira8:
But the iPhone is horrible...

No it is not!.

I have one, and I dont get the hate, its the finest phone I've ever had.
The gaming part is just a sub menu.

For a phone, gaming platform (sniggers), and mp3 player its quite well priced.

Frankly, they look shiny, but I'd be happy with my old Nokia phone. It didn't even flip open, but it made calls.
My MP3 player is a lot more compact and sturdier.

It failed to hold my attention for a long time, like DS and PSP, so I count it in consoles. Not really iPhone, but interesting enough: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/472735

oliveira8:
But the iPhone is horrible...

Apple assasins are already at your front door, bail out the window and then start following the white rabbit.

Simply put, as a gaming platform, the iPhone/Touch is extremely incomplete, and relies on a huge gimmick. But like Nintendo's consoles, it sells.

I always considered this device as a good introduction to gaming, a first step for Apple, certainly not an comfy end by any mean.

Although I have not hidden my desire to see a true Apple handheld exploiting the Clickwheel/D-pad, I'd say I'm more convinced about the rumors about the PSP 2 pointing at Sony finally coming with a well rounded portable console.

That's also an exciting upheaval for handheld competition.

The iPhone and iPod touch are unique in that they are almost limitlessly adaptable. Yes, the DSi (anyone else thinks it's a little wierd that Nintendo threw a lowercase i on the end of their new handheld? iPod ------- DSi?????) is getting a camera, had a touch screen before Apple, and has a much larger gaming community than Apple. The PSP got off to a rough start, and is now just playing catch-up to the other handhelds. The iPhone, on the other hand, was a success from the start. The technology that has been present in the iPhone from the start continues to out perform that of other handheld gaming devices.

people aren't going to spend $70 a month just to play hardcore games on their phone. It's grea for what it is (assuming you don't count it as a phone, because it drops calls everywhere) but as a gaming platform...I don't see it. Remember the Nokia N Gage? Yeah, I don't either.

PayNSprayBandit:
Let me start by saying that I am not a fan of mac, never have been. My first computer was an Apple and it didn't run Starcraft. And so began a long relationship of hate between us. That said, I love my iPhone to death. I got the 3G, it's the first thing I've bought from Apple since the 90's and it's awesome. It's like the Batcomputer, portable edition. When I was 8 I asked my parents for a portable radio that had in it everything electronic that I could name, they looked at me like I was out of my mind. Who would make such a thing? Well, after more than a decade, I found out the answer. Apple.

Uh, you DO know they weren't first?

Ok, well if sony is sweating over this, put a phone in the PSP or something and you win hands down!

MaxTheReaper:
You don't decide if you're a fanboy.
I do.
Frankly, they look shiny, but I'd be happy with my old Nokia phone. It didn't even flip open, but it made calls.
My MP3 player is a lot more compact and sturdier.

I do choose if I'm a fanboy or not.
1) I only have an iphone, nothing else apple, the main reason I was so apprehensive at first to get one is because itunes utterly screwed my old computer
2) I argue on windows' side in the mac vs. pc arguments (as any gamer would)

They look shiny, hmmm, like every other modern phone on the market? Seriously, the looks really don't make it any better. It's like a shiny black brick. Basically it is practical and has a million and one different functions, its only apple haters that don't like it.

Daveman:

MaxTheReaper:
You don't decide if you're a fanboy.
I do.
Frankly, they look shiny, but I'd be happy with my old Nokia phone. It didn't even flip open, but it made calls.
My MP3 player is a lot more compact and sturdier.

I do choose if I'm a fanboy or not.
1) I only have an iphone, nothing else apple, the main reason I was so apprehensive at first to get one is because itunes utterly screwed my old computer
2) I argue on windows' side in the mac vs. pc arguments (as any gamer would)

They look shiny, hmmm, like every other modern phone on the market? Seriously, the looks really don't make it any better. It's like a shiny black brick. Basically it is practical and has a million and one different functions, its only apple haters that don't like it.

How can you objectively decide if you're a fanboy? Insane people never think they're insane. Being a fan of something is fine. Being a fanboy means you recognize no faults in it, which means you are stupid.

Incidentally, it was a joke in the first place.

Number two means you are not a fanboy. See, simple?

I...know the looks don't make it any better. Why are you telling me something I already clearly know?
Also, "shiny" wasn't really supposed to mean "shiny," but something tells me you never watched Firefly.

Only Apple haters..okay, now you're pulling out the fanboy arguments.
"Anyone who doesn't like it is a hater!"
I just don't care about the iPhone. I don't need my phone to fly and fight crime and pick up whores for me, I just need it to make calls.
I don't hate Apple, I just don't use their products. Well, I used iTunes, but I got tired of paying for music.

MaxTheReaper:

Daveman:
I got an iphone 3 weeks ago. It's been working perfectly until today when it decided I wasn't allowed to navigate back to my main page. I'm still trying to fix it. I REGRET NOTHING.
I'd just say I'm not an apple fanboy but this is something they do well. Games on it are epic.

You don't decide if you're a fanboy.
I do.

ColdStorage:

MaxTheReaper:
You know what's better than the iPhone?
Everything.

Not because the phone itself is bad, but because of the aforementioned "iCult."

OK i concede this point, being on a train and having a mac enthusiast trying to talk to me simply because I have an iPhone is an exercise in soul crushing.

Exactly. I don't get why people who own one think they're part of a fucking family of Mac customers.
If I felt a deep connection to everyone with a PC, how many years would I spend just chatting people up?

It is pretty awful, even worse is people stopping me in the street telling me how they think its a piece a shit, you know how good something is when strangers are willing to come up to you and tell you "your a mug for having that".

I've only ever seen strangers tell someone off for owning something before, and that was a Ferrari for fuck sake.
"you should of bought an Aston Martin mate".

what?.

ColdStorage:

oliveira8:
But the iPhone is horrible...

No it is not!.

I have one, and I dont get the hate, its the finest phone I've ever had.
The gaming part is just a sub menu.

For a phone, gaming platform (sniggers), and mp3 player its quite well priced.

Frankly, they look shiny, but I'd be happy with my old Nokia phone. It didn't even flip open, but it made calls.
My MP3 player is a lot more compact and sturdier.[/quote]

I had a Minidisc player for that shit, I loved it with all my heart, and the day after my 3 year insurance ran out I dropped it.

NetMD, I miss you so much, with your intuitive scroll controls.

Since I dont have it anymore, iPhoney works great. Headphones are a piece of shit and a side of arse though, so I've performed surgery on mine.

Whoever posted this, as well as the author of the original article, have obviously never played video games before. Asking if the iPhone is a threat to the PSP or DS is like asking if the Wii is a threat to the XBox or PS3. The answer is CHRIST NO! Playing games on the iPhone, like playing games on the Wii, is designed for ultra-casual games, and anyone who actually enjoys video games will just not bother, because it will be a mountain of crap with one or two mildly glinting exceptions.

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