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Cellphones Apple Games

Console Makers Worry Over Apple's Growing Competition 281

Posted by Soulskill
from the worming-their-way-in dept.
The NY Times is running a story about the effect Apple is having on the console gaming market, making Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo worry that consumers will be satisfied playing games on devices that aren't necessarily focused on gaming. Quoting: "The concerns highlight an accelerating shift away from hard-core games, which have traditionally driven console sales, to more casual ones played on cellphones. Of the 758 new game titles shown at the Tokyo Game Show, 168 were for cellphone platforms — more than twice as many as in the previous year. ... Apple's assault could even eat into sales of home consoles like Nintendo's Wii, Sony's PlayStation 3 or Microsoft's XBox, as game-playing quickly becomes centered on cellphones. Many in the industry say that Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft need to explore more radical changes to their businesses, including an emphasis on software rather than hardware and a better way for users to download games. 'As a platform, the cellphone has the biggest potential, because everybody owns one,' said Kazumi Kitaue, chief executive at another game maker, Konami Digital Entertainment. A family with three children might buy just one Wii or PlayStation to share, but those children will probably have cellphones of their own and download and play games, Mr. Kitaue said."
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Console Makers Worry Over Growing Competition From Apple

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  • We're doomed!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by assemblerex (1275164) on Saturday September 26, 2009 @11:58PM (#29553263)
    Or at least the Wii is.
    • Re:We're doomed!! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kubrick (27291) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @12:06AM (#29553301)

      I only wish my bank account was as doomed as Nintendo's must be right now.

    • by pizzach (1011925)

      I knew the Wii was only a fad! Just remember, you heard it here first!

      [/joke]

      • by mwvdlee (775178)

        Just like the C64 was just a fad. You still see people using one of those these days?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 27, 2009 @12:01AM (#29553279)

    Seriously, have any of these people actually played any games on it? They are uniformly quite terrible. The lack of physical buttons is simply too big of an obstacle. Sure you can do some interesting stuff with the accelerometer, but at some point you want to be able to mash some buttons to kill the baddies and the in this regard the iPhone simply sucks ass.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 27, 2009 @12:16AM (#29553373)

      I just hope that console games start becoming ports of mobile phone games. That would be justice for how they've ruined the PC game market.

      • Ahh!...bitter, are we? ;)

        Well, truth be told, I agree - although many console ports(like TF2) still play better on PC.

    • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @12:25AM (#29553407)

      Seriously, have any of these people actually played any games on it? They are uniformly quite terrible. The lack of physical buttons is simply too big of an obstacle. Sure you can do some interesting stuff with the accelerometer, but at some point you want to be able to mash some buttons to kill the baddies and the in this regard the iPhone simply sucks ass.

      You're obviously not the target demographic. I'm guessing that, in other discussions, you've said similar things regarding perceived shortcomings with the Wii.

      The target demographic that's mainly interested in "mash[ing] some buttons to kill the baddies" is the group that's currently buying XBox 360s and Playstation 3s - and, based on sales, it's pretty obvious it's a significantly smaller group than the group buying the Wii and/or interested in playing short games that you can pick up for a short while and set down afterward. And, in the end, overall sales is really pretty much the only thing any of these companies care about.

      I am not meaning (or attempting) to demean your opinion. I'm just pointing out that it's unlikely you're a reflection of the audience Apple is after.

      • by gbarules2999 (1440265) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @12:31AM (#29553443)
        I have a feeling that demographic doesn't really strike a lasting profit, however. Nintendo is slowly falling and has been for a few months - could the Wii's marketing be wearing off? Could the iPod Touch face the same downward curve?

