Today, PCWorld.com posted an article by Matt Peckham (“Apple Demonstrates Ignorance of Mobile Games Market“) that echoed some of what I was thinking while following the big Apple event Wednesday. However, I think Peckham is mistaken–Apple doesn’t demonstrate ignorance of the mobile gaming market, they are projecting what they want the gaming market to be. See, that’s how they misrepresent. Apple has a long history of insisting on a particular reality until eventually it can be said to be, more or less, true.
Take a look at this screencap from the official video of the event released from Apple:
What that graph refers to is the number of gaming and entertainment titles available in the Apple App Store and compares it to the number of game and entertainment titles compared to the number of game & entertainment titles available for the PSP and Nintendo DS. Now first off, I challenge these numbers entirely.
The PSP has a LOT of movie titles available for it. Well, it did back when Sony still thought it’s proprietary UMD (Universal Media Disk) was a good idea. Likewise, the DS Phat and the DS Lite both support Gameboy Advance games. As a result, I think both numbers are absurdly low when counting “game & entertainment” titles for the DS, as well. Sure, the DSi doesn’t support GBA games, but Nintendo has it’s own version of the App Store coming.
Next, I want to point out that the App Store has a lot of dumb-ass “entertainment” titles that aren’t games and aren’t much of anything. Would that stupid Zippo cigarette lighter app count as an “entertainment title”? I’m guessing yes.
Then there’s the fart app, the virtual bonsai tree-maker, and the lightsaber app and a lot more. Now, to be sure, I sure find that lightsaber app to be entertaining as hell, but would I compare it to Spore or Lego Star Wars, both of which I love on my DS?
And you don’t see Apple comparing them directly, either. That’s because they know it would be like comparing Apples to oranges.
As a person who LOVES his iPhone, I can tell you that anything with as few tactile buttons as the iPhone is NOT a gaming device! I get angry with it just switching tracks while listening to music. There have been countless instances when I’ll be watching a video and try to hit pause so I can back up to catch a subtitle I missed only to find the screen to be unresponsive for 15-20 seconds. Meanwhile, I’ve completely forgotten where the subtitle was and now have to go back very slowly to find it–which, of course, I can’t do because the touchscreen controls are crap.
Sure, the DS has a touchscreen, but it’s more responsive than the iPhone’s and the DS has actual buttons I can use, as well.
I’d also like to see the hard numbers when it comes to sales figures. Undoubtedly, the App Store has sold more game and entertainment titles than Nintendo and Sony combined, but let’s look at actual dollars made.
Most games and entertainment titles in the app store trend toward the cheap. $1-$10 or so. The only game I have on my iPhone, I Love Katamari, was $8, if memory serves. That’s a good deal cheaper than just about every game I’ve ever bought for my DS. So my guess is that Apple wants to convince everyone that the iPhone and Touch can rock as gaming devices, when really, the gaming experience you’ll get on either device is entirely different from the one you’ll get on the Sony PSP or the Nintendo DS.
But then, what else are you going to talk about in your keynote when the biggest thing you have to announce is a camera in an mp3 player?
Seriously though, get up in front of everyone and claim the iPhone and Touch are comparable to the DS and PSP??
Way to misrepresent, Apple. Not to compare Apple’s deceptiveness to that of an orange juice company’s but the whole thing reminds me of how Tropicana’s “Trop50″ drink masquerades as orange juice when it’s actually a watered-down and re-sweetened substance. Much the way real video games are watered-down for the iPhone and Touch.