How Apple should combat Windows Phone 7 Series gaming

iPod Touch gamingMicrosoft 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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