For a short time, a Game Boy Advance emulator appeared in Apple’s App Store for $1.99. The emulator, which was disguised as a baby name generator application called “Awesome Baby Names,” made it possible to play Game Boy Advance games on an iPhone or iPod Touch without having to jailbreak the device. Don’t bother searching for Awesome Baby Names, as it has been rightfully removed today from the App Store and is no longer available for download. Are you itching to play Game Boy Advance titles? The Virtual Console service on Wii U will eventually offer Game Boy Advance games, so try to be patient!
Toward the end of last year, Square Enix registered a couple domain names – AllTheBravest.com and AllTheBravest.net – that left gamers hoping Bravely Default: Flying Fairy was on its way to the West. It turns out the domain names have nothing to do with the publisher’s Nintendo 3DS role-playing game. Instead, Square Enix revealed Final Fantasy: All The Bravest, an action role-playing game that pays tribute to the entire Final Fantasy series, for iOS devices, including the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The iOS game releases tomorrow, January 17th, in the App Store and will cost $3.99.
According to Cnet Senior Editor Scott Stein, even though it still lacks built-in physical buttons and analog sticks, the recently released iPhone 5 is the best gaming phone. Stein believes the iPhone is “getting awfully close” to trump the hardware of both the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS. Stein also claims that gamers may hate to admit it, but Apple’s iPhone was always a great gaming handheld.
Back before the iPhone 5 was a known quantity, back before we even knew it was definitely going to have a larger screen, the iPhone was already a great gaming handheld. Millions of people know that. Gamers may hate to admit it, because the iPhone lacks physical buttons. It doesn’t matter.
What the iPhone did to mobile gaming has reverberated across the industry, forcing the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita into catch-up mode, battling for second and third place. Free-to-play and the very concept of redownloadable gaming apps — not to mention the rebirth of indie development — can all be traced to Apple’s App Store and this little handheld device.
How does the iPhone 5 compare as a gaming handheld? It’s the best Apple’s ever had, but it may be the best any phone maker’s ever made, too.That’s not to say the iPhone doesn’t have a few issues. Its lack of physical buttons and that smaller screen began to feel cramped compared with the latest handhelds from Nintendo and Sony. Physical buttons or no, the screen of many iPhone games can become riddled with virtual, cluttered button dashboards. Some elegant games bypass this, but many don’t.
A couple days ago, director Tatsuya Kando promised that Square Enix is working on new developments for The World Ends With You but didn’t specify what they are. Based on an image that was first seen toward the end of the credits of the iOS version of the game, a sequel to The World Ends With You is supposedly confirmed to be in development. Which platform(s) do you think the sequel will be for?
The World Ends With You’s teaser site is still counting down prior to a reveal, but Square Enix may have accidentally spoiled its own surprise. A new The World Ends With You soundtrack is listed on the publisher’s online store, which mentions that a version of the game will launch for iOS devices later this year. It looks like The World Ends With You will no longer be exclusive to Nintendo’s dual-screen handheld, the Nintendo DS.
The latest Pokémon games are selling well in Japan, and a developer wants some the franchise’s success by releasing Little Masters – another game that tries to mimic Pokémon, without actually featuring any of Nintendo’s pocket monsters. The Pokémon clone, if approved, will soon be released on the App Store. Based on the images shown above, Little Masters looks strikingly similar to the core Pokémon games. Earlier this year, Apple approved a Pokémon game, which turned out to be a complete scam – will Little Masters be given an OK?
“The game [Little Masters] will be free-to-play with paid currency. However you will also be able to earn the currency by battling your friends. The more friends you play with, the more you can get. The first version of the game has already been submitted to the App Store for review and should be available soon.”
Many analysts try to push Nintendo to develop games for smartphones but Nintendo does not plan to do so. Nintendo producer Takashi Tezuka was recently asked about how he’d feel if Mario games would come to iPhone. Tezuka said that Nintendo can definitely make a Mario game that only uses touchscreen controls but it wouldn’t be a 2D side-scrolling platformer, and it would be on a Nintendo console. Games that use touchscreen controls can be developed for Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS and the upcoming Wii U – why should Nintendo make Mario games for other platforms?
There has been a lot of push from certain analysts about iPhone games from Nintendo. How do you feel about the idea of Mario being on iPhone? Pushing past that, is it possible to make a Mario game that would be touch screen only?
“We can definitely make a Mario game that’s touch screen only. It wouldn’t be a 2D side-scrolling Mario platformer, but I think we can definitely make games maybe in the vein of Mario vs. Donkey Kong or something like that. I think that’s definitely possible. Would we make that for another platform? No. Of course not. It would be on a Nintendo platform. But it’s definitely something we could do. It just wouldn’t be a 2D side-scrolling platformer.”
Video games weren’t the only things that were showcased during this week’s E3 – cases for phones were also on display. Nintendo recently made a deal with PDP to create official Nintendo-themed iPhone cases. The displayed cases featured designs from The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario franchises. The cases are supposed to be released in October.
Perhaps $40 for a 3DS game is outrageous, but what surprises me is when people scoff at the cost of $5 and $10 Nintendo eShop games. Really? Now even $5 or $10 is too much for a game?
Time for some perspective: our best selling DS game has sold around 100,000 copies worldwide. Based on how the average original non-licensed game sells on the DS market, 100,000 copies is a big success. On a side note, we saw no profits from this title due to the broken business model of retail – but that’s a different story.
In my opinion, iPhone games have a greater chance of selling closer to 200,000 copies due to the nature of the platform and the audience using it (they also have the same chance of selling zero copies due to how flooded the market is).
But, they have to be the right types of experiences for the iPhone audience.
Games that go beyond literal simple pleasures take time and money to create. This will never change. If people are unwilling to pay higher prices for richer experiences, then these types of games will cease to exist. You know supply and demand and all that.
We will then be left with a market full of simple gaming experiences that offer the same value as what you paid for it.
UK Interactive Entertainment chairman Andy Payne has told attendees at the Develop Liverpool conference that he believes both Nintendo and Sony should stop making video games consoles and should instead embrace mobile platforms such as the iPhone or Android smartphones. What do you think to his comments?
“I think it would be a massive relief to both Sony and Nintendo to become content-only,” he said. “Right now, they might not even know it. You know that thing where you take drugs and you think it’s the best thing in the world? Then you get off them and go, ‘What was I doing?’
“Imagine any Mario or Zelda property being on the iPhone or an Android phone. They’d get £10 or £15 for it, because people would want to pay to have it on their phone. They would. And that would be amazing. And Sony’s content is amazing. I mean, Uncharted … it’s just brilliant! I’m not knocking those guys, because they really do make fantastic games. And when we kind of get that bit over, wouldn’t it be refreshing to have Nintendo really making stuff for the iPhone, Android, and all the other stuff that’s around?”