iPhone Apps, What’s Mac to do?

Original article can be found here.

As it turns out, Apple is unsure how to handle the influx of iPhone applications, most of which are games (or decidedly game-like).  The article says that, to date, over 500 millions(!) applications have been downloaded from the app store.  That is a very large number.

In a way, it’s almost counter-intuitive to what our readings have been lately.  Almost every week, we read an article by someone who thinks that the future of games (even the future of humans) lies within this emergent virtual media.  However, the sales charts prove otherwise.  It does not seem as though most people want to live in new virtual spaces, they just want to be less bored.  There were still children last Christmas who didn’t find Wiis under their trees.

The article goes on to talk about Apple’s possible plans for the iPhone’s gaming future, but they don’t seem very sure.  Does it really matter to them at this point, anyways?  I think there’s definitely an audience for iPhone games that are more engaging, with better graphics, gameplay, story, etc.  Also, since the iPhone is much simpler to program for, it’s likely that the business sector will head that way too.  If one had the tendency to over-react, they might talk about this being the end of console/PC gaming, but I do not believe that is the case.  It’s really just opening up the gaming world to non-gamers, which will likely be good for everyone, especially those of us who want to make a living from this.

Is Sony Crazy?

Maybe. (Sony Makes It Hard to Develop for the PS3 on Purpose)
Part of me can sympathize with the choice they’ve made. Filtering out the junk from the nuggets of gold seems to be a decent priority. Heck, Apple can do it, why can’t they?

However, the developer in me wants to scream bloody murder. I can only rationalize this for so long, because this type of exclusiveness is just begging for ridicule. You can’t keep out the junk, no matter how hard you try. Bad games are developed, no matter what. By “bad”, I mean any game with a glaring flaw that subtracts the overall value to a game. A convoluted story, horrible gameplay, and bad art could be factors to this. Sony should realize that at the end of the day, the wielder of the almighty dollar is in charge. This is a fact.

I can imagine how discuraging and frustrating this must be for some developers. Considering the CEO’s statement about how he practically thinks that if PS3 developement remain “unfiltered”, then nothing but trash will be produced. Kind of adds a vibe of, “A lot of these development houses are full of crap! Who need ’em?” to the mix.
Why would they think that people wouldn’t want to harness the sheer power of the PS3? Why would they consider making development time more costly and longer for third-party developers? I guess there’s a bit of that “only the strongest will survive” mentality here. It’s an insane stance for Sony to take, and I hope their realize the error of their ways before it’s too late.

Are Games Too Expensive?

Are games too expensive?

I’m on the fence, honestly. At first, I was pretty adamant against paying the premium price for modern console games. Back when I bought PS2 games, I thought that fifty dollars was quite a bit. Ever since the $60 dollar price point became the standard for the modern consoles, I’ve been wondering whether or not to complain about it.

You see, back in the nineties, games were around $40 – $50 to be begin with. The Super Nintendo, Sega Megadrive, and Sony Playstation, for example, were a lot cheaper than the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. And as far as I can remember, there wasn’t much in the way of protest. Either these games were rented at about ten bucks a weekend, or people actually broke down and bought it.

But now, it seems as if people started to feel entitled to stop paying “full price” for a game, and some have come to the conclusion that some games aren’t just worth paying $60 for. It could be because of the advent of Xbox Live Arcade, the Playstation Network, quality handheld games, and various Indie titles released on the PC. People are beginning to discover that, as of late, a lot of these downloadable titles are actually worth more than their $10, $20, or $30 dollar price tag. From there, the expectation of churning out a quality game so that you get what you pay for grows exponentially. On top of that, some people who do want to try out the big name titles may rely on the second hand game market to fulfill their needs.

As for me, I was never much of a person who bought games on the day it came out. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve actually pre-ordered a game, let alone go out of my way to buy it within the first week of it being released. The need to pay full price for a console game whittled away over the years due to being exposed to a smattering of indie games on the PC, and very wonderful budget games for the consoles and handhelds that I own. Heck, even a few open source games caught my attention! (Darn their reasonable price points and decent gameplay!)

Going back to the question at hand, are game really too expensive? I don’t think so. It’s more or less the same as it were years ago. However, is it worth spending the money to pay full price for these games? Depends on the game itself. Since you can’t play through a whole game without buying it for the most part, I like to play it safe by buying it second hand after a few months. I’m in no rush, trust me.