Video Games

Gamers aren’t scared of Apple.

I was reading an article about how at E32011, Apple’s products went into obscurity. Facebook was there to advertise their games, too. However, neither one of the companies headlined E3, like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo does. Apple even released statistics of ipad’s gaming use; Apple said that 15% of the apple market use ipad for gaming. iphone takes up more percentage than ipad, obviously.

So, I struck a conversation with my cousin who is a casual video gamer. He plays PS3 games when he gets a chance, and he also plays Scrabble on his iphone a lot. I asked him what he thought of Apple being in the same league as the main 3 console manufacturers. He said that iphone and ipad isn’t really a video game system, at all. And I agree. Yes, iphone and ipad can play games like Street Fighter 4 (albeit a modified version). ipad to a bigger extent can run an HD version of a popular first person shooter, for example Call of Duty. And yes, it does exist. The problem is that ipad isn’t really a game console like the PS3.

While both are multimedia products – and that’s what they’re being marketed as. The problem is the delivery. PS3 belongs in the living room, ipad belongs on the go, just like Nintendo DS currently is. But do we call Nintendo DS a game console? No. Its a handheld system. And that’s a whole another topic.

You see, when Sony released PlayStation 3, they wanted to market it as an all-in-one console. That’s what Sony originally wanted PS2 to be, hence the tag title underneath the console’s name: Computer Entertainment System. But game enthusiasts still think of PS3 as a game console first. The reverse is true for ipad and iphone. Apple wants to dive into the game industry, but it’s doing it in the wrong way. Mostly because most of the i[Product]’s market thinks either one of the products is an all-in-one multimedia device.

Its like the mobile industry, much of the marketshare play games on the mobile phones as opposed to buying a handheld system. But do they want to call it a game console? No.

I read an article titled “Why are gamers scared of Apple?” the first thing that come out of my mouth is “We’re not scared. At least I’m not.” In fact, I embrace Apple’s entry into the industry, but only because Apple brings innovation to everything they produce.

I also think that Apple brings quality to their hardware, which is something Microsoft is lacking with their hardware, namely the Xbox 360. Nintendo on the other hand makes quality hardware, but some hardware launches don’t fare well as much as GameCube did. For example, there were a small percentage of Wii’s failing to work, and Nintendo DS suffered the same fate. Although that Nintendo does fix your hardware for free or for a small fee, that’s not my point. Nintendo’s hardware has been spotty at best. Now for the case of Sony, they’re the hardware king. Yet, back in PS2’s increasing dominance, there was a lot of hardware failures either you were lucky to have a launch system still working, or you had to get a new one. PS3 on the other hand had a small percentage of this problem. Apple’s hardware failures has been spotty at best, but iphone is one tough little phone.

I think that one glaring problem with Apple taking over the industry is the games. As it stands right now, the games on i[Product] are very small in size, and very short. Most of the games on the market are stripped down versions of games you’ve already played on your Xbox 360 and PS3. I think that there will be a huge overlap in how games are perceived once Apple crashes the party. Sony and Microsoft do a great job separating PSN and XBLA games from games you normally pick up at retail. Apple, if they do fully go with the plan of entering the industry will confuse mobile games, ipad games, and video games as part of the same service. This is going to be a problem, and that’s where the trouble is going to start. And ultimately, I see this as a red flag, it will cause the industry to have yet another video game crash. Why? Because garage developers will try to vie for the greater video game industry, not just the i[Product] marketshare.

Consumers will be incredibly confused as to what really constitute a “video game” just like the case where consumers were confused as to which game to buy in the Atari/NES era. Consumers wanted authentic, high quality games back then. If Apple does go into the industry, the consumers will want epic, large scale, long, big games and not all of these small games that cost you just $15 dollars.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for accessibility, I’m all for video games being on more than one device. But if Apple wants to go into the video game industry, at least try and separate i[Product] games from normal video games that we already do pick up at retail.

Let me put it this way; suppose Apple released a service that allows you to download video games designed just like a retail game. And developers released a console game [for this example, I’m going to use Modern Warfare 3] on the iPad and there’s an Xbox 360, PS3, PC. You’re at the store, trying to buy the PS3 version of MW3. You have iPad and you look at the games marketplace, and you see MW3 for sale at $15, you think it’s just a small, stripped down version of MW3, only to find out its the complete same game that you’re about to buy at retailer. You cancel your order and then what? The retailer loses money, and the company in question loses money.

I think its just more confusion for everyone and more headache to other companies than it is to Apple. ‘Till next time.