iPhone More Popular Than DS And PSP Among Game Developers

Game Developer Research says that Apple is winning the race among handheld game developers: 19 per cent write now for the iPhone and iPod touch. That's more than double the amount of Nintendo DS and Sony PSP developers. Other interesting figures:

• Handheld games are now 25 per cent of the whole gaming market, up from 12 per cent before the iPhone/iPod touch phenomenon.

• During the last three quarters, all handheld game developers are writing for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch.

No wonder why Nintendo's President not a fan of the iPad. [Electronista]

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    Yet where are the AAA titles?

    the iphone is a piece of crap to develop for, not surprisingly the PSP and DS are a lot more professional an easier to develop for (tho they still aren't great).

    It's a shame apple's so called "awesome" customer experience doesn't extend to their developers.

    the main reason for this is that up until recently, you really needed to be backed by a big publisher to make games for the DS and PSP, PSP recently released minis, which is small at the moment, when they are competing against said big publisher backed games, and I don't think the DS has any indie avenue.

    the iphone's OS and such is too big for it's processing power (at least it was for the first one) and it's just not designed as a core gaming device, not with the current input method.

    once again, just because something's popular, doesn't mean it's good, just means it will make money.

    When you consider the cost of the dev kit, $99 for the iPhone when compared to several hundred if not thousands when compared to the others, it's not surprising that game developers are taking a hard long look at the platform.

    As with any new tech, it will take time before developers realise the full extent of the platform (PSP had PS1 experience and the DS has had years of back experience).

    Developing for the iphone is nothing like developing for the other platforms, apart from the obvious interface differences, the target audience tends not to be your typical hardcore gamer, they tend to be more casual gamers.

    Let's face it, most people didn't buy the iphone because it was an outstanding gaming platform, that was the bonus.

    And while a lot of core gamers might be upset, there are simply more casual gamers and with the general low cost economy of the app store, developers don't want to risk huge investments.

    Better to produce something that is quick and fun, doesn't take a lot of time on the part of the user to understand and get to grips with, then wasting thousands of man hours on something that might not make a return...Hollywood does it, so does the gaming industry at the moment, nothing has changed.

    When the iphone user is willing to part for more then a few dollars for an equivalent level of game (found of the PSP or DS), you might suddenly see a lot more high end titles been released, until then, don't expect it to change quickly.

    Don't get me wrong, there is money to be made, flight control is an outstanding example of a casual style game that does not require a large amount of time investment to play and enjoy, it's simple and addictive (the authors really understood their audience) and they've had great success from it! Well deserved and a job well done!

    I think perhaps the most interesting case study for a ipod/iphone game is GTA Chinatown wars. I don't own it, but I wonder whether it will prove sufficiently easy to control, to really be worthwhile. I think that the software keyboard solution for the iphone is quite decent, but in terms of controlling a complex game, i'm not sure software controls are really up to scratch yet. GTA also has some good brand recognition and I think if anything can show the iphone to be a viable "serious" gaming platform, it's got a good chance of being able to do it.

    I'd imagine some of the allure of developing a game for the iphone or ipod touch specifically over say, a DS or a PSP is that in the case of the former, there's a large user base who're more likely to have the device on them at times where they're not looking specifically to play a game, but maybe they've got a few minutes to kill and you might be able to get a few bucks out of them for a puzzle game or something.

    But, I don't know anyone who bought an ipod touch or an iphone for the games. Clearly, people who buy a PSP or a DS are buying it for the games. Much in the same way Amazon (or even Apple now... Potentially) likes having an ebook reader with an always on connection because it makes content accessible to a user base who is most likely to spend the most money, I suppose Nintendo and Sony are quite happy to spend at least some of their time catering to an audience who has proven quite happy so far to spend more money on individual games than iphone users seem to want to spend on average per application.

    Of course, this isn't to say they can't learn a lot from Apple. A device with always on connectivity to scratch that want for immediacy is a good thing.

    I'd be more interested in hearing the average earnings of a developer for the PSP/DS versus a dev for the iphone. Or revenue for different titles across platforms.

    Doesn't really take into account that any serious developer of mobile games would most likely be able to whip up an iPhone app almost as an afterthought or that the development costs are so low comparitively that people basically see no reason not to attempt it.

    Also if iPhone dev is more than double PSP and DS that means only 38 percent max have anything to do with any of those three platforms. Which means most handheld development is for non-apple phones.

    Sorry, is it all developers everywhere like you said in the second bullet point? or is it 19% as you said in the first paragraph?

    Also, while both the handheld games market grew during whatever unnamed timeframe in which the iPhone and iPod did as well. What evidence is there that the popularity of the apple products caused the popularity of the other handheld devices and no visa versa, is there even any proof of causation at all? either way?

    Then there is the issue that if 19% of handheld developers write for the iPhone or iPod and only half of those write for the DS and/or PSP, that then means that 81% of handheld developers do not write for any Apple, Sony or Nintendo product.

    I'd check the sources but theres no citations, which this really does need given the issues with the points raised

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