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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

EA betting big on iPods for portable gaming

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Apple has sold more than 70 million iPods since their inception back in 2001 making up 70% of the market share pie of portable music players. Since the launch iPod Games for video-enabled iPods last September, EA -- the world's largest video game maker -- has released 11 titles at $4.99 a piece with no signs of slowing . Note: mobile gaming accounted for 14% of EA's total revenue last fiscal year (including PSP, DS, GBA?), and programming for iPods is a breeze compared to mobile phones which each use unique OSs thus increasing development costs.

But having downloaded EA's well produced version of Sudoku with its slick presentation for my iPod video, I gotta say the controls keep me from playing. The scroll wheel is just to clunky for fast navigation, significantly slowing down the experience. Still, Reuters reports on EA's optimism despite the limiting controls: "The iPod may not be the best device for playing games, but it already is carried around by millions of people, giving it a certain edge, said Forrester analyst Paul Jackson. It is the one 'you are most likely to be carrying when you end up waiting for a flight, sitting in a dentist's waiting room, etc.'"
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