How Apple should combat Windows Phone 7 Series gaming

iPod Touch gaming Microsoft has come out all guns blazing with Windows Phone 7 Series. They’ve put in everything every user dreams of in a phone and then some. Xbox Live for mobile phones had been on the cards for years but never materialized before Windows Phone 7 Series. Now that we know details on how Microsoft intends to become the platform of choice in handheld gaming just like it is on the PC, Apple will have to raise the game even higher than the current App Store offerings. Here’s what I think Apple should come up with for iPhone OS 4.0 or iPhone 4G:

  1. Apple should create a social network for gamers. For PC we have Steam ( which is now coming to the Mac as well ). Xbox 360 has Xbox Live which will be available for Windows Phone 7 Series as well. Playstation 3 has their own network too. There is no such single gaming network for the iPhone. Different apps support different networks ( or have their own ). So if you’re an iPhone/iPod Touch gamer, you probably have many accounts. Game saves, profile information, achievements and other such data is distributed amongst them. If Apple creates a network tied to users’ iTunes ID and lets developers utilize it for their games, it would be a huge advantage for them against Xbox Live. Using the same ID for multiplayer games would be a huge bonus as well.
  2. Create a games dashboard. Just like the Xbox Live hub, a native iPhone app that shows the user’s profile, friends updates, achievements and all such information. Latest news about game releases in the App Store would also be a great addition to the dashboard. I know it sounds like I want them to copy Xbox Live, but then that’s not a bad thing.
  3. Cross-platform gaming between the Mac and iPhone. I know this is a stretch. OS X doesn’t have many games to boast about, but it would allow the App Store developers to fight on a feature to feature level against Xbox live, since it will also allow you to play the same game on the PC, Mobile and Xbox 360.
  4. Make a gaming console out of Apple TV. Before you laugh at this one, think about this scenario. You’re playing a game on your iPhone, and then you switch over to your TV, use your iPhone as a controller and play the same game on a larger screen. This would allow 2 or more players to play together on the larger screen as well.

These are my ideas on how Apple should improve iPhone as a platform to stay relevant in mobile gaming. These might be all dreams since we don’t know how serious Apple really is for the iPhone/iPod Touch as a gaming console, but keep in mind that Microsoft is damn serious this time and Apple should do something about it. What do you think?

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  1. The best platform for gaming is ipad by apple. Apple should focus on ipad gaming form 3rd april to onwards.

  2. Apple, if serious, they must act quickly. But, considering the complexity of well established gaming platform like Xbox, I doubt they can do it in really short time. Most probably it wont in iPhone 4.0. It will be realistic within 2-3 years.

    To speed up, probably they can just buy another company. But which one?

    There is one area that Apple can jump in and kick Microsoft in the butt … Making robust online gaming platform that support “real-time” (massive) online multi-player or at least support Wi-Fi/Bluetooth ad-hoc.

    Microsoft is still lacking on that area.

    But again, how long that can be achieved? If more than a year … The mobile hardware will improved and Microsoft will have that with XNA GameStudio 4.5 !

    So, indeed, Apple is playing catch-up now, at least on mobile gaming platform (no, iPad will have the same faith).

  3. KISS – Keep it Simple Stupid

    iPhone games work because they are simple. You just download and play. Trying to create a social gaming network I think would be a distraction for Apple. Just let developers make great games, and let Apple work on leveraging the success of the iPhone in new ways such as the iPad.

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