By Jared Newman | Monday, August 31, 2009 at 4:40 pm
Remember in March, when Sony Senior Marketing Vice President Peter Dille dismissed the iPhone? “The iPhone games and apps are largely diversionary, whereas we’re a gaming company and we make games for people who want to carry a gaming device and play a game that offers a satisfying 20+ hours of gameplay,” he said in an interview with GameDaily.
I’d love to hear what Dille thinks now that Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is coming to the iPhone. The game, originally released for Nintendo DS in March, was announced for Sony’s PSP in June and will arrive on October 20. The iPhone version is scheduled for release some time this fall, 1UP reports.
This is the inverse of Sony’s recent announcement of PSP Minis, a set of small-scale, inexpensive games targeted at the upcoming PSP Go. While that move represented an attack on the iPhone’s cheap gaming marketplace (though Sony wouldn’t admit it), GTA’s migration to the iPhone is a counter-assault on the PSP’s 20-hour experience.
The announcement partly suggests that game developers and publishers are getting confident in the iPhone as a serious gaming platform. More importantly, if the iPhone version of GTA proves equal to its PSP and Nintendo DS counterparts, it opens the door for more ports of dedicated handheld console games.
I’m not simply talking about a paring down of big franchise games, such as Assassin’s Creed and Metal Gear Solid, because that’s already happening. What I’m wondering is, how long will it be before the same handheld video game is simultaneously announced and released for Nintendo DS, PSP and iPhone?
And if that happens, how long will it be before Sony finally acknowledges that there’s a third enemy in its midst?