As MCV reports, Apple has just poached two top industry PR execs to help further push iOS as a major gaming platform.

Rob Saunders, who leaves behind his seven year position at Nintendo where he played a key role in the launch of the Nintendo DS and Wii, will be working PR at Apple for applications across all iOS devices. Nick Grange, who departs his role at Activision as the studio's European PR director, will be focused on iPad hardware. Grange comes to Apple with a long history in the industry, having held position with Electronic Arts and Microsoft.

Ever since the launch of the App Store, iOS has shown itself to be a solid games platform, which is something Apple quickly embraced in its iPod touch advertisements. In the years since that launch, we've seen some truly innovative and amazing titles emerge for the platform, which has evolved significantly from a hardware perspective, as well.

According to a recent report, over 40 million people game on their iOS devices -- and that's in the US alone.

[ via TUAW ]

  • Furtin

    Yay! Good news. It happened that I play mostly on my iPad instead of PSP and DS. Now all I need is iCade and a button/Joystick-Addon from Apple, since I find the Flings kinda flimsy ...

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, if they're getting this serious, an actual joystick/buttons from Apple could be possible. But that may take away what makes the iOS platform unique...

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, buttons will never happen. Theydont make any sense for the platform. And it has nothing to do with how serious they are about gaming.

        Let's look at the long-time best selling games on the top list now: Angry Birds, Tiny Wings, Fruit Ninja, Cut the Rope, Words with Friends, Doodle Jump. None of those games have any need of buttons, and in fact are better without them.

        A new interface means unique games and ideas, and in this case is leading the success of the platform. There are a lot of people with iPhones that don't generally play "gaming systems" and wouldn't get any use from buttons, not to mention they'd be completely useless for every other kind of app. Apple would never make their devices bigger and add largely unnecessary, regressive input methods just to please a small segment that thinks they know what gaming should be (namely: what gaming used to be, or is elsewhere). It completely goes against what they stand for.

      • Furtin

        Well, I said Add-On. And shure Angry Birds and such have proper sales and work touch-only. But if they are willing to go into "serious" gaming, Button/Joystick controls are the way to go. My Highscore with Flings on GeometryWars blew the "touch"-score out of hell and back ...

        So, either Apple or some third-party guys should develop a working Add-on, while I have Graphics/Games for iPad4 in mind. Wich will be a serious comeptitor for Nintendo and Sony in my honest opinion.

      • Anonymous

        Want serious gaming with buttons? Get the Xperia Play which is an android phone that is the successor to the PSP which has the PSP buttons which slide out from the phone in a few days. You are going to see some innovative games from companies that are going to take advantage of both the touch and gyroscope as well as the buttons. Don't get an Apple product.

      • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

        Brilliant, cuz you know, Android has so many games.... urp...

      • Fjimenez593

        Shut up!!!

      • Anonymous

        Most of the games I play on iOS I can find on Android.

      • martha

        hey thats so dumb Jk i didnt even read it but it must b boring!!!!!!!!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SGBZOZI67JW2CJDAIBZ2PU7WX4 Jason

        Totally agree. Buttons will never happen, nor should they. Apple is all about streamlining their products, every new item has less buttons, less ports, less drives, etc, adding buttons would be a step backwards for them. People who want buttons on their i-devices like their home gaming consoles need to just get over it and move on.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, I guess you guys are right. The touch screen is what makes it unique.

      • shab00m246

        You are absolutely correct. However, Apple could begin offering an accessory that developers could build their apps around (if they like). Also, if you go to http://goo.gl/HoFGI you'll find an Apple patent for a second screen that possesses more luminance than the touch and LCD layers; this could be utilized for appearing and disappearing game controls that stand out but don't get in the way.

      • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

        Ah, you just answered your own question.. hard buttons are a step backwards.. not needed.

      • Anonymous

        No, the part about the touch screen was in my original post, I was just repeating myself. I tend to do that sometimes...

      • Fjimenez593

        hi!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Mader/100000347179097 Chris Mader

        Making things more usable is not a step backwards.

      • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

        En. with better software buttons.

      • leemac

        There is a joystick, called the Fling.

        http://gear.ign.com/articles/115/1154342p1.html

      • Anonymous

        It's only for the iPad.
        :(
        :(
        :(

  • Anonymous

    After a year I think gaming on iOS will grow to xbox 360 quality! Look at upcoming games! Every year they are getting better!

    • Mrnohnaimers

      we must be playing completely different games, no iOS games I've played or any iOS games that I know that is in development is even remotely up to the level of a AAA title for PSP or DS let alone a 360 or PS3.

      iOS gaming is great for what they are designed for, "accidental gaming" eg using your iPhone for some short gaming sessions on a short bus ride or short wait for something etc.

      iOS game developers are not willing to spend the time and money necessary to make an AAA title like what's available for the DS, PSP or 3DS. Those very high quality games are very expensive to make and they more than justify their high price tags. I much rather spend $10 bucks on Final Fantasy Crisis Core or $19 on Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker than $1 on Angry Bird Rio, Angry Bird etc

      • Alohainternet

        You are talking about the past. I undestand the iOS gaming is limited at the moment due to the lack on controller etc...but Apple is planning to develop something entirely more powerful w/controls from here on that is focused on gaming entirely. I have confidence in apple bringing us a next gen platform that will blow me away. At least ill be able to message my friends online.

      • http://twitter.com/NOVAinc Lucas

        Well, Real Racing 2 is a very well made game that I would play over gran turismo for example, not to mention I don't need to carry a differnet device. Then you have console ports that easily beat DS games (rayman, PoP, RE4, etc)

      • Woz

        You're obviously not an iOS hardcore gamer. The PSP/DS have nothing that can compare to Real Racing 2, Infinity Blade, or Galaxy on Fire 2, or Dead Space. All iOS hardcore games are $10 or less. PSP & DS titles range from $20 crap to $40 overpriced junk

      • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

        Is that you Woz?

      • http://twitter.com/ScottColbert Scott Colbert

        Reality called, it misses you.

      • Quicmix

        This is not correct. IOS Games has the same quality and more quality then these games.
        There are a lot if RPG's available they are more complex and with better gfx.
        About he prices. The time is over to pay overpriced games. 80% of the games are overpriced.
        Also IOS Games dont need a package. no paper and important No Stockrooms.

        For me is clear: I love to play with a touch screen. Its far better for me. I never need a yoystick.

    • Carl

      The games are far away from XBox 360 or PS3 quality, but maybe Wii.

    • Decoy Octopus

      I Know this is an iphone centric site and and all, but this comment by far is the dumbest. Why dont you compare the specs of the xbox 360 and iphone 4 and see what they will need in a year.

      • Anonymous

        This is true, but something to keep in mind is the resolution the iPhone 4 runs at DOES make it easier to pull off some neat AA and AF tricks, especially with the iPad 2's new GPU. But yeah, 360 > iOS for capabilities. But iOS > DS and PSP by a long shot.

  • http://dear-apple.com/ DearApple

    What is the game on the right screenshot? That 3D FPS-one

    • starwars13

      Its a game called N.O.V.A. By gameloft

    • bmdino

      N.O.V.A

      • Helpful Harry

        ENN OH VEE AH

    • Anonymous

      I think it's called HALO.

  • Dboy

    I've had an iPod Touch since the 2nd gen. Now I'm in my 4th gen and to me it's not and never will be a serious handheld gaming device because of lousy battery life and lack of buttons (Yes, they're important no matter what iDevice fanboys here say). It's ideal for playing short, casual games like Angry birds and Flight Control and that's about it. Once the NGP hits the market it's sayonara iPod Touch for me.

    • SirAwesome

      I agree that the idevices has their limits but the 3DS that just came out has what 3-5 hours of battery at the most? I dunno about alot of people here but a big appeal of the app store is that not only do we get awesome original games such as game dev story but also big titles such as dead space or FF3 at a fraction of the cost. Lego Hp was the same game on the ios as the ds and the latter version cost at least $15 more. Thats pretty hard to beat in my book.

