A big week for the iPhone-as-game-console
Last week, Apple evangelist John Geleynse reportedly called the iPhone a gaming console in various capacities. With a deluge of top-tier licenses coming to the iPhone this week, we have begun to see what Geleynse was presaging.
Apparently Geleynse's comments at last week's Apple Developer Conference in San Jose weren't so much predictions as fanfare preceding a veritable onslaught of iPhone games.
In May, Konami announced that Hideo Kojima's iconic twitch game Metal Gear would be hitting Nokia handsets through N-Gage; and this week, the company announced that the iPhone would also receive the game, in addition to Silent Hill, Dance Dance Revolution, and the company's Frogger titles.
But big titles were plenty this week, as Namco released an iPhone installment of its cult Katamari series called I Love Katamari; Electronic Arts Mobile released SimCity, and EA subsidiary Hasbro released Monopoly Here and Now: World Edition and Yahtzee. Producer ngmoco released a title aesthetically similar to Loco Roco this week for iPhone as well called Rolando.
Console gamers may scoff at the idea of the iPhone as a viable gaming device, but even more big name titles are expected to hit soon, with no signs of slowdown. An iPhone version of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 is anticipated before christmas. The J2ME version of that game is actually an extension of the console version, and allows users to play the mini-game on their phones to build the stats of their "full sized" characters. Gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps is expected put his name on an iPhone sports game this year as well.
PocketGamer released its Best Mobile Games of 2008 list, based not on sales numbers, but rather on enjoyabililty and innovation. Nearly half of the 30 games listed are iPhone titles, ranging in price from $4.99 to $12.99.
Game developers are quite confident in the platform, head of ngmoco and former EA executive Neil Young said: "We're excited to get to the place where you get the first thing that's been built for the device, so the gamer could go, 'You know what, this is every bit as good as a DS or a PSP game and, not only that, it's actually built from the interface out."