        Besides, while the Wii has had phenomenal sales, the other two consoles have still gathered an audience - numbers that most markets would BEG to have. The positive thing about the button mashers is that they're growing (gaming is very mainstream, even in the Xbox/PS3 variety) and they don't stop spending money. I mean, if the Xbox 360 and its failure rate (which may or may not be fixed; who knows) can lead the charge through the High-Definition consoles in this economic decline, what will get those gamers to stop spending money?
        • Another thing I wonder about the Wii as compared to the other consoles is the attach rate, meaning how many games the average owner has. That is actually where the console makers really make money. They make little to no money (and even lose money often) on the hardware itself. They make money because each title sold pays a license fee. It also indicates how well the owners like their gaming experience over all. After all if you buy a system and only get two games for it, good chance you aren't enjoying it

        • by Jurily (900488)

          I have a feeling that demographic doesn't really strike a lasting profit, however. Nintendo is slowly falling and has been for a few months - could the Wii's marketing be wearing off?

          That's the problem with good games: if the player won't get bored with them, they won't buy a new one. Perhaps we should start paying attention to Open Source games, like Freespace 2 [wikipedia.org] and Warzone 2100 [wz2100.net].

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by KDR_11k (778916)

            Yeah, open sourced games. Both of those were commercial at first and only opened later, those games have paid professionals working on their creation. Most unpaid open source games are horribly derivative and usually ugly and unintuitive.

      • by eonlabs (921625) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @01:02AM (#29553585) Journal

        Actually, I find that the mashing buttons to kill the baddies falls squarely on the Wii, while beer drinking FPS tournaments are 360's big thing, and heavily priced bizarre gameplay falls in the ps3 arena.

        Regardless, the biggest issue seems to me to be basic economics. What is the cost of your entertainment. I've been interested in picking up a next gen console since the wii came out. I've played all three extensively, and at the moment, their price point is nearly identical. But for me to get one game out of a system, I need to drop about $300 for the base system WITHOUT any games, and $50 for a relatively old game (Mario Galaxy is still $50, 3 years in). With high quality games like Braid coming out on steam for $5-$20 the comparable initial drop of $20 to start playing and $350 to start playing is an obvious choice. Needless to say, despite the fact I've typically enjoyed console gaming for years, the higher price point for individual games combined with the cost of the systems (which haven't dropped to levels that I feel the purchase is justified), makes people who share this opinion swing away from them.

        I still haven't swung toward cellphone games, because generally, across the board, I haven't found many of them that are on par with games from the super nintendo. Tetris maybe, but I haven't found a good solid push for thought provoking games for a cell. The biggest challenge for me is that the cost of old classics is finally pushing up into the current 'new game' price point that I have no interest in.

        I'm mostly hoping this commentary will shed some light on the mindset of a, possibly atypical, non-hard-core gamer.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by brkello (642429)
          I guess I don't understand why people have that opinion on the 360. To me it seems to have the most diverse lineup. It has the most of what I care about (RPGs). The Wii falls short on pretty much any game category other than their well done first party games. But really, I still feel the wiimote is a gimmick...one that worked, mind you, but still a gimmick. I'd rather just have another button than have to waggle.
      • Where are the mod points when you need them?

        You are right on spot. The truth is that Nintendo through the Wii, decided to base their entire market on the kind of people that don't really love games, and now they are worried because the non gamer market prefers non gaming devices, well I'm shocked, not

        Seriously why did they expecting different? Are their marketing teams so retarded?

      • by feepness (543479)

        The target demographic that's mainly interested in "mash[ing] some buttons to kill the baddies" is the group that's currently buying XBox 360s and Playstation 3s - and, based on sales, it's pretty obvious it's a significantly smaller group than the group buying the Wii

        The 360 and PS3 combined have outsold the Wii. When you look at game attach rates, even more so.

    • Maybe the market they mean is the newly identified lethargic gamer market. The kind of people who might play Tetris or Solitaire on a console.
    • by Mista2 (1093071) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @01:00AM (#29553575)

      If I want a great multiplayer strategy game with complex rules and takes a lot of time to learn, I'll play that on my PC or Mac, if I want to blow a couple of hours in a racecar or fragging aliens in an FPS, then my console is pretty good at that. If I am on the bus and have 30 minutes, I might play Assasins Creed or bejewled on the iPhone. (or listen to a podcast, or watch a TV episode, or listen to music etc)
      Sometimes I even play board games with my kids and soccer outside. All sorts of games have their place and I hope none of them goes away.

