[UPDATED] iOS is the greatest gaming system ever

Gaming titles for iOS DWARF gaming titles for all other consoles combined going back 25 years
[Via Edible Apple]

It took Nintendo and Sony a while to wake up and realize just how much gaming on the iOS was affecting their bottom line and changing the way folks play and view video games. The iTunes App Store together with the millions of iOS devices out on the market is a 1-2 punch that no competitor can match, and as a result, Apple’s share of US gaming revenue jumped nearly 500% from 2008 to 2009 while Sony and Nintendo both saw their percentage of gaming revenue shrink.

While Nintendo still reigns supreme in video game land, it recently posted its first quarterly loss in two years amidst plummeting Nintendo DS sales. Looking forward, Nintendo has high hopes that its upcoming Nintendo 3DS will keep folks from migrating over to the iOS platform, but as people become more comfortable with casual gaming, Nintendo is going to have a tougher time marketing a device that exclusively plays video games without offering other multimedia experiences.

Compounding matters, the selection of iOS games is completely astounding, even more so when measured against the number of games available for all other consoles combined. The graph below, courtesy of Richard Gaywood of TUAW, charts the total number of iOS gaming titles versus the cumalative total of gaming titles for every popular video game system dating all the way back to the original NES.


[UPDATE: The original article at TUAW has some updated graphs that are interesting. Nice example of what open examination of data can produce. Someone else took the data and displayed it with a time dimension so you can understand just how fast this has all happened.]

In just a couple of years, three times more game titles have been created for the iOS devices than in 25 years for all the other gaming systems. This demonstrates how much easier it is to create a title for an iOS device. Making it easy to create a game and then being able to rapidly get it out to millions of people makes developers very happy. Distribution of titles for other gaming systems works against many small developers.

Sure, not all the games are great but if I had 3 times as many to choose from, I bet some good ones would rise to the top. Sturgeon’s Law would suggest that 90% of all games are crap. But if I have three times more to look at, I’m going to have a lot more good ones.

And these are much cheaper games to buy, as a group, than any other system.

Is this something Android will really be able to compete with? Hard to know since I enjoy playing the games more on my iPad than on my iPhone. Classic Doom is really cool in an iPad – tilting to strafe is a great innovation.