      • Mrnohnaimers

        "Big Titles" are the iOS are so rare and there are so few of them. Of course there are exceptions, but the majority of the "big title" iOS games are ports of old PSP or DS games, and they are never the AAA titles from DS or PSP either.

        iOS games are not always cheaper than DS or PSP games, the best RPG on iOS is arguably Chaos Rings which sell for $15-16 right now on iTunes but for $10 you can buy Crisis Core for PSP on Amazon which is a vastly vastly superior game.

      • SirAwesome

        You have a good point but part of the nature of the app store is ever changing prices/sales that is hard to match elsewhere. Chaos Rings was on sale recently for 7 or 8 dollars. I agree that big exclusive titles on iOS are rare but I think that is a changing trend with quality titles coming out or be given extra care. Good examples are RR2 and dead space and even Infinity Blade.

      • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

        That's weak.. we have awesome games from EA, Ubisoft and Square, as well as up and coming developers... I have been playing the $15 Final Fantasy 3 for about 2 weeks.. its a DS remake with much improved graphics.. you got a problem with that?

      • gobshite

        psp,s suck balls, they always did and always will.

      • Anonymous

        Good argument.

  • Razor__jones

    Apple need to act now and seriously put a spanner in the NGP before its released, by releasing a physical controller for the IPhone/IPodtouch and maybe an SD Card slot, as the more powerfull the gear Is becoming the bigger the games. I mean Nova 2 Is a gigabyte, imagine how big it could Be using the Unreal engine.
    this needs To be made by Apple and not 3rd party as Apple would get the support from Devs.
    They could release a cheap controller with basic controls, and a more expensive one with a second battery to double the play life.
    This would certainly turn the Iphone in to a major game machine.

    • Anonymous

      The iphone will never be a dedicated gaming machine maybe the ipod touch because iphone's ultimate purpose is to be a phone. If your battery dies, you can't call out or get calls basically left out of contact with the outside world unless your voip or text still works.

      • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

        If batteries in any electronic device die, yes, you're almost certainly in some trouble. Your point?

    • Decoy Octopus

      If you want a major portable game machine, just buy the NGP when its released and call it a day.

      • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

        Yeah, after all, it's got so many games......er

  • Lukwtwz

    We all do our share as gamers to show which wins or fails are whose or what's fault. When you can show that, then you're on the right footing for promoting and defending a platform.

  • TigerXtreme69

    iDevices need expandable memory or the ability for iTunes to back up saved games otherwise the user inevitably runs into the problem that I have and that is a limited library due to the fact that I don't want to lose progress in certain games.

    • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

      Back up saved games? Dude, are you new? They already do that.

    • Chaos_envoys

      Never heard about iPhone exploler? :D

  • http://toucharcade.com blakespot

    Apple will never add game buttons to the iPhone, and if they did, I would be disappointed.

  • Anonymous

    Want serious gaming with buttons? Get the Xperia Play which is an android phone that is the successor to the PSP which has the PSP buttons which slide out from the phone in a few days. You are going to see some innovative games from companies that are going to take advantage of both the touch and gyroscope as well as the buttons. Don't get an Apple product.

    • Furtin

      Night of the living Troll

    • http://twitter.com/NOVAinc Lucas

      stop spamming, buzz off apple hater

      • Anonymous

        I'm no apple hater. Its just not a device for serious gaming due to the lack of physical buttons like the Xperia Play is. The Xperia Play will have the PSP buttons and companies like Activision and Rockstar games bringing titles to the device unlike the ipod touch. The ipod touch however is fantastic for casual gaming, just not serious gaming.

      • Robotron2084

        Gaming is serious?

        What are you, like 10 years old? Gaming is just a pasttime, not a career. For people who don't like iOS games, go get your other devices and play them all day and night if that's what your life is all about. Don't come here comparing them to Apple - it's stupid. Different products for different people.