      • by TeXMaster (593524)

        If I want a great multiplayer strategy game with complex rules and takes a lot of time to learn, I'll play that on my PC or Mac

        Such games are much bettter played tabletop with a bunch of friends, with cardboard tiles and wooden, plastic or metal placeholders.

    • It is terrible for us but some people loves it, especially casual type games rock with touchscreen.

      Anyway, I think Sony and others are missing the point. It is how easy it is to buy a game, almost globally! You feel like gaming, you just enter your password and the game is there. No serials, no credit card numbers, no physical media, no J2ME warnings (don't ask), no IMEI entering while purchasing... IMEI is the most evil DRM system ever BTW... Buy a game tied to your device IMEI, device dies, game is gone t

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by CronoCloud (590650)

        Sony hasn't missed the point, because that's how the PSN store works. Haven't you used it?

    • A whiny pointless dismissal of an Apple product by someone who doesn't understand the appeal! Stop the presses!
    • Absolutely agree! And so do these guys! [icontrolpad.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by onefriedrice (1171917)
      It looks like you entirely missed the point. Whether or not you believe the games on the iPhone terrible, it's a sizable market, and it's not even a gaming device.
    • Not true AC. As a long time PC gamer I have been very impressed with the quality and workability of iPhone games. All my gaming is now on the iPhone. The PC gathers dust. And yes I mostly play shooters.
    • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @02:42AM (#29554009)
      That seems to be a relatively short-sighted opinion, and clearly you're playing the wrong games (hint: ports of games from consoles that try to capture the same style of gameplay rarely work).

      As someone who has been a gamer for a few decades now, as well as a happy iPhone owner, I can attest to the fact that the iPhone does indeed do video games well. That said, it obviously can't handle the same sorts of gameplay that consoles can handle, and, conversely, it can handle some gameplay that consoles are poorly-built to handle.

      Consider Zen Bound [zenbound.com]. It's certainly a casual game, but the premise (using your fingers to rotate a 3D block of wood or metal in order to wrap a rope around as much of the shape as possible...just look at the video at the link) simply doesn't work well on any of the consoles at the moment. I was skeptical at first, but once I saw a few gameplay videos and then got my hands on it, I was sold; the game demonstrates a new form of play and is remarkably entertaining for such a simple concept

      Or consider a game like Eliss [toucheliss.com]. Again, remarkably entertaining and yet incredibly simple in concept and execution. Both of these rely heavily on a multitouch interface (Eliss in particular) that none of the other consoles or handheld game devices could possibly hope to match (neither of these have a chance of working on the DS or Wii). When iPhone developers play to the iPhone's strengths, it really shines. When they try to shoehorn gameplay that was made for an entirely different medium, such as a console, into the device, it shows (and it usually sucks).

      Really, it all comes back to what it has always been about: making games fun. Quite a few of the developers and console makers have gotten caught up in the shinier graphics, yearly releases on spent franchises, and other such nonsense that they've forgotten what real gamers (read: not "frat bros") want, which is to have a fun time. 8-bit games weren't fun in spite of the graphics. Rather, the only thing that the developers could feasibly work on to differentiate themselves was the gameplay of their product, so they were forced to innovate if they wanted to produce sales, and we saw quite a few brilliant and entertaining examples of new gameplay from that generation. The introduction of 3D with the 64-bit era really changed the game as well, since it allowed for new forms of gameplay, but since then, the industry has stagnated and very little has really changed in terms of the types of gameplay that we can expect.

