How to: save on con­sole games

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gadgets -

SINCE 2008, Ap­ple has re­de­fined the gam­ing mar­ket, mak­ing games cheaper than any con­sole owner could imag­ine and turn­ing se­ri­ous men in suits into an­gry avian-flick­ing pro­fes­sion­als. Though Ap­ple doesn’t give ab­so­lute num­bers on how many games are in its App Store, it is es­ti­mated that there are 350,000 apps in to­tal and 65,000 of them are games. As big game mak­ers take note of this, ti­tles turn­ing up on the Ap­ple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch are get­ting more so­phis­ti­cated. Games are be­ing cre­ated for mo­bile de­vices rather than just be­ing ported across from con­soles. Take Elec­tronic Arts as an ex­am­ple. The games gi­ant has thrown its weight be­hind mo­bile plat­forms in­clud­ing iOS and An­droid, launch­ing once con­sole-bound ti­tles such as its FIFA fran­chise and other sport­ing ti­tles such as Fight Night for phones. Fight Night takes full ad­van­tage of the iDe­vices touch­screens. Touch the top right of the screen and the boxer throws a right jab at his op­po­nent. Touch the left lower side and the boxer throws a left at his op­po­site’s stom­ach. It’s an ex­cel­lent mo­bile in­ter­face. FIFA 11, on the other hand, com­pares un­favourably by port­ing over a hard-to-use ‘‘vir­tual joy­stick’’ from the con­sole ti­tle. The other big joy of mo­bile gam­ing is that any­one can cre­ate games. Kids are bang­ing out top-shelf — and high­gross­ing — ti­tles that are grab­bing se­ri­ous at­ten­tion from gamers. Thanks to gam­ing en­gines such as Un­real En­gine 3 (used on con­soles and shoe-horned into iDe­vices), the gam­ing ex­pe­ri­ence is im­prov­ing. Think Rage HD and In­fin­ity Blade. There is lit­tle doubt mo­bile is the gam­ing plat­form du jour, and that it’s much cheaper than the al­ter­na­tive. JOSHUA GRECH

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