Apple To Challenge Nintendo For Handheld Gaming Dominance?

Apple To Challenge Nintendo For Handheld Gaming Dominance?

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Despite Nintendo's long-standing domination of handheld gaming through its hugely successful DS system, an article in Forbes says upcoming changes to Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch could lead to major changes in the market.

On Monday, Apple honcho Steve Jobs is expected to launch the App Store, a long-awaited feature which will open up the company's iPod Touch and iPhone devices to software from external developers. While Apple has been unable to make much of a dent in the PC gaming market with its various Mac computers, it has higher hopes for portable gaming, driven by its success in incorporating two major features of Nintendo's gaming systems devices into its portable devices: a touch-sensitive screen and motion-sensitive controller.

These capabilities, in conjunction with the ability to easily upload software wirelessly into the iPhone, have earned the attention of developers including Sega, which demonstrated an "impressive" iPhone version of Super Monkey Ball earlier this year, and Electronic Arts, which recently announced that the upcoming Will Wright game Spore would be released for the iPhone simultaneously with the PC, Mac and DS versions.

Nintendo is unlikely to wilt under the pressure, however; initially released in 2004 and updated in 2006 as the DS Lite, Nintendo has so far sold over 70 million DS units worldwide, and developers are producing increasingly-sophisticated games for the system. The console also has a sophisticated dual-screen system, allowing for more complex gameplay, and a reputation as a proven commodity in the gaming arena, something Apple sorely lacks.

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(sigh)

And the train comes in on time yet again.

Once every few years, just like clockwork, Apple makes noise about how they're going to stop treating game developers like shit. Honest, we're really going to do it this time! We mean it! Really!

The corporate culture at Apple doesn't respect games. Never has, never will. Screw 'em.

I agree, Apple has not and will not in the foreseeable future open it's systems up enough to allow developers to do a good job, and I can't really see more then a few paltry 2d games based on old Nintendo games coming out for this with Google's completely open source Android not to far in the future.

#ding dong#~ This is your announcer, N-Gage 2 has arrived, that is all~#ding dong#

Well, Apple isn't a gaming platform. The hardware is there, but the client base isn't. Same goes for Linux. You don't see any major titles for either platform. Plus Apple doesn't pretent it wants to be a gaming PC either.

The fact that they are opening the iPhone and iTouch to the gaming market, while a bit late, might serve as a kich in the pants to the PSP and DS. Single touch screen with media playpack. What more can you ask for? Well, maybe a DS with the playback of a PSP, but we can always dream.

Well Apple won't even have the hardware for much longer with the Tegra chip coming to portable devices meaning games around the level of Quake 3 could be developed for handheld devices to play at high frame rates.

OK, who let the "analysts" eat the paint chips again?

Without buttons and a directional pad, they aren't taking anything away from the DS. Sure, they're very likely to get some very fun games on the device, but so did the N-Gage and we see how well that turned out. The vast majority of games types simply won't be as fun on a finger-oriented touchscreen though.

The best hope is that games on the iPhone/iPod Touch will bring more non-gamers into the fold, so to speak. And, of course, provide emergency entertainment for those stuck in the airport without anything else, like most cellphone games (I have minesweeper and sudoku on mine).

Good luck Apple...good luck.

While games on handheld Apple devices will appeal to people who already have them; I doubt itl make people run out & buy the things.

DS = 129.99 plus a huge library of games AND reverse compatibility with GBA.

I-Phone = 379.00 plus...what, a bunch of games that are out on other systems?

We'll see how the wallets vote.

Virgil:
OK, who let the "analysts" eat the paint chips again?

Without buttons and a directional pad, they aren't taking anything away from the DS. Sure, they're very likely to get some very fun games on the device, but so did the N-Gage and we see how well that turned out. The vast majority of games types simply won't be as fun on a finger-oriented touchscreen though.

The best hope is that games on the iPhone/iPod Touch will bring more non-gamers into the fold, so to speak. And, of course, provide emergency entertainment for those stuck in the airport without anything else, like most cellphone games (I have minesweeper and sudoku on mine).

I agree to an extent. The grey area for me is the actual touchscreen being a pad. I'm sure it can take two points on the screen. Then again I can't say a touchscreen is all that reliable.

It's been too long. Face it, the Gameboy practically is handheld gaming. 'Gameboy' is effectively a synonym for 'handheld game system' just as 'Nintendo' was a synonym for 'home game system'.