      The iPhone, for all of its foibles and drawbacks, is offering developers a chance to get in on the ground floor with something that's fresh, different, and entirely game-changing. And I'm not talking about the iPhone itself, but rather about multitouch. I honestly believe that multitouch has the potential to provide a more entertaining interface than that of any current console, so while the iPhone may be relegated to "casual" games for now (and it is), it certainly has the potential to explode in the "hardcore" market if a few hardcore titles showcasing multitouch come out. What those titles would be, I have no idea, otherwise I'd be building it now to make my millions.
    • Seriously, have any of these people actually played any games on it? They are uniformly quite terrible. The lack of physical buttons is simply too big of an obstacle. Sure you can do some interesting stuff with the accelerometer, but at some point you want to be able to mash some buttons to kill the baddies and the in this regard the iPhone simply sucks ass.

      I own a DSi just for a few months. I bought 3 games for it (Knights in a Nightmare, Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2, and some popular Brain Game with

    • by beelsebob (529313)

      Except that the PSP is a TERRIBLE game machine.

      Seriously, have any of these people actually played any games on it? They are uniformly quite terrible. The lack of a touch screen is simply too big of an obstacle. Sure you can do some interesting stuff with an analog stick, but at some point you want to be able to draw a line across the screen to show it where you want you character to go and in this regard the PSP simply sucks ass.

      I agree, that in baddy mashing games, the touch screen sucks ass, but I've

    • I've only tried a few (on an iPod Touch, but the idea is the same). One was a driving game. You held the device a little bit like a steering wheel, turning it to make the car move. One was a variety of the Same Game. No buttons required; you touched items to make the disappear. I also played a port of Worms 2, which worked very well. The moving and aiming was a lot easier with the touchscreen than with a mouse and keyboard (I figured out the controls without reading the instructions, while last time I
  • Don't think so... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rotide (1015173) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @12:04AM (#29553295)

    First, I'm more of a casual gamer. Frankly, the $60 titles generally don't hold my attention anymore and I've found the Arcade (xbox 360) titles to be much more fun. I think I've kind of gotten sick of the "wow look at the graphics!" "genre".

    That being said, when I do want to sit and waste an hour or two playing games, I want to do so in the comfort of my living room with a nice 46" screen. Not a 3 inch screen. I want to play with a controller built at least somewhat ergonomically, not one that feels like my thumbs are going to snap.

    I will concede that _any_ new game "system" will pull customers away from some other company to at least some degree, but I seriously doubt the top players need to worry about the iWhatever taking over their industry.

    Although, diversifying in your target market(s) isn't a bad idea.

    • Also (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770)

      Does the iPhone have many (any?) games that aren't of the simple silly cellphone variety? While there's a market for games like that, no doubt, there is also very clearly a market for games with more depth to them. Some of the top selling games are ones that have a good deal of complexity to them (the Sims being a great example), not the sort of thing that competes with a cellphone game.

      Also, as you noted, the iPhone really isn't a competitor for a console just based off of the fact that it is a handheld. S

      • Re:Also (Score:4, Insightful)

        by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @12:48AM (#29553523) Homepage Journal
        Does the iPhone have many (any?) games that aren't of the simple silly cellphone variety?

        Myst for the iPhone [cyanworlds.com]
        • by adona1 (1078711)
          Whilst I think that is cool, at the same time if the best the iPhone can offer is a decade old game...it's probably not going to trouble Sony, MS or Nintendo.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by crazyjimmy (927974)
        Ya know, two years ago, I did by a DS rather than the PS3. I had my stimulas check in hand, and I was ready to go...

        Then I realized I could get a DS + GAMES GAMES GAMES for much less than the PS3 + No Games. I've not regretted it. :)

        But then, I'm also happy with the Wii I bought myself for Christmas last year, and RockBand2 I purchased last week (it's way cheap cause they're making room for RB: Beatles). I've not missed having any of the NextGen Consoles, even those they look simply fabulous.

        I think
        • Well I think looking at a DS vs PS3 is a little silly, given that the PS3 was by far the most expensive console when it came out. Regardless, so long as you get a platform with games you like, that's all that matters.

