Apple's iPhone 3.0 event today made it abundantly clear that the iPhone is evolving into a gaming machine. Here's why:
1.) With the addition of peer-to-peer communication between phones using Bluetooth, the device gains the ability to deliver true multiplayer gaming--whether that's death matches in a first-person-shooter (like LiveFire) or versus mode in a casual puzzle title.
2.) The ability to make purchases from within applications, means that games will now offer downloadable extras, for a price. In the demo of Touch Pets, for example, the player purchased toys for a virtual dog for a $.99 fee. This opens the possibility for massively multiplayer online games that are free to download but supported by in-game purchases, or even buying extra levels or characters, like the downloads on Xbox Live.
3.) What may be the most transformative feature of iPhone 3.0 OS is the interoperability between the iPhone and its accessories. Now you'll be able to plug a controller directly into your iPhone--imagine a snap-on shell that gives Apple's phone an appearance similar to Sony's PlayStation Portable.
Whether gaming controls, MMOs, or even other models of social gaming emerge, there is no denying that Apple has gained another solid foothold in the gaming industry. While Nintendo DS has the largest installed base worldwide, 100 million, the PSP has 46 million (according to VGChartz)--a number that Apple will soon match (there are currently 30 million units, between the iPhone and iPod Touch). The coming Nintendo DSi or PSP-4000 may not be enough of a technological jump to compete with iPhone 3.0.
Images courtesy of Gizmodo