      • Anonymous

        Agreed. I love the way people throw silly buzzwords around like serious gamer and hardcore. I get just as much enjoyment playing some 3 match game as I do with a FPS; if anything, that sounds more hardcore than someone who limits themselves to blowing peoples head off. So the Touch (or phone/pad) are only good for casual? I guess I didn't realize Nova, and Dungeon Hunter 2 were casual games. Back in the day, the term "hardcore" didn't exist - everyone who played games... just played games. lol

      • Anonymous

        Such a great comment.

      • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

        A-fuckin-men!

        Hardcore gamer is the biggest oxymoron on the planet. Yeah, I get it, you shoot a gun IN A VIDEO GAME. You beat someone up, in a game called VIRTUAL FIGHTER.

        Eg. Your hardcoreness is about a real as the Mushroom Kingdom.

      • Furtin

        *cough* GTA Chinatown Wars *cough*

      • http://twitter.com/NOVAinc Lucas

        There are not rules about what a device must have in order to play a game and play it well, check kinect, check wii, check move... all of those systems are gaming systems that work in a different way than your classic joystick/mouse-keyboard... actually, into some years when new ways to control games and getting physically linked to your characters (like avatar or something similar) buttons will be considered so 90's.

        The truth is that touchscreen, gyroscopes, accelerometers, etc are all different technologies and are meant to be used in a different way... if you told me you can't make a decent game using a touchscreen then it'd be obvious you didn't play infinity blade, for example.

        There are serious games out there... if developers don't want to think more and they just make a game with a digital joystick then fine.. it works, but that doesn't mean you NECESSARILY need a physical controller. It's a new/different technology, if you're not able to understand that then you can't really give an opinion about what a device must or mustn't have in order to do something you say so much you know about.

        Think of this, PSP didn't have gyroscope or touchscreen, even like that it was considered by people like you a more capable gaming device than say... iphone 4, and the upcoming NGP will carry all of those things, which will make it capable of playing FPS games in the way the iPhone can but the original PSP couldn't... Sure, it will have ALL the choices, but the first PSP didn't have it and they considered to be the absolute gaming machine... if that was true, nobody would have implemented these new stuff in the new one.

        OH! and... BTW, saying "do not get an apple product" as if iphones/ipods/ipads were the only touchscreen only devices (not to count android phones don't even have as many decent titles) makes you a total apple hater... so, if you're gonna come and tell people what to do without knowing about it, and bash a brand, you are a hater... buzz of hater

  • gee

    i hope others platforms like, sony, microsoft and nintendo learn from apple, the cheapest games are, the more people are gonna buy them.

    • Cowboysfreetyme

      Really? COD has sold way more than Angry birds and It sells for $60. Pokemon sells for $35-40 and has sold millions on the ds. Obviously people only go for the cheapest titles.

  • gobshite

    nooooo no buttons and joysicks. that's going backwards! surely anyone can see that. like said above the best games on ios are ,the best games because they dont have buttons. flight control is and eg, angry birds, tiny wings, harbour master etc

    and some of the worst control systems on ios are ones that mimic two joysticks sticks. plus if you want to play 1st person shooters get an xbox or ps3. that acounts for 80% of the games today....boring!

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  • https://profiles.google.com/hisdivineorder/ HisDivineOrder

    Before the end, more Nintendo execs will be finding jobs at Apple, Google, and publishers that embrace mobile phone/tablet games. It's inevitable. Nintendo isn't adapting to the market as it is. They're plugging their fingers into their ears and screaming the theme to Super Mario Brothers 1 as loudly as possible in the hope that this'll insulate them against the market's changing circumstances

    The 3DS is not selling as well as they'd hoped. It didn't even sell out in Japan. Even I'm surprised by that because that should have been a given. The 3DS is going to look ancient by next year compared to the iPhone 5/6 and iPad 2/3. Both of those are devices a kid's parent might well already own, no extra purchase required. Or they can go buy an iPod Touch 5/6 for $200 and games for $free to $7, tops.

    Retina is something that benefits the gamer all the time. 3d is something that benefits occasionally, if at all.