          In general, I just don't see competition between cellphones and consoles though. Sure the games are cheaper but that is because they are cheaper in both senses of the word. They cost less because they are simplistic and have low production values. You cannot sell a game that had a lot of work g

      • Civilization Revolution came out for iPhone last month. It's not as deep or complex as Civ 4, but it's still got quite a lot of depth for a cell phone game, and games can still last hours. Plus, the UI was rebuilt from scratch for the touch screen. It's not perfect, but I don't feel like adding physical buttons would make up for the shortcomings either.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        My mother has never played a game for more than 20 minutes in her life. However, she does have an iPhone, and every time we talk she has a new game on it to show me. Some of them are even mildly entertaining. I've talked to her about it, and she has no interest in stepping up to a real gaming machine, either portable or console. So there is some truth that people like her are "flocking" to the Iphone as a game console. However, there is NO truth that this is in any way a threat to established consoles.
      • by glitch23 (557124)

        Some of the top selling games are ones that have a good deal of complexity to them (the Sims being a great example), not the sort of thing that competes with a cellphone game.

        I don't mean to burst your bubble but a few days ago I was browsing the iTunes Store and noticed the Sims 3 is available. I don't know how that version compares to the PC version though.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by beelsebob (529313)

        Does the iPhone have many (any?) games that aren't of the simple silly cellphone variety? While there's a market for games like that, no doubt, there is also very clearly a market for games with more depth to them. Some of the top selling games are ones that have a good deal of complexity to them (the Sims being a great example), not the sort of thing that competes with a cellphone game.
        Simple answer, yes, big games companies are developing big games for it. When you put a machine more powerful than a wii

    • I think that you hit on one really important idea there - there's a nice segment of gamers that don't care about the endless graphics hamster wheel. And while that sells consoles and games, this technology is getting so expensive to make that it's not cost effective anymore. That's probably why the consoles are moving to a cycle that's longer that five years - how long can the 360 and PS3 last?

      Heaven forbid Trent Reznor says anything interesting or valid, but his interview with Joystiq discussing the Video [joystiq.com]
    • by gangien (151940)

      i would agree, i have played mario 64 on a ds and a 42 inch screen. even tho the graphics aren't great, being on such a small screen for an immersive environment just doesn't do me much good.

      offtopic: undo moderation pretty please?

  • by transiit (33489)

    And here I was worried that I could play games without an annual contract to pay a telco every month. I mean, yeah, I could get an ipod touch, but wouldn't that be just like getting a DSi? Who would I pay every month? Gosh!

    Everyone agrees that flatulence apps are not only worth paying for, they make having the AT&T contract worthwhile. Look how many people play WoW, clearly games are only fun if you're paying month to month, right?

  • I agree ! (Score:3, Funny)

    by assemblerex (1275164) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @12:11AM (#29553339)
    A $200 iphone + $1200 a year for service plus $50 for games. So much cheaper!
    • If all you care about is games, Apple makes the iPod Touch. Same apps, same processor, no monthly fee. Oh, and it's an iPod, and also a nice little mobile internet tablet.

      If you're in the market for an iPhone, you're probably already paying a fair amount per month for mobile phone service. Granted, it would be nice if it was available without the unlimited data plan, but that's another discussion.

      And games for the Apple handhelds are generally in the $1–$10 range. Most of them are at the low end o

      • by ADRA (37398)

        Great point, where's the Boo rah over flash games? I don't see the ever flowing exodus toward flash games, do you?

    • by Graymalkin (13732)

      The delta between a voice plan and a voice plan with iPhone data is $360 a year. If someone replaces a voice-only plan/phone with an iPhone they're paying $360 more a year. So your cute numbers ought to be $200 iPhone + $360 data service + some price for games. The point of the article was that people can actually play satisfying games on a device that is always handy and already own. I have a DS Lite but I only play it when I'm at home or take it on vacation because it's too big to fit in my pocket, I play

    • I don't have an iPhone. I have an almost-luddite Samsung phone. When I had a Sprint PCS no-frills cell phone, many games had monthly subscriptions. I found that to be annoying. I found it annoying when I switched phones, several games I already paid for(no subs, just a 1-time fee) couldn't be played on my newer phone.