I simply look at this in the same way other games have made it to other mobile devices. In the end, playing games more complex than Tetris on your cellphone is only really big in Japan (has anyone even played that Heroes game for mobile devices?). Considering Apple's core market, most anyone that already has an iPhone won't really give a shit. Hell, they may not even realize they have the ability to play games. It's just like cellphones.

Well, Apple isn't a gaming platform. The hardware is there, but the client base isn't. Same goes for Linux. You don't see any major titles for either platform. Plus Apple doesn't pretent it wants to be a gaming PC either.

Oh yes they do. They want to make sure people will keep buying their new computers when they release, giving them a nice profit, and what better way to do that than to try and get gaming on board? "Oh, two years have passed and your old Mac Pro can't run the latest and greatest? Well here's a nice $3000 Mac Pro that can!....for two years". After all, the idea of upgrading a Mac like a PC is...well, it's not at all what Mac does.

They've been trying to get game developers on board, and the Intel chip has helped now that EA and id have announced they'll be developing games on Mac.....them and nobody else....and considering how badly the Mac wants to beat Microsoft, yeah, they'll try and get whoever they can, and gamers are a pretty big market considering that they are the ones willing to shell out the big bucks for the bad ass hardware.

Too bad gamers also tend to like more control than you get with Apple systems.

swatmajor1:
Well, maybe a DS with the playback of a PSP, but we can always dream.

While movies aren't viewable on the DS (to my knowledge anyways), you can listen to songs, through the use of an R4... not that I have one or anything...

Once again Apple are digging themselves into a hole.

The creators of something as shit as the mac have absolutly no chance of knocking down the long time kings of handheld gaming.

As far as I am concerned, I believe that if Apple are serious about gaming, they need to release a real handheld console, meant for games.

There's just no way around it. The competition is well ahead of them, and even if I'm not saying they couldn't pull a Microsoft here, even the PSP has an important catalogue. But it pales against the DS'.

Ok, Apple has the financial resources to support a heavy marketing campaign, and we will have to keep an eye on the results App Store gets.
In my opinion, the iPhone/iTouch won't change anything, but looking at how far they could work will be most interesting. It could tell us how succesful they could be if they really got into the gaming industry.
Considering how fads sell millions these days, there's obviously not a better opportunity for Apple here.

Apple and video games have never gone together. They are like water and oil.

The best thing Apple could do is release a system that is based solely on being trendy and cool, while ignoring providing a quality product. After all, that is what Apple does best.

Skrapt:
I agree, Apple has not and will not in the foreseeable future open it's systems up enough to allow developers to do a good job, and I can't really see more then a few paltry 2d games based on old Nintendo games coming out for this with Google's completely open source Android not to far in the future.

This is patently false. The SDK allowed developers to adapt full 3D platformers within 2 weeks of it's distribution, (see keynote: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/qtv/iphoneroadmap/)

As for whether it will dominate the handheld market? No; but it has nothing to do with power or versatility. The iPod touch and iPhone are ideal gaming devices, with infinite control scheme possibilities and tilt/touch controls (think a mini-Wii.) Also, digital distribution via iTunes makes releasing games a 100% profit for developers.

However the chances of Apple taking any large portion of the gaming market is very small: it isn't advertised as a gaming device, and won't be. As 'Arbre' said, unless they release something specifically for gaming, they've got nothing. With the popularity of the iPod, new buyers would likely believe that a gaming device designed by Apple would be really nice, a market that Apple could easily break into, but i don't see that happening any time soon.

Joeshie:
The best thing Apple could do is release a system that is based solely on being trendy and cool, while ignoring providing a quality product. After all, that is what Apple does best.

Name a single high-end PC better designed then the MacPro. Seriously, try it.

You can't beat nintendo, that's just fact. Wii is beating Xbox 360 and PS3 DS pwns the handhelds. The only time nintendo wasn't on top was during the gamecube era. Apple doesn't know who they're fucking with here.

Virgil:
OK, who let the "analysts" eat the paint chips again?

Mmm, delicious paint chips.

I wish I could care about iPhone. Actually, I don't. I don't care about MacBook Air either, while I still have an Eeepc.

If Sony, a company with video game experience, cant even scratch Nintendo's portable systems market. If Apple thinks it can, then they are believing there own corporate propaganda.

 

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