The iPhone Is The New Gaming Platform

In a post on Monday, Om Malik asks, <a href="">"Is iPhone The New Gaming Platform?"</a> I think the answer is yes. I expect it will run the Nintendo DS out of town.

Thomas Claburn, Editor at Large, Enterprise Mobility

July 21, 2008

2 Min Read

In a post on Monday, Om Malik asks, "Is iPhone The New Gaming Platform?" I think the answer is yes. I expect it will run the Nintendo DS out of town.I have a 'tween daughter who has expressed interest in both an iPod and a Nintendo DS. Come the holidays, if the economy hasn't completely crashed, I'll probably end up getting her an 8-GB iPod Touch, which is basically an iPhone without the phone.

At, a Nintendo DS lists for about $130 while the iPod Touch starts about $290. That would seem to swing the argument in favor of the DS, but DS games are expensive, ranging from $20 to $35.

The situation is similar for the Sony PSP, which lists for about $170 on Amazon and features games ranging from $20 to $40 (excluding higher priced imports from Japan).

Games for the iPhone/iPod Touch range from free to $10. And the ones I've tried on my iPhone are a lot of fun.

While more expensive games may yet appear, game publishers have been quite reasonable so far. Whatever the reason, iPhone/iPod Touch games are very attractively priced. If you plan to get more than six games, the iPhone/iPod Touch starts looking like a better long-term deal.

While the DS and PSP are both good gaming machines, neither can match the iPhone/iPod Touch as a media player or portable Web browsing device.

And the iPhone/iPod Touch's form factor makes it much more appealing when on the go; it passes the pants pocket test. The PSP is just a bit too large.

Perhaps more to the point, having one portable device that can do everything is just easier to deal with.

The DS and the PSP still have a wider variety of game titles, but Spore is coming to the iPhone/iPod Touch and other A-List titles can be expected.

Nintendo and Sony had better get their responses to market before Apple and its expanding iTunes ecosystem conquer the world.

About the Author(s)

Thomas Claburn

Editor at Large, Enterprise Mobility

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful master's degree in film production. He wrote the original treatment for 3DO's Killing Time, a short story that appeared in On Spec, and the screenplay for an independent film called The Hanged Man, which he would later direct. He's the author of a science fiction novel, Reflecting Fires, and a sadly neglected blog, Lot 49. His iPhone game, Blocfall, is available through the iTunes App Store. His wife is a talented jazz singer; he does not sing, which is for the best.

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