      Maybe just 1 cell platform for games isn't such a bad idea.

  • Iphone and the Ipod touch at best can compete with the portable market (unless apple figures out how to make the devices plug into a 1080p HDTV)

    I don't think the I-game is eating away market share because it's Apple, I think it's the entire package tied in with it. It's a gaming device, and it works with Itunes.

    All Sony/Nintendo has to do to compete with this is write a DS/PSP Itunes sync program, and the problem's solved. Change the image of the DS/PSP from being mostly gaming devices, to a multifunction

    • by arbiter1 (1204146)
      i agree, portable it could but when you get home and want to play a game, which you gonna play, iphone/ipod on little 2inch-ish screen or on your big ass tv at home?
      • by rotide (1015173)

        Or more to the point and a little better comparison.

        When your kid wants to play games and say they have both an iWhatever and a Nintendo DS for example, which do you think they will pick up to play?

        Having a game to play on your phone is great when you're at the doctors office waiting, but when it comes down to it, there are much better, dedicated systems, for playing mobile games. Just the control system on the iWhatever sucks for long term gaming and then you take into account the fact that game developer

  • "consumers will be satisfied playing games on devices that aren't necessarily focused on gaming."

    So you mean like a PC? Back when the home computer market was growing and the Atari was collapsing I'm sure the console industry was wondering the same thing. Once they took back the market in the late 80s (thanks Nintendo) it seemed that as more people got multiple PCs in the home that a shift back to using devices that aren't consoles as our primary gaming systems seems inevitable.

    iPhone/Touch app's store is l

  • Price (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fermion (181285) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @12:28AM (#29553425) Homepage Journal
    Most people do not want to pay $300 for a video game console, and then $10-20 a week to rent games, or $50 to buy. Nor do they want to pay $1000 for a PC rig to play the advanced games. I myself preferred my gameboy for playing tetris or golf or other games. An advantage is that the games were very reasonably priced.

    I think what apple is targeting is the cash strapped parent who kids want multiple mobile devices. Though $200 for an iphone or iPod touch might seem out of line for a kids first device, if it can serve as the personal computer for browsing, email, and reading, can text, take pictures and movies, and play some games, it might seem a good alternative to phone plus a psp plus a music player, etc.

    Like the mac,which made graphic processing affordable, the advantage is likely to be short lived. It should be simple to get something like a PSP and add a phone and some other trinkets. If that can happen,then people will likely migrate to it. One thing that I am surprised to see is that MS is not integrating the Windows Mobile, xbox, and zune technology into single product. The fact that we are talking about MS Windows 7 and a new Zune to me is incompressible. A Zune that has and HDMI port, but cannot play games, is simply silly.

    • by feepness (543479)

      Most people do not want to pay $300 for a video game console, and then $10-20 a week to rent games, or $50 to buy.

      Most people, perhaps not.

      But by the numbers, most households... yes, yes they do.

  • The iPhone's touchscreen is nice for some applications. But for general purpose gaming, you can't beat a regular controller. DS-style controls are unlikely to make an appearance on standard cellphones and this will keep gaming on cellphones to a minimum.

  • False Dichotomy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This article is just trying to create a false dichotomy, namely, one that assumes that game sales represent a zero sum game. So if Apples sales increase, Microsofts, Sony's and Nintendo's must decrease. This is not the case.

    The real important facts are the one's that this article leaves out, like that in 2008, only 462 total games [videogamesblogger.com] were shown, where as this year, 758 new games where shown. This is an increase of 62%! So in reality, Cellphone games have only increased 40% compared to the rest of new video
  • They'd better not (Score:3, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @12:47AM (#29553513) Journal

    including an emphasis on software rather than hardware

    They'd better not, because that's where their competitive advantage is. The only reason anyone would play on a console instead of on their phone is because of the hardware (including bigger screen, the controllers, etc). If they focus only on software, then eventually any type of software that can be made for a console can be made for a phone.

