iPad now "fastest growing games platform"

iPad now "fastest growing games platform"In what will be bad news for console manufacturers, Apple's iPad is now, apparently, the fastest growing games platform in the world. And that's direct from the mouth of one man who would know - John Riccitello, the CEO of gaming giant, Electronic Arts.

In a blow to those who've been kitting out their consoles with all bells and whistles, he said (in a very roundabout way!) that's it not all about how flashy your technical capabilities are, but the way the experience is presented.

"I would argue that there's more to be provided in terms of value for the consumer in micro-transactions and social experiences and driving those better in cross-platform gameplay between a console and a PC and a handheld device and a social network than there is supercharging graphics," Riccitello said.

In a sign of just how much things have changed, Riccitello claims consoles now account for only 40% of the industry - that's compared to 80% back at the start of the millennium.

But as phones have grown to provide more than Snake and tablets have emerged, the line between console and anything else has become blurred for many.

And the manufacturers are definitely feeling it. Obviously hankering for the glory days of the original Gameboy, Nintendo launched its revolutionary 3DS back in March.

But even that's not been enough to rekindle console love - with the Japanese giant yesterday posting a $324m loss and announcing the 3DS price is to be slashed.

It could be a good time to get one - though if EA's comments are anything to go by, you may be best just spending the money on dozens of games for your iDevice instead!

Read more about: iOSApple iPadApple iPad 2

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JanSt / MOD  Jul. 30, 2011 at 07:38

Electronic Arts - and other console games studios - have been bitching for years about the fragmentation of consoles. The huge hurdles when new consoles are launched, the incompatibilities - between consoles and also backward etc etc.
They argued ages ago for 1 platform, be it hardware or cloud-based. In fact: the first rumours about a Microsoft console were hopeful that it might use PC the platform - basically a stripped down pc that does games and games only, and that other manufacturers would follow. But of course, hardware vendors and creative devs couldn't agree ;)

So no surprise that the 'creatives' will grasp any opportunity to embrace more dev-friendly platforms. Also, in this accelerated world ppl want convenience. I read a good 10 years ago that 80% + of all console games were never finished by players/played more than once. The trend is obvious when you look at the big releases for PS3, xBox etc. When GTA SA came out on PS2 it took months and months for 2nd hand copies to appear in games and video stores. GTA IV, LA Noire etc etc have all been available pre-owned after a day or so.... Not surprised that many casual gamers prefer 'wasting' a fiver on a mobile game instead of 20 or 30 bucks on a console game that demands hours of dedication to even get into to then realise it really doesn't live up to expectations.rosoft console were hopeful that it might use PC the platform - basically a stripped down pc that does games and games only, and that other manufacturers would follow. But of course, hardware vendors and creative devs couldn't agree ;)

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 30, 2011 at 07:41

...sorry. posted the above via mobile. for some quirkie reason long posts get doubled up... o_O

blizzard7  Jul. 30, 2011 at 11:08

Actually many many devs have described the Xbox 360 as a dumb PC with an extremely lightweight kernel. It's use of DirectX also makes it easy to make PC versions of Xbox games. PS3 is generally more powerful than the 360 but it doesn't normally show because of how memory is allocated in the PS3, and the different programming methods needed.

The reason why iPad is more appealing is not because it's dev friendly from a programming point of view, but because assets like textures, polygon counts can be brought down to the bare minimum and things like AI can be programmed in an afternoon rather than taking a team of people months. So basically low cost to the dev, but fairly high gains if done right.

I prefer my games with depth, story and accurate controls with tactile feedback so I'll stick to blowing my money elsewhere :)

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 30, 2011 at 11:23

You got a point. But the point is not the similarity betw xbox and pc - initial xbox rumours were that it would LITERALLY play PC games. And devs at the time were excited because it could have meant - ideally - one platform.

That aside you're right. On phones I might play something casual for 5 minutes max. I wouldn't pay more than a buck for a mobile game and store 600 MB for something inferior...

I also wouldn't buy an iPad :p

blizzard7  Jul. 30, 2011 at 12:14

Ah, I see your point now. Well hey, devs have it easy now compared to the 80s and 90s where you had to port a game about 8 times to cover all the bases :p


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