“For the last few days I’ve been sampling some of the games available from the iTunes Store on the iPod Touch, and I’ve been stunned at how elaborate and involved they are. On the iPod Touch I’ve played a version of Gameloft’s Real Soccer 2009 that rivals the version of the game on the Nintendo DS, and I didn’t even miss the buttons. I’ve seen demonstrations of Sim City, forthcoming for the iPhone and the Touch from Electronic Arts, that look more elaborate and sophisticated than any versions I’ve played before on a desktop PC or console,” Arik Hesseldahl reports for BusinessWeek.
“They’re immersive, addictive fun. And it’s now readily apparent to me that the iPhone and iPod Touch are well on their way to becoming an important force in handheld gaming. When you consider the ease and reach of Apple’s online method for distributing games, Apple could do in this category what it did in online music, causing big headaches for the genre’s established players, Sony and Nintendo,” Hesseldahl reports.
“Apple’s come a long way in short order. In the three months and change since the iTunes App Store opened for business, it’s already home to some 1,500 games, compared with fewer than 300 titles for Sony’s PlayStation Portable and about 600 for Nintendo’s handheld console, the DS,” Hesseldahl reports.
“The iPhone maker is also holding its own when it comes to units sold. Based on sales data and analysts’ projections, Apple is on track to sell an easy 40 million devices or more a year that are capable of playing games,” Hesseldahl reports.
“Nintendo sold 42 million DS consoles during the 18 months from January 2007 to June 2008, according to market research firm iSuppli. So Apple is on pace to sell about as many game-capable handhelds in a single year as Nintendo, the market’s current leader, has sold in the most recently reported 18 months. This suggests that Apple could be on the cusp of claiming the crown as the world’s market leader in handheld gaming,” Hesseldahl reports.
Full article here.