  • "Console Makers Worry Over Growing Competition From Apple" leads me to think that Apple has released a competitor to the Wii, xBox, PlayStation. Bad slashdot editor, bad (swats with rolled-up newspaper).
  • how about better mac hardware for gameing at better prices>

    a imac at $1500 with 9400m (on board video) and 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (laptop) is not cutting it. not only that the video chip will have a hard time with having a good fps at 24-inch.

    the mini at $599.00 with 9400m and a 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (laptop) # 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo [Add $150.00] and only 1gb of ram.

    $1,799.00 to get 2.93GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (laptop) and only a GT 120 with 256MB memory? a ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB is only $200.00 mo

    • Apple likes their hardware the way it is. There is clearly a large market for a consumer level tower system, as Dell, Gateway et al sell MANY of them and Mac users have asked for one for years, but Apple won't deliver one. For whatever reason, they are convinced their lineup is as it should be. They aren't going to be introducing something that is more game oriented.

      Also as a practical matter, Apple doesn't seem to understand the computer games market very well. Gabe Newell (Valve) said that every few years

  • The execs are right to worry about this kind of thing. All technology adaptation follows the same general life pattern. Right now consoles are now a developed industry... They make changes and improvements however they are incremental changes not revolutionary.... The problem is the stage after this is obsolescence. They are right to worry. Maybe not this year or next but sometime within ~30 years (my guess) there will be no need for consoles and their market will die... The execs know this, however to maxi
  • VoIP on the DSi, including video chat. Problem solved.
  • I have a Japanese phone and pay (very little) for older games directly from the companies. For example, I play the NES and SNES Mega Man games on my phone, bought from Capcom. I also play the original Dragon Quest (Dragon Warrior US) games on my phone and have the first Final Fantasy. If these third-party companies are making money off of their old, unused libraries, then I don't see why all of the first-party console makers should shut themselves out of the business.
  • I seriously doubt that all of these mega companies are "worried" that apple is going to assault their business and take them all out. This NYtimes article is just trying to make iPhones seem all that much cooler.
  • Anything that brings new people to video games will ultimately be good for everyone who makes games.

    The quality of the entertainment is what matters. Quality will continue to win. Always. That's why games are taking over from movies and (to a lesser extent) TV. Great games and bad movies.

    Phone games can only "win" if they are a better entertainment experience than console games. And that's not normally going to be true.

    Newspapers and crossword puzzles and card games better watch out for the iPhone thou

    • by Dan541 (1032000)

      The point of phone games is that they are portable. I can see how they may threaten handheld consoles, especially with the increasing number of qwerty keypads (standardisation) coming into existence.

  • by Shag (3737) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @02:16AM (#29553895) Homepage

    Anybody else here grow up during the 70s? 80s? 90s? Anybody else find the idea of Apple being any kind of force in gaming utterly bizarre?

    Not saying it won't happen, or that Apple can't be a force in whatever field... but this is like "Ferrari, Lamborghini Worry Over Growing Competition From Oldsmobile" or something.

    • by slim (1652)

      Anybody else here grow up during the 70s? 80s? 90s? Anybody else find the idea of Apple being any kind of force in gaming utterly bizarre?

      What about Apple being a force in the portable music player market (from an 80s perpective, that's "competing with the Walkman")?

      What about Apple making telephone handsets?

      • by Shag (3737)

        Yes, all that.

        In general, Apple having more than a tiny sliver of market share in anything still kind of weirds me out...

        I'm also still a little startled to see Microsoft products not run roughshod over market segments despite sucking (Windows Mobile devices, PlaysForSure, Zune, and to a lesser extent X-Box).

  • Bathroom market (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Z33kPhr3k (1047994) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @02:17AM (#29553901)
    iphone doesn't compete with living room game market. It expands the bathroom game market.
  • 'As a platform, the cellphone has the biggest potential, because everybody owns one,'

    Say, does it smell like oblivious privilege in here?

  • I think this just continues the trend that started with the PS2, which doubled as a DVD player way back when they were fairly new. I own a 360, and use it for DVDs and Netflix streaming video in addition to a gaming machine. Right now I'm considering replacing my Samsung BluRay player with a PS3 Slim.

    I've taken to calling my iPhone a "DAD": Do Anything Device. I don't use it for gaming, but the number of things you can use it for grows daily.

  • Apple doesn't even make a device which competes in these markets. Some people may like their games on the iphone/cell phone - but at the end of the day, it's an inferior device to game on. Some gamers might use these devices to get a quick fix when they're away form home, but serious gamers will always go back to their PC or console.

  • by HTRednek (793937) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @04:28AM (#29554385)
    Based on every other product Apple has ever produced, a game console from them would be sleek, stylish, cost in excess of $900.00 (us), have only 3 titles available(each of which would require you to repurchase the title when a patch came out), and a controller with only button. Of course it would have an alternate means to use the button, but it would require you to press the option button on the console itself while trying to press the controller button.
    • by feepness (543479) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @05:03AM (#29554495) Homepage

      Based on every other product Apple has ever produced, a game console from them would be sleek, stylish, cost in excess of $900.00 (us), have only 3 titles available(each of which would require you to repurchase the title when a patch came out), and a controller with only button. Of course it would have an alternate means to use the button, but it would require you to press the option button on the console itself while trying to press the controller button.

      That is the iPhone.

  • Nokia were too early with the Ngage. Plus they produced a gaming phone that nobody really wanted to own, it wasn't a nice looking device.

    Apple have made a desirable device, many games can be downloaded on the device or wifi and it has a large screen. The control mechanism isn't exactly ideal, but it doesn't seem to put off people.

    It wasn't long ago that so called industry experts were saying the games on the iPhone were gimmicy and accelerometer/touch screen games would never catch on.

  • by GTarrant (726871) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @12:49PM (#29557415)
    IMO, what they're most worried about are price points. The consumer mindset for cell phone games seems to top out at about $5, and a lot of games that, were they released on Xbox Live Arcade or the PlayStation Network might be $10, are $1-2 on the App Store.

    The Nintendo DS version of Civilization Revolution was $30 at release. The Xbox 360 version was similarly priced.

    The iPhone version is currently $5. It's essentially the same game. The controls aren't as good - and no one is saying that the other two don't have their place, because you don't always want to stare at a tiny screen. Developers have tried to put games for $10 on the App Store. While there's the occasional success, most of the time the reviews are filled with 1-star "$10 for a phone game?" reviews, and the game quickly shoots down the charts and out of the rankings and "Featured" lists.

    Peggle for PC is still available for $10. It's the same price on the Xbox 360 (Live Arcade).

    The iPhone version is $5.

    The iPhone is causing people to shift their view as to an appropriate price point at the same time that many companies are trying to rip out a third of an otherwise complete Xbox or PS3 game so they can sell the rest as "Downloadable content" to squeeze that extra $5-10 out of each buyer. That, I believe, is terrifying to the marketing droids and finance people that actually run these companies.
  • Embrace and extend (Score:3, Interesting)

    by psydeshow (154300) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @01:48PM (#29557919) Homepage

    There is nothing stopping any of the console makers from embracing the iPhone, and turning it into an extension of the console experience rather than a competitor to it. (Well, okay, something might stop Microsoft, but Sony and Nintendo have nothing to lose.)

    With a single app the iPhone becomes a full color smart controller, with mutli-touch, motion sensing, and a built-in camera.

    Allow developers to incorporate that functionality into the iPhone versions of their console games, and you enable a seamless gaming experience from home (where the epic action happens) to the larger world (where you mini-game, grind, or play in smaller-scale settings).

The more cordial the buyer's secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.

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