Thursday, September 2, 2010

Just to drive it home a bit..

Someone at Apple must be reading. That, and they must really like numbers.

Numbers make the shareholders happy, define a consumer's reliance in a product, sometimes serving as a tipping point in new purchases, but more importantly, numbers give Apple a reason to crow above their competitors.

At their most recent press conference, they had a ton to show yesterday. Namely, that there are over 120 million of their devices using iOS out there in the wild. For the uinitiated, that would be referring to the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. With over 230,000 activations (or device purchases) daily.

To put things in perspective, The Nintendo DS has a worldwide tally somewhere around the range of 132 million. Someone's catching up.

Not only catching up, but outselling both Nintendo AND Sony with a rate that speedy.

A rate speedy enough to give them 50% of the portable market now.


I've sung my praise of the iDevices as a gaming platform before, but even I couldn't anticipate numbers like this, and certainly not this fast. But am I surprised? No.

But I know who should be. If they know what's good for them.

It's a frightening prospect, a portable platform with the ability to evolve and grow as the market or technology demands, but Apple's got it. Previously, a portable could be released with the lifecycle of a console and enjoy a healthy 4-5 years before an upgrade was necessary. But with the ever evolving smartphone market, especially as a portable gaming platform with Apple at the forefront of such a revolution, we're seeing their hardware upgrade once a year. With better hardware, comes the prospect of more and more emergent software, and it's what's making their devices sell the way they do. The question of just what an iPod can do next is much more compelling than a handheld whose capabilities are clearly defined for the upcoming 4 or so years.

If you had told me two years ago that I would be seeing the Unreal Engine on my phone, I would've snickered heartily.


I just finished taking these shots from my phone. They're from Epic Games' tech demo Epic Citadel that shows the iPhone 4's ability to run their Unreal Engine 3 tech.

If only you could see the amazing water effects, dynamic lighting, textures, and overall stability (to put it very lightly and not tech heavy) in a still shot. I have chills, and I'm simply a consumer.

The entire portable gaming market has changed. With their ability to update their tech anually, it makes them a force to be reckoned with on a level that even Nintendo can't match. I doubt it's in an effort to keep up with Apple, but you can see Nintendo and Sony attempt to jump on the update bandwagon with incremental upgrades with questionable success (the multiple revisions of the DS and PSP cluttering store shelves and confusing consumers is proof of this), but the difference is, they aren't true revolutions of the hardware before it. As such, it's difficult to justify the frivolous upgrades on display when they're hardly integral to the core experience (built in cameras, microphones, better screens) in the same way Apple makes their revisions. I can't stop saying it. It's scary.

This is without me mentioning the digital distribution model that fuels the device, something the entire industry wants anyway as an ability to combat the sale of used games and pirated software, and the fact that the low cost and high profit of iOS development is very attractive to many a developer.

It's going to be a very interesting road ahead. Nintendo has the 3DS coming, and while no one on this planet has seen a true stereoscopic 3D handheld with the alleged power of a one knows what Apple has in store for us next year, or even the year after that with the newer runs of iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches.

Redundantly, it's scary to think about.

I apologize if it seems like I'm drinking the Apple kool-aid along with the rest of the masses, but the fact of the matter is, the numbers don't lie, their strategy is sound (and WORKING), and as a core gamer? Because I always have my phone on me, and the quality of the software on the device is comparable to my portable systems with half the hassle of operation? I rarely use my other handhelds now. Remember when we all laughed when Steve Jobs said he was going after the DS some years back? Who's laughing now?

Does Nintendo finally have a solid competitor in the portable market? Yes.

Sony? Well..we've gone over that already.

Time to get to work, boys.

Source: Engadget
Apple Claims 50% of Portable Gaming Market
Apple ships 120 million iOS devices since iPhone's launch

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