Apple slams PSP, DS at iPhone/iPod conference
Steve Jobs returns as consumer electronics giant says its multimedia devices offer gaming experiences superior to Sony and Nintendo's dedicated devices; Madden NFL hits App Store today.
Today, Apple rolled out its latest line of iPods at a special event in San Francisco, presided over by CEO Steve Jobs, who is recovering from a liver transplant. As outlined in CNET's live blog of the event, one of the big draws was the new video camera and FM radio-equipped iPod Nano. Another was the price drop of the iPod Touch, which now costs $199 (8GB), $299 (32GB), and $399 (64GB).
Like at past events, Apple played up the gaming applications of the iPhone OS, which the iPod Touch also uses. However, unlike at previous events, senior vice president of worldwide product marketing Philip W. Schiller called out the iPhone and iPod touch as superior gaming platforms to both the DS and PSP. As proof of his assertion, Schiller first pointed to the price of games, which top out around $9.99 on the iPhone OS, but run as high as $34.99 on the DS and $39.99 on the PSP. "That's too expensive," he declared.
Second, the executive pointed to a slide showing the 21,178-title catalog of iPhone OS "Game & Entertainment Titles" dwarfing those of the DS (3,680 titles) and the PSP (607 titles). Schiller didn't mention "Games" and "Entertainment" are two distinct categories on the App Store when accessed from an iPhone. The "Games" category covers both polished titles, such as the $9.99 2K Games' Civilization Revolution , a port of the acclaimed DS version, and $0.99 casual titles, such as Solitaire. The "Entertainment" category covers an even broader swathe of nongaming applications, such as Run Pee Mobile, which tips moviegoers about opportune bathroom break times at a showing, and 18,000 Cool Jokes, a conversation aid to the humor-impaired.
Schiller also believes that, compared to those of the iPhone and iPod Touch, PSP and DS games are "not a lot of fun." Although iPhone game designers, such as Doom Resurrection's John Carmack, say the Apple device's lack of buttons are a hindrance, Schiller contends the opposite. As proof, he brought out Electronic Arts' Travis Boatman to show off the iPhone version of Madden NFL 10, which went on sale today. The game lets players draw their plays onto the screen, like the titular sportscaster's Telestrator, and then execute them with a touch of the button.
Preceding Boatman was Ubisoft's Ben Mattes, who talked about the November 11 launch of the Assassin's Creed II iPhone game, and Gameloft's Mark Hickey, who showed off a new first-person sci-fi shooter called Nova. Bart Decrem, founder of Tap Tap Revolution developer Tapulous, was also on hand to demonstrate Riddim Ribbon, a new DJ game, which lets you remix songs while tracing their rhythmic patterns.
For a full rundown of today's Apple event, check the live blog recap on GameSpot sister site CNET.