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iPhone hurts Nintendo, will Apple rise to challenge?

07-31-2009, 01:02 AM
#1
iPhone hurts Nintendo, will Apple rise to challenge?

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...its_sales.html

Nintendo is admitting it. I'm hoping Apple starts taking the gaming side of its iDevices much more seriously.

Personally, I'd love to see Apple provide:
A framework specifically for game controller add-ons with a guideline for minimum buttons included and suggested layouts.

A full Apple branded, XBox Live experience we can tap into as developers. Online matchmaking included.

An organized initiative towards game developers with support and example code etc. (already a little motion in this regard).

Anyone think this kind of public announcement by Nintendo will stir things up a bit at Apple's iPhone division?
07-31-2009, 01:20 AM
#2
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,657
No. things are all the same at apple Inc in the iPhone sector. Didn't you know that Steve jobs made a deal with nintendo to port all of their games and expertise in a single partnership that will crush Microsoft and Sony? That's too much info from me. If I post anymore info I will be like the guy from china who commited 'suicide' from the iMob.

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07-31-2009, 01:39 AM
#3
Not sure how to take that reply. Seems to suggest that my wishes are too out-there for Apple to consider. mmkay.

What I can't get my head around is why some of these things haven't happened yet. There is really nothing to lose and only gain involved.

At least for 1 and 3 in my list. Number 2 takes some logistical effort and there could be a minor backlash due to the growing competition in that arena... but, honestly, all but 1 or 2 of the players in the social/matchmaking services in are in for a losing game in the long run, right?

Can anyone list the downsides to 1 and 3: controller guidance and more focus on game-related support?

Anything else Apple should do at this juncture regarding games?
07-31-2009, 05:45 AM
#4
Apple has historically been weak in their support of the game industy. They seem to have a hot/cold relationship with us, depending on their business strategy du jour.

Anyone remember the Pippin? Game Sprockets??

As long as their iPhone/iPod touch business is doing well, I'm not hopeful that they will spend their resources to make our lot better. I have a feeling they're having problems just keeping up with the status quo.

At least Microsoft did things (mostly) the right way for the Xbox 360 after learning from their mistakes on the Xbox 1.

Yas
2n Productions
07-31-2009, 06:40 AM
#5
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2n Productions View Post
As long as their iPhone/iPod touch business is doing well, I'm not hopeful that they will spend their resources to make our lot better. I have a feeling they're having problems just keeping up with the status quo.
Unfortunately I tend to agree. Apple themselves have admitted the success of the App Store has taken them by surprise and I think this is why it's taking them a long time to improve anything to do with the App Store. They've only just implemented keywords - doesn't seem likely they'll unveil an XBox Live style experience all of a sudden. They're probably glad so many quality options are turning up from third parties.

As for controller add-ons, I think this kinda goes against their design ethos. The point of the iDevices is the simplicity and versatility of no buttons so I can't imagine them seriously endorsing something which detracts from that.

Right now I'd just be happy if they improved the App Store categories/ranking which they have said they are looking into. I hope they don't think the keywords is a complete solution for this.
07-31-2009, 09:20 AM
#6
I remember Pippin -- reading about it, that is.
Game Sprockets was such a tease, too. I was just starting to get into things back then. Ended up with SpriteWorld for awhile.

Certainly, I'm aware of Apple's failure when it comes to games. I've always had to keep a junky PC around just to play bigger games. This is why I bring this up in tandem with the Nintendo statement.

Apple's disdain for games --starting back when Jobs was apparently paranoid about the original Mac being labeled a toy-- could finally be giving way. This is the first time a gamble on games for Apple has paid off in a big way since the Apple ][.

Basically, Apple got a seat at the game console table without asking for it. I'd hope it would start to live up to the responsibility of the seat, but maybe that's too much too ask.

I appreciate Apple's surprise at the success of the App Store --it was going to just be web apps!-- but we're kind of past the surprise moment, aren't we?

I hear you on the controller thing. It seems counter to the basic advantages of the iDevices at first, but the alternative is a divided market with no coherence shown to the customer. You don't want the customer to feel like they're on their own when it comes to getting what they want out of their device. This is what leads to jailbreaking and basic discontent. So little effort is needed, though, to give some guidance at least, right?

