One of the (many) groundbreaking features about the iPhone has been its singular hardware design — which has made it easy for mobile game developers to create one title that works across all iPhones.
But the launch of the 3GS, with its faster processor and higher speed chipset, has introduced a bit of fragmentation. With over a million of the new iPhone 3GS’ already sold, companies now have to decide whether to start developing separate versions of each game for the different platforms, or whether to just release upgrades — as well as how to best allocate resources in the future.
Their choices carry long-term financial implications, since it doesn’t make sense to spend money (especially for indie developers) to make games for a platform (3G) that may eventually have a much smaller user base.
But in the near-term, choosing one version over the other could cut into the variety of games that iPhone and iTouch owners will be able to choose from. IndustryGamers talked to a number of mobile gaming companies to find out their preliminary thoughts — and the consensus is that they’re going to try to support both the 3G and the 3GS for the time being:
— EA Mobile: The company plans to create new versions of existing games for the 3GS so that people can play “no matter which iPhone or iPod touch a consumer has,” according to Travis Boatman, EA Mobile’s VP of worldwide studios.
— Digital Chocolate: Founder Trip Hawkins sees the two devices as a boon: “The older models usually come down in price and more people can afford them. Also, often the same product, without changes, will just perform better on the new models because of faster data speeds or better memory management or a nicer sound system.”
— Sega: Will continue to support both, though Paxton LaZar, Sega of America’s director of digital content said that they’d create special versions of games that “take full advantage of the extra power afforded by the new 3GS.”