Does Steve Jobs Understand the Gaming Market?

I discussed this with a few of you last night, but I’m pretty sure Steve Jobs is pretty misinformed about the gaming market. This is disappointing to me personally because he’s one of the most fascinating people on the planet and second to Muhammad Ali on my “people I’d love to have dinner with” list. Considering how much money the iPad, iPod, and iPhone are making with games, you’d think he’d understand the market better. Last night at D8 he said (via Engadget):

Clearly iPhone plus iPod Touch have created a new class of gaming. It’s a subset of casual gaming, but it’s surprising how good some of them are. They’re almost as good as console gaming in terms of graphics. Console games the software is $30 or $40 a game. It’s cheaper on iPhone, so the market has exploded.

I love me some iPhone games, but I’ve yet to see one that was “almost as good as console gaming in terms of graphics”. I’ve also yet to see new home-console games that cost $30 to $40. Now, there are a few ways to write this off. You can say that he was speaking specifically about handheld consoles. Apple has always been weak with gaming, so perhaps this is something Jobs has never cared to understand on a deep level. As for the price difference, I suppose it’s easy to be $20 to $30 off when you’re a billionaire. At the end of the day I just get the sense that he doesn’t really know gaming or care to know it.

Some of you have already given me your opinions on the matter, but I want to hear from more of you. Does Steve Jobs know what the hell he’s talking about when it comes to games?

Author: RPadTV

9 thoughts on “Does Steve Jobs Understand the Gaming Market?”

  1. This does not surprise me considering he has previously tried to slate the iphone against the PSP and DS. Not that they aren't competitors, but I don't think they are competitors on the basis that he was aiming for. He was comparing the number of games that each system had, and of course the app store had slightly more than 50,000 apps in the game section; therefore, that is what he used for the iphone. Anyone who has looked at the game section of the app store should know that there are not 50,000 titles that are near the quality that a DS or PSP title is, some might be closer (splinter cell conviction and Crash Bandicoot were the most recent I have seen that seem close) than others- but I don't think that his reasoning was exactly sound.

    You are absolutely right though, with as much control over those products as he has you would think he would try to understand the market more than he seems to. Though I don't really care for Steve Jobs and think he only sees people as never ending wallets with no taste or desire for quality content, but plenty of people seem to think otherwise.

  2. Lets face it, Steve has never cared about games. Apple has never done anything to further gaming on any of its hardware and only sees the DS and PSP as competitors because they want people to think they are and to buy the Apple product instead. It's nothing more than a way for them to sell their brand with no innovation or effort.

  3. @bsukenyan

    If you count all the trainer and coach games for DS as well as the rest of the shovelware and the hefty amount of drivel on the psp they are closer than you realize. I have a launch day DS…I have bought all the Phoenix Wright games, a few mario titles and the Chinatown Wars. I have purchased significantly more titles on my iphone than the DS.


    Gaming is coming to the Mac. I think Valve likes what they see on the platform. The first company besides Blizzard to produce a quality Mac title will have a very loyal fanbase and a money printing machine.

  4. Call me crazy, but I'd be willing to bet my good pair of suede shoes that Mr. Jobs has never played Halo 3 or Uncharted 2. And can I tell you, I'm a man that loves me some suede!

    Hand-held gaming (ALL hand-held gaming) can give you a quick gaming "fix" when you're on the go, but for a deep, spiritual, interactive gaming experience, you need to have a console or a PC. It's like, yeah, I can get my daily servings of vegetables from eating vitamins, but it's not really a good substitute for actually eating a carrot or spinach. And, hey, some people are OK with just that little tiny morsel of gaming in their hands. They can get full with that Peggle or Pictocross, but for the rest of us, we need the real, hearty, meat and potatoes that only two analog sticks and an HDTV can bring.

    So, yeah, Steve Jobs doesn’t know shite about gaming less what he’s told by his corporate minions in suits.

    If those suits happen to be made out of suede, then please accept my application!


  5. @Smartguy

    Yes I understand that there is shovelware on every system, but the app store seems to get more than its fair share, in my opinion. The DS and PSP do have their shovelware games for sure, I don't really know any for the PSP but I would be shocked if they did not exist. However when I saw what Steve Jobs was saying and what I was referring to earlier, he was praising the iphone for clearly having about 47,000 more games than the DS or PSP.

    What I have a problem with is that I believe that the app store has more than its fair share of shovelware games, and not many of the games that are decent are quite up to par with what is available on the DS or PSP. I know that these are only a handful of games, but the iphone does not have anyone making the next Mario Kart, Metal Gear Solid, Pokemon, Zelda, God of War, etc. game for this system. They are making these games for systems meant to play a higher quality of games on them, which is where the PSP and DS come in. I think Sandrock hit the nail on the head when he made his entire post- so refer to post #2.

  6. @bsukenyan

    I'd consider the 3GS more powerful than the DS and rivaling the PSP in power. The interface is the bottleneck.

  7. @Smartguy

    I don't see how the 3GS has anything to do with the quality of a game with concern to length, storytelling, etc. You can have all of the processing power your heart desires and your brain can handle, but that doesn't matter if the games you play have no real quality. It is similar to how people want quality games when Natal comes out, or how you can only play the games that come with the Wii for so long before you want something with depth. The ball kicking game that has been shown with Natal, or Milo, is not what people really want out of natal, despite how cool parts of it can look. That is what I feel the games on the iphone are in comparison to the DS or PSP.

  8. @Smartguy

    Apologies. You did not mention quality of games with the 3GS, just the power. I realized I wrote it differently than I should have right after I hit submit.

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