• Author arn
  • Posted On2008-12-15 13:41:05
  • News

This shouldn't come as a big surprise to our regular readers, but it's still nice to know that Apple is being consistent about pushing the iPhone and iPod Touch as a viable gaming platform.

Engadget reports on comments made by Apple's Director of Technology Evangelism John Geleynse who described the iPhone as a viable threat to the Nintendo DS.

Geleynse apparently waxed excited about the potential for the handheld as a viable threat to the DS (and the PSP by proxy), calling the iPhone a "gaming console" and claiming that "it's not a phone, it's a console experience."

Apple has clearly been pushing the iPod Touch as a gaming device with the television and web advertisements demonstrating a wide variety of games for the platform.

  • Orion3G

    I always find it funny when people try to argue that the iPhone/iTouch isn't a gaming platform isn't a gaming device because it's not it's first, primary function. Sales of the unit and software though should show them that it's far from just a music player and a phone. Besides, in a world were most consoles are trying to be multimedia machines before gaming consoles (even the new DSi, which is odd for Nintendo) how is Apple's approach really that different?

    It is interesting though, as Apple I think is the first "handheld" maker to come in mid cycle like this instead of coming out with a "handheld console" when everyonce else does.

    For me, my DS and PSP never get play time. Having one device for everything in my pocket has been an absolute joy. It's definately a viable gaming platform, and I'm glad that Apple hasn't been wishiwashy about that stance since it's debut.

  • alexbates

    The iPhone and iPod Touch are a threat to the DS. Without an accelerometer, the DS is doomed. Even the new DSi that will soon be selling does not look as good as the iPod Touch.

  • Orion3G

    I always find it funny when people try to argue that the iPhone/iTouch isn't a gaming platform isn't a gaming device because it's not it's first, primary function. Sales of the unit and software though should show them that it's far from just a music player and a phone. Besides, in a world were most consoles are trying to be multimedia machines before gaming consoles (even the new DSi, which is odd for Nintendo) how is Apple's approach really that different?

    It is interesting though, as Apple I think is the first "handheld" maker to come in mid cycle like this instead of coming out with a "handheld console" when everyonce else does.

    For me, my DS and PSP never get play time. Having one device for everything in my pocket has been an absolute joy. It's definately a viable gaming platform, and I'm glad that Apple hasn't been wishiwashy about that stance since it's debut.

  • alexbates

    The iPhone and iPod Touch are a threat to the DS. Without an accelerometer, the DS is doomed. Even the new DSi that will soon be selling does not look as good as the iPod Touch.

  • Vende

    I'm surprised that Apple isn't pushing the iphone as an ereader. The Stanza application (in addition to Ereader and Classics) is really something special and since you can't even FIND a Kindle these days, clearly there is a growing market that Apple should exploit in its awesome commercials.

  • Vende

    I'm surprised that Apple isn't pushing the iphone as an ereader. The Stanza application (in addition to Ereader and Classics) is really something special and since you can't even FIND a Kindle these days, clearly there is a growing market that Apple should exploit in its awesome commercials.

  • http://macclan.net Nagromme

    I think the e-book reader marker is tiny compared to the gaming market, and will remain so for a very long time. Ads touting it as an e-reader would probably not pay for themselves. Plus, it's one thing that a really compact device like the iPhone is NOT ideal for. Bulky devices like the Kindle have a big screen, which is important for delivering books. The iPhone CAN be an e-reader, but that's not one of its strengths.

  • http://macclan.net Nagromme

    I think the e-book reader marker is tiny compared to the gaming market, and will remain so for a very long time. Ads touting it as an e-reader would probably not pay for themselves. Plus, it's one thing that a really compact device like the iPhone is NOT ideal for. Bulky devices like the Kindle have a big screen, which is important for delivering books. The iPhone CAN be an e-reader, but that's not one of its strengths.

  • Vende

    I think promoting it as an ereader can be beneficial, especially if the promos demonstrate how to adjust the fonts/colors and how it looks in landscape/normal modes. The Kindle is ridiculously popular and I've heard the Sony reader is doing quite well. Obviously they have bigger screens which makes reading seem easier, but considering Nokia (N97) and Apple are marketing their products as tru mobile computers, despite a computer screen obviously being far larger than the phones' 3 inches, then the smaller screen size should be seen a strength due to its mobility.

    People really want ereaders as they are excellent investments (think of all the money and aggravation that would be saved) and this is an avenue Apple should explore but strangely hasn't. I personally have 55 titles so far and am completely comfortable reading my stories (presently reading this great collection of short stories in Men Without Bones).

    I don't think people will be scared by the smaller screen since Apple and Nokia are already touting these devices as mobile computers and are thus proudly touting tha idea of smaller is better... Okay, I'm starting to repeat myself here so I'll stop:)

  • Vende

    I think promoting it as an ereader can be beneficial, especially if the promos demonstrate how to adjust the fonts/colors and how it looks in landscape/normal modes. The Kindle is ridiculously popular and I've heard the Sony reader is doing quite well. Obviously they have bigger screens which makes reading seem easier, but considering Nokia (N97) and Apple are marketing their products as tru mobile computers, despite a computer screen obviously being far larger than the phones' 3 inches, then the smaller screen size should be seen a strength due to its mobility.

    People really want ereaders as they are excellent investments (think of all the money and aggravation that would be saved) and this is an avenue Apple should explore but strangely hasn't. I personally have 55 titles so far and am completely comfortable reading my stories (presently reading this great collection of short stories in Men Without Bones).

    I don't think people will be scared by the smaller screen since Apple and Nokia are already touting these devices as mobile computers and are thus proudly touting tha idea of smaller is better... Okay, I'm starting to repeat myself here so I'll stop:)

  • RedSt★R

    Really.......? because their ebook selection is like a grain of salt compared to the games which is like a shipment of pallets on a 18-wheeler of containers with that girl in the rain carrying the umbrella logo on the salt canisters

  • RedSt★R

    Really.......? because their ebook selection is like a grain of salt compared to the games which is like a shipment of pallets on a 18-wheeler of containers with that girl in the rain carrying the umbrella logo on the salt canisters

  • slappy

    I think the tech industry is in denial on how good this new platform is. iPhone and iTouch has really ushered a new level for all in one device, using a new third generation UI.

    • Brian

      You've hit the nail on the head. A lot of the game industry fanboys are also in serious denial. Just check out most of the comments on the iPhone OS game reviews in IGN. Most of them are "Of course the game won't be good, it's a cell phone game!!" Trying to get the Wikipedia coverage necessary for the explosion of the gaming industry on this platform is ridiculously difficult also.

      It should be noted that despite this, the iPhone OS game industry has certainly taken off. Hell, the Tap Tap franchise is one of the most installed (shipped) in the entire history of video games with over ten million installs. That puts it up there with the Rock Band, Dance Dance Revolution, and Bomberman franchises. That's even more than the Doom and Animal Crossing franchises.

      People like this just don't see what companies like Nintendo are seeing with their release of the DSi. It's obvious that it's meant to respond to the success of the iPhone OS.

  • slappy

    I think the tech industry is in denial on how good this new platform is. iPhone and iTouch has really ushered a new level for all in one device, using a new third generation UI.

    • Brian

      You've hit the nail on the head. A lot of the game industry fanboys are also in serious denial. Just check out most of the comments on the iPhone OS game reviews in IGN. Most of them are "Of course the game won't be good, it's a cell phone game!!" Trying to get the Wikipedia coverage necessary for the explosion of the gaming industry on this platform is ridiculously difficult also.

      It should be noted that despite this, the iPhone OS game industry has certainly taken off. Hell, the Tap Tap franchise is one of the most installed (shipped) in the entire history of video games with over ten million installs. That puts it up there with the Rock Band, Dance Dance Revolution, and Bomberman franchises. That's even more than the Doom and Animal Crossing franchises.

      People like this just don't see what companies like Nintendo are seeing with their release of the DSi. It's obvious that it's meant to respond to the success of the iPhone OS.

  • badmoodguy88

    I personally use my Zune as a platform for reading books and comics. The set of books I use have columns so the width of the lines fit the screen wile still being a good readable resolution (I use images of pages). Now the iPod Touch screen is only slightly bigger than the Zune but the interface is better. operating the control pad with your thumb wile reading with the Zune sideways will ware out your fingers quickly (though admittedly I have gotten used to it). To use the first generation Zune that way I had to put onto the device larger images than it normally accepts (there is a minor hack involved but nothing so grand as the iPod Touch jailbreak).

    I may not be a typical customer but I like to listen to audio books wile browsing RPG books until I find some thing to read. Then I pause the book, read for a bit, un-pause the book and keep browsing. Comics are also tricky on the Zune because it is a compromise between taking in a view of the whole page and reading the font. The width of the ipod Touch screen and the Zune is the same, 2" (however the iPod does have a greater resolution). A full size comic book page can be reduced down and read as a 4 inch by 6 inch page. I have a 7 volumes of a series reduced down to those dimensions and most manga is sold in the US in volumes that are only slightly larger. Any way that means that on either device you see half the width and a better % of the height, at any given time. With either divice you would have to zoom in, move your view to the top left corner, then to the top right corner (as you read across), diagonally from the top right to the bottom left, and then across to the bottom right and then switch to the next image/page and do it all over again. On a direction pad it is tricky, on the ipod touch it is more organic. Because the iPod Touch view change is so much less cumbersome the screen is effectively larger. The only down side is the the iPod Touch needs to be held in one hand and controlled with the other for much of the time. Wile an iPod and Zune are both ment to be used with one hand.

  • badmoodguy88

    I personally use my Zune as a platform for reading books and comics. The set of books I use have columns so the width of the lines fit the screen wile still being a good readable resolution (I use images of pages). Now the iPod Touch screen is only slightly bigger than the Zune but the interface is better. operating the control pad with your thumb wile reading with the Zune sideways will ware out your fingers quickly (though admittedly I have gotten used to it). To use the first generation Zune that way I had to put onto the device larger images than it normally accepts (there is a minor hack involved but nothing so grand as the iPod Touch jailbreak).

    I may not be a typical customer but I like to listen to audio books wile browsing RPG books until I find some thing to read. Then I pause the book, read for a bit, un-pause the book and keep browsing. Comics are also tricky on the Zune because it is a compromise between taking in a view of the whole page and reading the font. The width of the ipod Touch screen and the Zune is the same, 2" (however the iPod does have a greater resolution). A full size comic book page can be reduced down and read as a 4 inch by 6 inch page. I have a 7 volumes of a series reduced down to those dimensions and most manga is sold in the US in volumes that are only slightly larger. Any way that means that on either device you see half the width and a better % of the height, at any given time. With either divice you would have to zoom in, move your view to the top left corner, then to the top right corner (as you read across), diagonally from the top right to the bottom left, and then across to the bottom right and then switch to the next image/page and do it all over again. On a direction pad it is tricky, on the ipod touch it is more organic. Because the iPod Touch view change is so much less cumbersome the screen is effectively larger. The only down side is the the iPod Touch needs to be held in one hand and controlled with the other for much of the time. Wile an iPod and Zune are both ment to be used with one hand.

  • Destinite

    I have to say I agree. I’ve been a gamer since the Atari 2600 days and I was having a discussion about the iPhone with my brother the other day. I told him that while I thought I’d never admit it before, the accelerometer and multi-touch are two huge features that Apple can potentially use to create games that are more interesting than what the DS has. I’m not much of a PSP fan, but I LOVE my DS and yet in the last 2 months I’ve found myself playing my touch more than my DS. Take that same gameplay over graphics mentality that Nintendo stands by and add the accelerometer and multi-touch and you have quite the experience in store. I just wish someone would port Syndicate to the iPhone. That would be the end-all in my portable gaming world :)

  • Destinite

    I have to say I agree. I’ve been a gamer since the Atari 2600 days and I was having a discussion about the iPhone with my brother the other day. I told him that while I thought I’d never admit it before, the accelerometer and multi-touch are two huge features that Apple can potentially use to create games that are more interesting than what the DS has. I’m not much of a PSP fan, but I LOVE my DS and yet in the last 2 months I’ve found myself playing my touch more than my DS. Take that same gameplay over graphics mentality that Nintendo stands by and add the accelerometer and multi-touch and you have quite the experience in store. I just wish someone would port Syndicate to the iPhone. That would be the end-all in my portable gaming world :)

  • http://heiseheise.com Zach

    I don't think that anyone who actually has used a console video game system would EVER refer to the iPhone as a "console experience." Console has a lot of different definitions, but mainstream definitions and experience bars a handheld multifunction device from receiving that title.The iPhone will never be a console.

    Nice try, John.

    • Brian

      Bull. You're a fanboy in denial. iPhone OS games have sold more than legit console games, but you just can't believe it, can you?

  • http://heiseheise.com Zach

    I don't think that anyone who actually has used a console video game system would EVER refer to the iPhone as a "console experience." Console has a lot of different definitions, but mainstream definitions and experience bars a handheld multifunction device from receiving that title.The iPhone will never be a console.

    Nice try, John.

    • Brian

      Bull. You're a fanboy in denial. iPhone OS games have sold more than legit console games, but you just can't believe it, can you?

  • darwiniandude

    I label the DS or PSP a 'console' to me that implies a box plugged into the TV.

  • darwiniandude

    I label the DS or PSP a 'console' to me that implies a box plugged into the TV.

  • http://www.razorianfly.com James

    They call it a console experience because of all the different things you can do. It's a true multi-media device. And it does everything except gaming (which is still great) far better than the XBOX or PS3...... or Wii.

  • http://www.razorianfly.com James

    They call it a console experience because of all the different things you can do. It's a true multi-media device. And it does everything except gaming (which is still great) far better than the XBOX or PS3...... or Wii.

  • RaZrVIN

    What Apple has managed to pull of takes a LOT of skill, I mean starting off as a touchscreen phone and iPod (TOUCHSCREEN! That was revolutionary by itself!) And midway they added PDA functions (Mail, Weather, ETC.), and now they managed to turn their revolutionary phone/iPod into a GAMING DEVICE! Does anyone know how incredibly hard that is? I give props to Apple for pulling of such a daring and amazing feat! It would be incredible to see Gamestops and EBgames selling iPod Touch 2Gs at their stores, which would be in a few years possibly!

    • http://gamingenthusiastzone.webs.com/ Valkyria Chronicles Kid

      @RaZrVIN "What Apple has managed to pull of takes a LOT of skill, I mean starting off as a touchscreen phone and iPod (TOUCHSCREEN! That was revolutionary by itself!) And midway they added PDA functions (Mail, Weather, ETC.), and now they managed to turn their revolutionary phone/iPod into a GAMING DEVICE! Does anyone know how incredibly hard that is? I give props to Apple for pulling of such a daring and amazing feat! It would be incredible to see Gamestops and EBgames selling iPod Touch 2Gs at their stores, which would be in a few years possibly!"

      Really. A touch screen is revolutionary, this is true. But what system had a touch screen first, oh wait thats right the DS did. So you kinda owned yourself right there for being stupid. XD

  • RaZrVIN

    What Apple has managed to pull of takes a LOT of skill, I mean starting off as a touchscreen phone and iPod (TOUCHSCREEN! That was revolutionary by itself!) And midway they added PDA functions (Mail, Weather, ETC.), and now they managed to turn their revolutionary phone/iPod into a GAMING DEVICE! Does anyone know how incredibly hard that is? I give props to Apple for pulling of such a daring and amazing feat! It would be incredible to see Gamestops and EBgames selling iPod Touch 2Gs at their stores, which would be in a few years possibly!

    • http://gamingenthusiastzone.webs.com/ Valkyria Chronicles Kid

      @RaZrVIN "What Apple has managed to pull of takes a LOT of skill, I mean starting off as a touchscreen phone and iPod (TOUCHSCREEN! That was revolutionary by itself!) And midway they added PDA functions (Mail, Weather, ETC.), and now they managed to turn their revolutionary phone/iPod into a GAMING DEVICE! Does anyone know how incredibly hard that is? I give props to Apple for pulling of such a daring and amazing feat! It would be incredible to see Gamestops and EBgames selling iPod Touch 2Gs at their stores, which would be in a few years possibly!"

      Really. A touch screen is revolutionary, this is true. But what system had a touch screen first, oh wait thats right the DS did. So you kinda owned yourself right there for being stupid. XD

  • Fattychan e

    I don't think that we will ever see the iPod touch at gamestop since it undermines their business model completely.

  • Fattychan e

    I don't think that we will ever see the iPod touch at gamestop since it undermines their business model completely.

  • http://www.amishracecar.com/ Amish Gangster

    The "killer app" is the app store.
    This is a revolution that might demolish the GameStop business model. It (or something very similar) will eventually.

    Even WAY back in the mid 90s, the top Oracle dude was talking about how absurd it is to buy software in a store. That's just the way of the future.

  • http://www.amishracecar.com/ Amish Gangster

    The "killer app" is the app store.
    This is a revolution that might demolish the GameStop business model. It (or something very similar) will eventually.

    Even WAY back in the mid 90s, the top Oracle dude was talking about how absurd it is to buy software in a store. That's just the way of the future.

  • steve

    if the iphone/touch had a few buttons i might agree. but without a d pad and a couple buttons itll never be a 'gAming device'

  • steve

    if the iphone/touch had a few buttons i might agree. but without a d pad and a couple buttons itll never be a 'gAming device'

  • http://jaysonelliot.squarespace.com Jayson Elliot

    I'm glad to hear that Apple has a long-term view of the iPhone as a gaming platform (or "console" as they are saying).

    I agree, it needs to have dedicated buttons and big-screen connection to be a threat to "real" consoles, but I also think that is exactly what will happen over the next two years.

    Coincidentally, I have been giving this a lot of thought lately, and wrote an in-depth look at exactly what it would take for the iPhone to challenge the Wii: http://jaysonelliot.squarespace.com/journal/2008/12/15/will-the-iphone-replace-the-wii.html

    (Yes, that's right - not the PSP or DS, but the Wii)

  • http://jaysonelliot.squarespace.com Jayson Elliot

    I'm glad to hear that Apple has a long-term view of the iPhone as a gaming platform (or "console" as they are saying).

    I agree, it needs to have dedicated buttons and big-screen connection to be a threat to "real" consoles, but I also think that is exactly what will happen over the next two years.

    Coincidentally, I have been giving this a lot of thought lately, and wrote an in-depth look at exactly what it would take for the iPhone to challenge the Wii: http://jaysonelliot.squarespace.com/journal/2008/12/15/will-the-iphone-replace-the-wii.html

    (Yes, that's right - not the PSP or DS, but the Wii)

  • http://goldenboat.wordpress.com Paul O'Connor

    The iPhone is definitely a gaming platform -- but it's a Trojan Horse of a gaming platform that is infiltrating our lives before announcing itself as such. I think the positioning of the iPod Touch as "the funnest iPod ever" is just the tip of the spear for what Apple has planned in the game field. I'm part of an iPhone games startup and we've certainly staked our fortunes on Apple's support of this platform for gaming.

  • http://goldenboat.wordpress.com Paul O'Connor

    The iPhone is definitely a gaming platform -- but it's a Trojan Horse of a gaming platform that is infiltrating our lives before announcing itself as such. I think the positioning of the iPod Touch as "the funnest iPod ever" is just the tip of the spear for what Apple has planned in the game field. I'm part of an iPhone games startup and we've certainly staked our fortunes on Apple's support of this platform for gaming.

  • Wulfsige

    I completely agree that the ipod touch is a gaming platform. To be honest it is the best out of three even now. As long as they don't raise the prices and keep it from 9.99 to free, people will continue to flock to it. Now if they really wanted to make it better, the next ipod touch verison, 3.0, would come out with a Camera attached, 3 times as long battery life, and bump the resolution up one more time.

    The thing I love most about this system is the constant stream of games and UPDATES to games. Once you buy the game they usually end up updating it, adding more content which DS and PSP now only cost more but very very unlikely to get any updates. Plus the fact new games are coming out daily, you have a HUGE hit on your hands.

  • Wulfsige

    I completely agree that the ipod touch is a gaming platform. To be honest it is the best out of three even now. As long as they don't raise the prices and keep it from 9.99 to free, people will continue to flock to it. Now if they really wanted to make it better, the next ipod touch verison, 3.0, would come out with a Camera attached, 3 times as long battery life, and bump the resolution up one more time.

    The thing I love most about this system is the constant stream of games and UPDATES to games. Once you buy the game they usually end up updating it, adding more content which DS and PSP now only cost more but very very unlikely to get any updates. Plus the fact new games are coming out daily, you have a HUGE hit on your hands.

  • Valkyria Chronicles Kid

    Yeah sure, the iPod Touch (I will not mention the iPhone cause its a phone and it feels better to say iPod Touch), is a gaming system, which is why most games are free to $10. Now granted the games on the iPod Touch, and the accelorometer and multitouch features could make it into a very fun, great gaming device. But take games such as Resident Evil 4 on iPod Touch (I am not talking about physical controls... cause Im sure the touch screen works fine), but what really makes it look like its ruined is the lack of a story in the game, yes gameplay is more important. But the DS can handle essentially big stories and cutscenes (Kingdom Hearts anyone)... the PSP/PSPgo can handle big stories and cutscenes (everything else anyone). But the iPod Touch needs more than just casual games and fun ports of old games, it needs stuff like big RPGs or games with big stories such as Kingdom Hearts (rumor has it that coded could be coming out for iPod Touch) or Final Fantasy. Hell look at Metal Gear Solid, Apple gains a watered down version of the franchise (its essentially an arcade like shooter). The touch screen and controls are great for the iTouch, but no stories for games (not every game needs stories, but a certain number of games should not just be about gameplay) makes it a watered down competitor, fix this and you got a winner in my book.

  • Valkyria Chronicles Kid

    Yeah sure, the iPod Touch (I will not mention the iPhone cause its a phone and it feels better to say iPod Touch), is a gaming system, which is why most games are free to $10. Now granted the games on the iPod Touch, and the accelorometer and multitouch features could make it into a very fun, great gaming device. But take games such as Resident Evil 4 on iPod Touch (I am not talking about physical controls... cause Im sure the touch screen works fine), but what really makes it look like its ruined is the lack of a story in the game, yes gameplay is more important. But the DS can handle essentially big stories and cutscenes (Kingdom Hearts anyone)... the PSP/PSPgo can handle big stories and cutscenes (everything else anyone). But the iPod Touch needs more than just casual games and fun ports of old games, it needs stuff like big RPGs or games with big stories such as Kingdom Hearts (rumor has it that coded could be coming out for iPod Touch) or Final Fantasy. Hell look at Metal Gear Solid, Apple gains a watered down version of the franchise (its essentially an arcade like shooter). The touch screen and controls are great for the iTouch, but no stories for games (not every game needs stories, but a certain number of games should not just be about gameplay) makes it a watered down competitor, fix this and you got a winner in my book.

  • Brandon

    Itouch has lots of fun games. I consider it a Gaming Device for many reasons.

    Some Awesome games include:
    -Call of duty world at war: zombies
    -N.O.V.A.
    -Ricky
    -Megaman 2
    -Brothers in Arms: Global Front
    And Many More!!!!!!

  • Brandon

    Itouch has lots of fun games. I consider it a Gaming Device for many reasons.

    Some Awesome games include:
    -Call of duty world at war: zombies
    -N.O.V.A.
    -Ricky
    -Megaman 2
    -Brothers in Arms: Global Front
    And Many More!!!!!!

  • Brandon

    The itouch is a game console, just like the psp and dsi. It's a game system with extra functions added. It has more games and developers than any game console or company has ever had. It also has the most sales. And with
    games like splinter cell: conviction... This is apples handheld game console. Most stores i walk into (ex. Walmart) have the itouches right next to the other games. Gamestop doesn't sell and probAbly won't due to their policy of not selling game consoles where u just download the games. Apple is also Competing with nintendo.

  • Brandon

    The itouch is a game console, just like the psp and dsi. It's a game system with extra functions added. It has more games and developers than any game console or company has ever had. It also has the most sales. And with
    games like splinter cell: conviction... This is apples handheld game console. Most stores i walk into (ex. Walmart) have the itouches right next to the other games. Gamestop doesn't sell and probAbly won't due to their policy of not selling game consoles where u just download the games. Apple is also Competing with nintendo.