Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

When Steve Jobs passed on October 5, the world lost a visionary, the computer industry lost a creative genius, and videogaming lost an unintentional hero.

Though he focused on other forms of entertainment—music in particular—Jobs had a huge impact on videogaming through a little invention of his called the iPhone.

Maybe you’ve heard of it? It was the first of its kind, an elegant, one-button mobile phone with a high-resolution touch-screen, motion-sensitive accelerometer and integrated web browsing capability that revolutionized the industry and redefined the idea of what a cell phone could be.

The very aspects of the iPhone that shook up mobile communications also changed the way we experience videogames. Yes, there were mobile gaming devices before the iPhone—Nintendo’s DS and the Playstation Portable (PSP) in particular—but this was something new. This was a serious device, an essential tool for the businessperson, and indispensable to the busy commuter. You could call the office, catch up on email, check the latest news on the web, organize your calendar. This was a tool, a godsend to the type A+, zero-down-time, productivity-obsessed. Yes, you could play games on an iPhone, but it was definitely not a toy.

Which was exactly the point. The iPhone appealed to a segment of the population that had little to no interest in PSPs or DSs, but might bust out their phones to play a few rounds of Mah Jong or solitaire—or maybe even Angry Birds—between meetings or during the evening commute.

To no one’s surprise, the iPhone took off like wildfire. Game developers suddenly had a new and extremely popular platform for delivering their wares, and access to an enormous market of potential gamers. Yes, they’re casual gamers, but bear in mind that casual gamers make up the largest and fastest-growing segment of the game-playing population.

Apple followed up its iPhone success with the iPod Touch—a device actually intended for entertainment—and eventually with its big brother, the iPad—which may become the biggest mobile gaming platform in history. As other hardware and software developers scramble to catch up, more and more smartphones, hand-helds and tablets are coming to market—and there are games for them all.

For game developers and casual gamers, it’s a great time to be alive. And it’s largely due to the unintended consequences of an uncommon mind. So, Mr. Jobs, from those about to rock, roll, fly, jump, and drive, we salute you.