    • mrmyco

      the 3ds already looks ancient to me :))
      the retina display is just fantastic

  • http://twitter.com/coolpowers Simon Windmill

    Cautiously optimistic. I just hope that Apple remembers why the App Store works so well, with no real barrier to entry for any developer, not just those with a big-name publisher backing - which leads to less risk and higher prices.

    • Decoy Octopus

      The appstore needs higher prices for more quality games.

      • http://twitter.com/coolpowers Simon Windmill

        Debatable, though I understand your point.

        But do you want to move to pricing that puts Silly Bandz (to pick a game at random) at $20? If Apple ever moves to the lucrative licensing scheme that Nintendo brought to the industry, that's what we're talking about.

        It is, of course, a two way street. Developers and publishers need to be willing to price their work at an appropriate place and stick by that price instead of discounting it the minute they appear on a top ten list. Users have to stop complaining about $5 games - but seeing as the majority of games see a price drop as soon as they're popular, can you blame people for hanging on to their money for a couple of weeks?

        So yeah, I hope that these new execs realize that they're dealing with a different gaming landscape, one that is successful BECAUSE it's different.

      • Anonymous

        I'd rather play console quality games on my phone for $20 than have the smattering of big budget games that we have now at low prices.

      • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

        No one said that. The point is, guys like SquareEnix will not put their best games on iOS if they think theres a 'glass ceiling' on the game prices (somewhere around $15). Square is basically slow-going this so that by the time FF6 is due for iPhone/iPad, they can charge about $25 for it

    • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

      Right, except... there is a barrier to entry, namely, you can have glitchy code, and you can't do anything illegal, promote pornz, etc. The brilliance of the App Store also has to do with curation and very high quality control. I'm not sure if it's the 'wild west' you think it is...

      • http://twitter.com/coolpowers Simon Windmill

        Oh, it's not that I think it's a wild west - and we're in agreement about curation being the key. Apple's curation has been brilliant, honestly - they don't appear to play favorites with the big name publishers, and they highlight a wide variety of titles.

        What I'm referring to is that to get a game on the App Store, you need a Mac and a 100 bucks. Anyone with those things and the right skills can (in theory) create a game that millions of people will buy and play. This is a stark contrast to the traditional game industry where development costs are so high that no small developer can afford to put a game out themselves, they must go through a publisher and enter the churn cycle of commercial game development that so many people have jumped to independent development on iOS to avoid in the first place.

        And all that is separate from the issue of whether or not the iOS userbase would support $20+ titles. We tend to have a somewhat distorted vision of the marketplace when we spend our time on relatively hardcore gaming websites.

        But enough doom and gloom! Let's see this as a positive indicator that Apple is dedicated to continuing to put out kickass hardware that the best developers can use to create visually stunning games :)

  • nick price

    ipad is new wii ?

  • LBG

    I don't want physical controls, not unless they're as good as the PS3 controller (which obviously won't happen with a portable device). I hate PSP and DS controls, and would much rather use the touch screen controls on my iPhone, especially for 3D action/adventure & FPS/TPS games.

    • EastsideStompers

      I agree with you regarding FPS games. I tried Moon for the DS a while ago, and while it's a solid title, and very atmospheric, the controls were a royal pain in the backside, which totally ruined the experience for me. Sold it and bought The Dark Spire instead (amazing old school Dungeon Crawler from Atlus). Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed Gameloft's Modern Combat 2. The controls seemed pretty much spot on and I didn't hanker for buttons at all. In fact, buttons would have been a step backward, imo.

  • Poor Nintendo

    Only one comment really touched on this... What's impressive about this announcement is what it means for Nintendo just following their 3DS launch. The people who were supposed to promote it clearly see a brighter future elsewhere.

    • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

      PR = public relations. Quite a stretch to say they were the ones 'promoting' the new products

  • Anonymous

    I like the new comments look! Sorry to be off topic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cristiano-Fernandez/100001794208078 Cristiano Fernandez

    I agree with Carl 100%.
    Just found out that Mister Miguel will be free for a limited time only, hurry!