Ten years of iPhone gaming

Gadgets, iPhone, Smartphones

It might not feel like it, but Apple’s iPhone is ten years old this year. So fast has the past decade shot by that we’ve barely even noticed that this device, which was not so long ago the stuff of futuristic dreams, has completed its first decade and in that time, managed to reinvent modern living. Well, they do say that time flies when you are having fun.

And what fun we have had too. While these little pocket devices, computers in all but name, have become an essential part of life now, perhaps the most popular use we still have for our new-life tools is recreational. True, we bank on them, put them in charge of our calendars and diaries and we let them do our connecting for us, but the majority of the time we are catching up on our favourite TV shows or playing video games.

In fact, so popular has iPhone gaming become that smartphones now account for a large proportion of the gaming industry. But it wasn’t always this way. With its life changing operating system and finger-responsive touchscreen, it reinvented mobile gaming. Where previously we had only been able to access the heavily pixelated Snake, now we were, for the first time, beginning to see the kind of advancements that games like Fruit Ninja, Cut The Rope and Angry Birds popularised.

In Cut The Rope, and now countless others, a perfectly executed side wipe would feed your On Nom by, you guessed it, cutting said rope. In Angry Birds, as if you didn’t know already, a pulled back finger drag, when aimed correctly, would send your moody bird zipping across the screen hoping to burst the pigs on the other side. Things couldn’t be simpler or smoother.

But smartphones – and we really must credit ALL smartphones here while still accepting the iPhone was the original and remains the mother of them all – didn’t stop there. Touchscreen gaming was, after all, early on in the iPhone story. Last year, 2016, Nintendo released their Pokémon Go game that, for one brief summer, gave a glimpse into the future of gaming when, by utilising Augmented Reality, little animated Pokémon began to appear in real life situations, leading to the biggest co-operated global hunt the world might just possibly have ever seen.

Graphically, the games improved so much that older console games and pre-existing iconic gaming characters such as Super Mario, Sonic The Hedgehog and Pac Man, etc have all been trusted with their reputations and released into the App Store. So too have titles like GTA Vice City and Bully as well as specifically designed mobile friendly versions of console favourites like Hitman, Tomb Raider, Uncharted and Assassin’s Creed.

The iPhone has been a Godsend to many industries, even those that weren’t suffering to begin with. Consoles, and in particular mobile consoles, have found their place in society under threat like never before. A move that has seen Nintendo respond with their latest home console, The Switch, a hybrid of the 3DS and the Wii U, playable at home and/or away. And yet, online casinos, under no such pressure, have also enjoyed another boom period thanks to iPhones and other alternative smartphones.

In Canada, we are fortunate that we are free to enjoy real money online betting, classic casino games (like slots, poker, blackjack) and there is a wealth of iPhone apps that make things even easier and safer than you might previously have thought. But this is only but one of the gaming sectors building on the iPhone’s brilliant, and still improving, capabilities. In fact, it is harder to think of a gaming sector that hasn’t been improved, on a social level at least, by iPhone’s input.

Now, gaming looks forward to Virtual Reality as that technology begins to become the norm. True, phones do need to adapt in certain areas before they are ready to answer VR’s call, but you can be sure that industrial moves are underway to ensure that, as always, the ever-ready iPhone will be ready and waiting.

Chris Price