Sony, Not Nintendo, Should Be Very Afraid of the iPhone

Anthony Perez writes:

''With the recent announcement of the iPhone 2.0 software, App Store, and 3G iPhone hardware models pushing a pricetag as low as $199 there has been a lot of discussion within the gaming community on the impact Apple may have on the handheld gaming market. Forbes has shown its misguided enthusiasm by erroneously predicted the death of the Nintendo DS with its sensational article, "Why Apple Could Kill The Nintendo DS," while gaming sites have attacked Forbes in droves, showing their short sightedness in evaluating the potential of the iPhone as a gaming platform.''

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f7897904741d ago

the iphone still has no buttons. Only touch screen and a motion sensor.

AceLuby4741d ago

When those things are actually in use (like when playing a game) the thing just sucks battery.

SaiyanFury4741d ago

Not to mention that the iPhone is designed primarily to be a phone with some game functionality added in. The PSP is designed to be a games platform with some media functions added in. I've been playing and loving games on my PSP since it's first year and I'm not spending another 200 dollars on an iPhone. Not the first reason being that I don't like Apple products, but simply because I don't need one. Most of my favourite series' are on the PSP and not on a platform where gaming isn't a main concern.

instantstupor4741d ago (Edited 4741d ago )

First of all I think it's a bit funny that the PSP (which they say has many of the features of the iPhone/Touch) has an identity crisis, when the iPhone/Touch decides more than a year after launch to add gaming capability and that is seen as a perfect fit and marrying of features. It just seems a bit of a weak and one sided argument. PSP is a gaming machine first, and everything else second. The iPhone/Touch is everything else first, gaming second.

That aside, I don't think either Sony or Nintendo have to worry. The iPhone/iTouch might have the extra memory built in, but I think most people will still see it as too expensive (if we're looking specifically at gaming). The fact that you'd need a contract with AT&T to get that 8 GB model at $199 severely limits the number of people that get it at a competitive price to the PSP. The rest of the world will have to get the iTouch, sitting at a much more lofty and unreasonable (public conception, again, when looking at as a gaming device) $299 for their 8 GB.

Then we look at the fact that that is the only storage space you get. Games on the PSP can clock all the way up to about 1.8 GB, so if we are talking large scale games, you can fit maybe 3-4 games. Even if they are smaller, you will be maxing out at 16 games, and that's if they are about 500 MB a piece and you don't store any movies, music or other apps on your device. Yes, you can get a bigger capacity, but it will REALLY cost you, and then really hard to argue as a direct competitor to the PSP. No physical media or expanded storage will really hurt in this area.

The last couple of nit-picks here are that the screen is actually a bit smaller (unless the new versions are larger) than the PSP, the fact that it has no tactile buttons (which even the DS has because they are a key part of gaming), it has a small form factor that cannot be comfortable for long periods of gaming and lastly that no one looks to Apple for gaming. Even Macs don't support much in the way of gaming. I can't image developer support being really strong, even with a few companies like EA already working with them on the gaming front.

People know Sony and Nintendo as game companies, and even with the mindshare Apple currently enjoys, they would have to come out with a full blown campaign to extol the virtues of its device as a gaming one. To make an appreciable difference in the handheld gaming market, I suspect they would have to come out with a device specifically designed for it, but that's just my personal opinion.

jkhan4741d ago

Well I doubt Apple will push iPhone towards the gaming industry. They never seem to like the gaming industry & that is why they never push Mac towards it. Lately I saw a subtle change in trend but still. Apple needs to do more to get into the gaming industry.

solidt124741d ago

In case you didn't know, Apple has already opened the iphone up to third party developers and they are making games Now for the iphone. I am talking about major studios man, Ubisoft ect. But at a $199 plus contract price I don't see them being that much of a threat to the PSP or the DS. I think that most people bought a PSP or a DS for the 1st party titles, but I think that Apple will have there own market. If they get these games on the ipod touch and lower the price then they might be a threat. I love the interface on the ipod touch/iphone but I am on the the Sprint network and bought the Samsung Instinct last week, its a great phone. I am eager to play games on the ipod touch/iphone because i like that they will use two virtual analog sticks and when you think about it the interface can be very versitile. The graphics look better than the DS, it's like a PSP with touch screen.

doshey4741d ago

iphone to compare to the psp, okay get some buttons then u should be good


And some great hardware for a portable too... Iphonhe lack the polish graphic/hardware wise to be compared to PSP, in that point (as a gaming machine) it's more of a DS than a PSP.

PSP is competitor to PSP in features (homebrew) and price, not game wise.

AnthonyPerez4741d ago

As I pointed out in the article, iPhone developers are capable of creating touch enabled on-screen controls. Read:

The gaming potential of the iPhone/iPod Touch is also much greater than what some may think. While screen size would have to be compromised, the NES emulators available for hacked iPhones show that it's possible for developers to create on screen touch controls. This would allow game makers to add more complexity to games beyond the tilt mechanism known as the accelerometer. The biggest problem with the on-screen controls for these emulators is the accuracy of interpreting a person's actions so a lot of times when someone tries to press right on the on-screen d-pad they may accidentally press down. This inaccuracy, though, should be remedied by the official SDK.

"Before the official SDK, developers were basically dropped on a deserted island," said Greg Elliott, developer of the popular iPhone application SyncStep. "They were pretty much poking at the thing trying to figure out how it works. With the official SDK, it streamlines development so much more. It basically tells you exactly how it works."

Elliott says this should solve those input problems, and he also sees some big gaming potential with the iPhone.

mistertwoturbo4741d ago

It still doesn't hide the fact that people with big hands cant play a single game on the Iphone even if it has the virtual buttons. Secondly, people already complain about the small size of the PSP-slim, let alone the i-Phone which is half the size of a PSP.

Perhaps a big add-on with buttons that hooks up to the iPhone. But then again, if people go to that length to try and play a portable gaming system, they might as well just buy a DS or PSP.

unbiased4741d ago

Do you have and iphone? I do the screen sucks. The touch is far from perfect. there is no way you could play good games on it.

AnthonyPerez4741d ago

I've owned an iPhone since about October, and no the touch screen doesn't suck. I know there are people who have issues with the keyboard, but I type with two thumbs pretty easily.

solidt124741d ago

After using my new touch screen phone for one weekend I can't imagine going back to a button phone.

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