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Apple Enters the Games Business?

I’d imagine it went something like this: The DS and PSP are sick of each other, so they both decide to take a vacation. They happen to both choose the same spot, and even the same resort to stay in. When they arrive, a computer glitch means they must both stay in the same room. And like any other barf-able chick-flick, one and a half hour of sexual tension leads to a drunken orgy.

Of course Hollywood’s story ends with the two walking out in to the sunset. What they don’t show you is the aftermath. The pregnancy, the break up, the birth, the adoption, and finally their child’s acceptance in another home, this time: Apple.

The iPhone is the perfect child. It’s more powerful than the DS, and yet it still has a touch screen. It’s web browsing capabilities and multimedia capabilities are arguably better than the PSP, and yet it’s more user-friendly. All coupled with the fact that the games cost anywhere between zero and ten dollars means the more games for the buck. This, not to mention all the other features and non-gaming apps.

In three days Apple sold 1 million of the new iPhone 3G, and in the same time 10 million apps were downloaded and installed on to the new phone as well as the old model and the iPod Touch (apps are compatible across all models.) This will surely turn the heads of developers looking to jump aboard new tech. Developing for the platform is cheep and the ability to set your own price point as well as the low percentage that Apple takes will catch the eye or both indie developers and big names alike (EA is releasing a version of Spore for the platform later this year).

It’s what every game developer dreams of: No compatibility issues across the platforms (with the exception of the lack of camera and mic in the Touch), an easy to use SDK, a single collective place to release games too (no more submitting to a dozen sites just to get publicity), and no interference from Apple makes the possibilities endless. And the free apps aren’t the only ones being downloaded. Majority of the 800+ apps available now are being purchased at 99 cents.

The Top App list within the iTunes store guarantees that the best apps will always receive the spotlight. There’s also a spot for Apple recommended apps just incase some slip through the cracks. Sites like this one are already popping up, allowing users to vote up or down their favorites.

The platform isn’t without it’s flaws, however. Many users are complaining of decreased battery life, even among those who simply updated their old iPhone to the new 2.0 software. Frame rate issues have been discovered all over the software, though most noticeably when playing games where the slightest wrong movement could mean game over. Crashes have both forced users back to the iPhone’s home screen as well restarting the whole system. Some developers have also complained that it takes Apple longer to post software updates than it does for them to produce them.

It’s unknown if any of these issues will be fixed over the next few months, but on thing is clear: The iPhone is in the same league as the big boys now. Even this early in the platform’s life some games are on par with those on other portable systems. Stay tuned to Couch Campus for reviews!

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