I really don't disagree with anything said here --save the first response--, just trying to be optimistic and hopeful. In the end, the store situation needs to be the priority, but couldn't Apple try and hire someone with the right kind of experience and a bit of initiative to steer things a bit in this area? Apple has accomplished incredible long term success in the face of surprisingly popular products before -- iMac, Final Cut Pro, iPod.

Last edited by aaronsullivan; 07-31-2009 at 09:23 AM.
08-02-2009, 12:43 AM
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by monteboyd View Post
As for controller add-ons, I think this kinda goes against their design ethos. The point of the iDevices is the simplicity and versatility of no buttons so I can't imagine them seriously endorsing something which detracts from that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsullivan View Post
I hear you on the controller thing. It seems counter to the basic advantages of the iDevices at first, but the alternative is a divided market with no coherence shown to the customer.
Also, remember that an add-on controller/peripheral will fail if there's no killer app that utilizes it. If you're a Nintendo, this strategy works (e.g. DS, Wii, rumble pack on N64) because you can create unique software that can be bundled with the peripheral to increase the installed user base. This in turn creates a viable ecosystem for other 3rd party devs to create software that utilizes the add-on controller.

Unless Apple pulls a rabbit out of its hat, they are incapable of creating entertainment/game content that will drive sales of add-on hardware.

I also doubt that a third party iPhone dev is ever going to have a killer mega-selling app that requires an add-on controller (e.g. Beat Mania, Guitar Hero, Rock Band).

Yas
08-02-2009, 10:31 AM
#8
In my estimation the killer app(s) is every single game on the App Store that has an onscreen control pad of any kind. There are too many to bother counting. Every single one of them would have the experience enhanced by having a real control pad and buttons.

Also, I have no illusions about it being something every iPhone user or iPod Touch user will feel they need to buy. I just think that gamers will have a tendency to pick one up. Especially as they play a game they really enjoy and have to keep using the never-quite-right on screen control pad and buttons.

It's such a small investment on Apple's part to come up with a few guiding principles, a default layout, and a basic API. If it doesn't take off, what is really lost?

If it did take off, my only concern as an indie developer is that the big guys might really muscle their way in with premium content and franchises only they can deliver. So there is that against it from my perspective. :P
08-02-2009, 10:43 AM
#9
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: The Emerald Isle
Posts: 1,978
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsullivan View Post
In my estimation the killer app(s) is every single game on the App Store that has an onscreen control pad of any kind. There are too many to bother counting. Every single one of them would have the experience enhanced by having a real control pad and buttons.

Also, I have no illusions about it being something every iPhone user or iPod Touch user will feel they need to buy. I just think that gamers will have a tendency to pick one up. Especially as they play a game they really enjoy and have to keep using the never-quite-right on screen control pad and buttons.

It's such a small investment on Apple's part to come up with a few guiding principles, a default layout, and a basic API. If it doesn't take off, what is really lost?

If it did take off, my only concern as an indie developer is that the big guys might really muscle their way in with premium content and franchises only they can deliver. So there is that against it from my perspective. :P
Um, they already have an API for it.

Life Is Too Short To Be Wordy
08-02-2009, 01:09 PM
#10
I assume you mean the External Accessory Framework, right?

Yes, this is very nice and has opened up a way to have legitimate add-ons including game controllers, but this is low-level and requires creating support for each individual piece of hardware. That means every new controller that comes out will need a little profile that every developer will need to include and support separately. This is the problem I want Apple to avoid.

A completely new API specifically for a gamepad might not be necessary, but at least an extensible profile of some kind so that a gamepad manufacturer can support a minimum selection of controls that a developer can tap into so that every add-on controller will be useful for every game that gives support for the basic profile.

Something like a digital 4-way pad with a certain ID, 2 primary buttons, 2 secondary buttons, maybe even as specific as face and shoulder and small buttons, and left and right analog sticks. Each has a specific ID and a specific way of working that Apple lays out with a general suggested location for these buttons.

Now every dev can get a reasonable expectation as to what a player with any game control hardware will have. Perhaps the analog sticks are optional, so you can check to see if you have them.

Now the hardware manufacturers can compete and add new interesting features or ways of hooking it in, even new buttons -- extensible in some way.

This is NOT currently arranged and it's what I was summarizing with the idea of API.

Last edited by aaronsullivan; 08-02-2009 at 03:20 PM.