New iPhone OS allows developers to be more creative, let the games begin.

19 03 2009

iphone-3-new-1by Matthew Moore

As expected, the Apple iPhone is really looking to be a contender in 2009 onwards as a handheld gaming device, surely surpassing the Sony PSP and biting on the heels of the Nintendo DS as far as the install base goes.  With a number of capable games already released on the iPhone platform such as Steve Demeter’s “Trism” which was single handedly crafted in only 10 days from design to launch, its plain to see that anyone with a great idea and determination can make a great game for the iPhone.  Not to mention the majority of the iPhone functionality can be found on the iPod Touch, so there you have a few extra million customers with the correct hardware.

The native iPhone SDK kit has been available for a while now, which has allowed developers to create all manner of iPhone applications.  An example of a popular “native” application would be the Facebook download.  Native means that it makes use of the standard iPhone protocols, such as its makes use of the standardised keyboard functionality.  These API’s (Application Programming Interfaces) allows developers to spend less time designing standard interfaces such as keyboards and touch functionality and more time working on what makes their application great.
So what does this mean for games?

Well with the new OS 3.0 which has just been unveiled by Apple, they have inclupicture-1ded over 1000 new API’s for developers to use.  Now not only can developers make use of the likes of integrated keyboards, but they can even make use of the built in bluetooth and also the integral iPod functionality.

Electronic Arts for example have looked at what makes their Sims franchise great, the ability of creating an electronic world in which they can express themselves in ways which are not possible in the real world.  The Sims 3 for the iPhone is making great use of the iPod Library Access API which allows player of The Sims to drop a sweet sound system into their house which will then play the music held within the iPhone’s iTunes database.

picture-2But the fun doesn’t end there, we also have companies like Ngmoco who have 2 titles coming out, the most exciting is “LiveFire”, a multiplayer FPS which will allow players to join with their friends over WiFi and 3G.  Making use of the Push Notification, players can send invites the their friends to call for backup at any time.

To wrap up, I firmly believe that the iPhone can be a genuine platform for gaming, the proof will be in the pudding and I’m sat with a ladel ready to delve deep into whatever developers are putting their minds to.

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