The Nintendo DS was once a giant in the portable gaming world, and enjoyed a long lasting time by itself atop the portable gaming mountain. That was until a little device called the iPhone (and iPod Touch) released. At first Nintendo tried to distance themselves from the iPhone by saying it really wasn't a "gaming system".
This worked for a little while, but as time went on figures for Nintendo started to drop. Certainly, you can attribute this to the system growing in age. However, even Nintendo couldn't ignore the impact Apple was making on the industry.
One knock against the iPhone in terms of gaming is how the titles have never measured up in quality or length to the Nintendo DS or Sony PSP. Even if the games on the iPhone were and still are much cheaper than the established handhelds. You might be paying a fraction of the cost of another portable gaming title, but you're getting a fraction of a game as well.
This all looks to be changing. Meet Infinity Blade.
The game is being published by Epic Games, a renowned company who has released major hits such as Unreal Tournament, and Gears of War. Chair Entertainment oversaw development duties, and have been responsible for successes on the Xbox Live Arcade.
Positive reviews have been pouring in, with Matt Clark, a reviewer for 1UP.com stating, "If you're looking for a game that really showcases the potential power of your iOS device, Chair/Epic have done a stellar job of bringing a near console-quality game to the iPhone. It's not perfect, but overlooking some repetitive play and the occasional frame rate hiccup, Infinity Blade is a huge step towards real core gaming on Apple's platform."
Reviewers might have gravitated towards the game, but how has it been performing in terms of sales? With a relatively high price point of $5.99 on the app store, Infinity Blade took in $1.7 million in just four days. Which makes it the fastest grossing app ever. Proving that people are willing to throw down a little more money than usual for an iPhone app, if the quality of the product is worth it.
Preceding the release of Infinity Blade was a title called Rage. This game was developed by a company called 'iD', the developers behind the famous Doom series. iD released this app to hype up the full game release which is coming out in 2011 on the Xbox 360 and PS3.
The price point was set at $0.99 for the standard version, or a high def version on the iPad and iPhone 4 for $1.99.
Here's a demo of the iPhone 4 version of Rage:
With both iD and Epic/Chair finding success with high quality iPhone games, it will be interesting to see how other developers continue to push the envelope. Certainly a four day $1.7 million takeaway is enough to show other developers what can be done on the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad.