By 8-BIT JAY
Special to the Parade
A long time ago, back in 2008, I remember hearing that Apple wanted to turn the iPhone into a gaming platform. At the time, the only cell phone that had even attempted such a thing was the Nokia N-Gage, which never quite took off. We had some reason to be skeptical of such a gaming platform. After all, Nintendo had handheld gaming down to an art and the PSP was still working its way to being the second major handheld gaming option.
Boy, was I ever wrong. The iPhone, and iOS (the operating system that the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch run on) has become one of the biggest gaming platforms on the planet. This is because almost everybody today owns a cell phone. Smartphones are also growing in popularity, and digital distribution methods like the app store have made it possible for users to buy games or apps any time, day or night.
Pricing is also a major factor. As pricing of console games, and even some downloadable games (such as those found on XBLA, WiiWare and PlayStation Network) seem to be on the rise, iOS still offers a boatload of free games or games with in-app purchases. Many of the games run about a dollar or two, which probably leads to millions of impulse buys. Being able to find an app and own it in under a minute for about a dollar works for Apple and developers. It also calls out to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners everywhere. What’s a buck?
That said, iPhone games tend to cost less because production costs are much, much lower than traditional console games. iOS games are often simple and to-the-point. They’re casual games. The kind of thing you can whip out of your pocket on the bus ride home and enjoy for a minute or two before you have to turn the game off.
So, what is your stance on iPhone and iOS games in general? Shallow, boring, not real “gamer” material? Or are they just an evolution of videogames and a new way for more people to enjoy interactive entertainment?