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This Week in Gaming…

Hey everyone! I just wanted to give you an update on breaking news concerning portable gaming/the iPhone before I posted my question and initial assumptions about the culture of the gaming environment. Question to follow soon!

  1. February 17th: Two days after news hit that Street Fighter is to be released on the iPhone, Capcom made gaming news, yet again, by announcing its immediate release of Resident Evil 4 to the platform. The entire game wasn’t released, though. Rather, this game was specifically geared towards “beginners,” being rightfully dubbed “Resident Evil 4: for Beginners” for only $0.99. With this no-commitment, immediate release, maybe Capcom is attempting to warm up non-gamers and gamers alike to the idea of playing traditional games on the iPhone?
  2. February 21st: Apple announced that it increased iPhone 3G’s app download limit from 10MB to 20MB. Previously, iPhone users who wanted to download an app larger than 10MB had to switch over to a WiFi connection. Maybe Apple is gearing up for some bigger file-sized games to be coming to the App Store (Resident Evil: Degeneration has a file size of 13.6MB & Final Fantasy I has a file size of 72.1MB)?
  3. February 22nd (1): OnLive (a yet-to-be-released subscription gaming service that allows you to stream & play games on a personal device from remote computer hardware) announced that their demo of the game Crysis  being played on the iPhone ran, “fast and smooth.” Typically, Crysis requires super high-end computer hardware to run, usually costing $3,000+. OnLive also mentioned running their app on “tablets”…iPad to be their next adventure? Gamers having the option of subscribing to a service where they can stream games on a multitude of platforms could mean a whole new direction for Apple (and gaming platforms in general). Here’s more on how the “cloud gaming” console works.
  4. February 22nd (2): IGN.com released a “first impressions” article about Street Fighter IV for the iPhone, with video shots of the reviewer, Charles Onyett,  playing the game. Overall, he was impressed with it, saying that it’s “pretty, functional, and coming out in March.” He also mentioned that the game was created in a way that both beginners to the game, as well as avid Street Fighter fans, will have an enjoyable experience, noting that there are certain difficulty functions that can be turned on and off.
  5. February 25th: Final Fantasy I & II are released on the iPhone. While these are only PSP (Playstation Portable) games that were ported (rewritten to be compatible with another operating system, while the actual game, for the most part, stays the same) over to the iPhone, since they are such well-known, iconic games (in IGN’s review, they called Final Fantasy “not just a videogame,” but an “institution”), it’s been a legitimate discussion topic on gaming sites and forums. Furthermore, there was talk about Final Fantasy I & II coming to the iPhone previously, but there never seemed to be a set date for when it was to be released. So, did Square Enix (the company that makes Final Fantasy) see that Capcom was releasing Street Fighter and decide that now would be as good of a time as ever to release the game?

It’s interesting to see how things have developed since Capcom’s mention that Street Fighter will be coming to iPhone. I haven’t followed gaming in the past (before this week) to know if there was a significant change in talk about portable gaming, but it seems as if there has, at the very least, been a steady flow of developments concerning iPhone as a portable gaming system.

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  1. mushon 13:16, Feb 27th, 10

    This seems really interesting! The $0.99 games as promotion sounds like a great idea, to promote the console games. I am sure we’ll see some more “freemum” models soon too (free for basic features and more expensive later on). Another aspect that might be interesting is networked games, maybe using wifi or Bluetooth functionality.
    Do you have an iPhone? Are you planning to purchase these games and try them out?

  2. Leslie 14:48, Feb 27th, 10

    Hey Mushon- yea, I definitely agree with the “freemium” thing…one person actually mentioned on Capcom’s Street Fighter IV discussion board on http://www.capcom-unity.com the idea of Capcom releasing more characters later on for an additional fee. For instance, a consumer could purchase the iPhone Street Fighter game, and then as an ‘add on’, later on, he could purchase 5 additional characters for $4. So, there’s a lot of opportunities to get consumers to try, and then further keep them interested in these iPhone games. Yea, the whole networking thing is cool, as well, especially for the iPhone- the ability to play against others over the 3G network (that has already been purchased when you bought the phone) could potentially give the iPhone a big push, I feel like.

    I do have an iPhone, so I’m excited to be able to test these games out from a consumer “gamer” perspective (even though I lack the gaming skills!), and I think this will be the general idea behind my question. I definitely plan on trying out the games- so far, I’ve tried out Resident Evil: Degeneration, which has been extremely frustrating for me! I’m finding it difficult to use the touch screen controls, but feel like this might be a result of me both learning a new game AND learning how to use touch screen controls. Whereas more hardcore gamers are just learning the touch screen controls. I plan on purchasing Resident Evil: for Beginners next to see if that makes things easier for me.

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