Epic: Apps Could Kill Off $60 Console Games

Epic: Apps Could Kill Off $60 Console Games

Epic Games, in co-operation with Chair Entertainment, brought us Infinity Blade, one of the most graphically impressive, no-compromise game on the App Store. Infinity Blade costs $9.99, and not only is it worth every penny, but for the price, it’s graphically equal to many games on modern consoles like the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360…. and Epic sees app games as possibly killing off consoles once and for all.

“If there’s anything that’s killing us [in the traditional games business] it’s dollar apps,” said Epic Games’ Mike Capps. “How do you sell someone a $60 game that’s really worth it … They’re used to 99 cents. As I said, it’s an uncertain time in the industry. But it’s an exciting time for whoever picks the right path and wins.”

I don’t know about that right now. Worrying about this might be premature. There’s a huge difference between a $60 game on the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 and even an app as advanced as Infinity Blade. The bottom line is that right now, you’re just not going to get a cinematic experience on iOS, nor a AAA title dozens of hours of length. The hardware’s not right for it yet.

In the future, though? Who knows? The way mobile hardware is advancing, I could see it as overtaking consoles entirely within five years… and if Apple ever rolls out apps to the AppleTV, perhaps even less time than that.

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  • quietstorms

    I think it’s very likely that consoles die in ~5 years and the Apple TV really doesn’t need to do any more than it does now.

    What do I see?

    An iPad/iPhone that either Airplays to the Apple TV or is placed in a dock that is connected through Thunderbolt to the Apple TV. They’ll use Bluetooth controllers at home and be able to pick it and play anywhere they like.

    I won’t miss $60 games either. More than half that money went to console makers so they could have a low entry price on hardware. Apple charges a far lesser cut which should make these games cheap in comparison.

    If tablets are the future of computing, then these game makers will have a far larger audience to attract than with consoles. The App Store has proved that you can make your money ack on volume.

  • BDF

    Just look as Real Racing 2 HD played through an HDMI connector! It’s all closer than we think if developed right.

  • Kenseidave

    Infinity blade wasn’t that good. it was repetitive and ultimately lacked the depth of a $60 console game. Sure it looked good but $9.99 is all it was worth. I think there will always be a market for more in depth and more well realized games, but for those who just want a casual gaming experience, then IOS games are perfect. In fact I think that IOS has introduced many people who would have never played games on consoles to games in general. It’s all good. But i think it’s premature to predict the death of consoles ;)

  • medio_litro_

    there will never be worries for this..

  • jleetj

    They could always break the game up into parts and sell a whole bunch of sequels at $9.99, then there’s in-app purchases…people paid real money for smurfberries didn’t they?..

  • BlinQue

    Buying DeadSpace on my iPad last weekend for 99 cents was one of the best purchases I’ve made. It honestly provides enough satisfaction and game play as a console game that costs $59 more

  • Silas681

    I agree. it is basically naive to think that the technology available in a generic device that is mostly aimed at web browsing (Ipad) will be cost effective to produce as a machine to rival an Xbox 360 replacement, or Playstation 4. And that is what you guys are talking about. The 360 is VERY old, and yet ANY game on IOS does not come close to the likes of Battlefield Bad company 2.

    I am a die hard Apple fam boy (writting this on a top spec mac book pro, with the IPAD using MAXI vista) but commmmmmmmmmmmmeeeeee onnnnnnnnnnn, lets not take this too far. On screen scrtols will never match the precision of a analogue gaming controller. This is why you dont fly a high tech fighter like the Eurofight ith a bloody touch screen!

    Muppets!

  • mlahero

    I think the target of this idea is wrong. If anything iOS games will kill off handheld rivals, but the console itself is a totally different medium. People use their consoles for so much more than just gaming these days.

    Until iOS games can use a real tactile joypad/interface, let alone match the capabilities of something new like Kinect, then they will continue to remain a serious but secondary gaming platform.

  • John Marshall

    By iPad 3 or 4, it will have the same horsepower as current-gen consoles. What’s missing is the controllers.

    The iPad is bluetooth. Wii, XBOX, PS3 controllers are bluetooth. Why have the two not been used together yet (licensing)? Anyways, why no third party bluetooth controllers for iOS yet?

  • TylerHoj

    Apps will never kill of the console market. The only shift you may see is if boxed console games go the way of the cloud and become downloadable only, or available as a cheap USB drive. Either way, apps are a trend right now. It’s like the Blu Ray boom…you’ll still enjoy the experience for what it is, but it’s in no position to overthrow DVD’s forever.

  • TylerHoj

    When the next generation systems come out like PS4, XBox Whatever the F***, and the Wii 2…you’ll put your shiny new apps on the back burner. Gaming consoles are too iconic for replacement.

  • dawgsuit

    If Epic Games continues, the reign of consoles might end in no time! Just keep it up guys in the App developing world! Thanks for sharing the news here.

  • Pierreolivierservaud

    Comparing iPhone apps and console games never fails to make games like me laugh a little inside. Nevertheless, it’s true that 60 € is way too much for a game. Why am I expected to pay 60 € for a game while I could affor three or more DVDs with the same amount of money or even a dozen good books ? These various media are different in the way they’re produced, of course. But really, to me, there’s something a little absurd about paying 12 € for a luxury edition of Les Misérables, or the complete Trois Mousquetaires trilogy and 60€ for, say Red Dead Redemption. I understand a video game like that takes a lot of work from a lot of people for a lot of time, but there’s still something a little weird about that price gap.

  • blondepianist

    I don’t know about “kill off”, but it may reduce sales.

    Personally, I used to think nothing of paying $50 for a decent game, but after being used to paying $0-10 for apps (including games that did occupy me for hours, like Galaxy on Fire 2 and Infinity Blade), it was a bit unsettling to pay $45 dollars for Portal 2. It was worth it – but I don’t see myself paying that kind of money often.

  • blondepianist

    Actually, there is one. It’s a shell that the phone slides into, but it communicates over bluetooth. Wish I could remember the name, though.

  • TylerHoj

    Even when the iPad does get the beef to handle larger, more graphically complex and in-depth games, it only then becomes a competing platform. If Sony were to throw a phone in their NGP, I’m sure it would set a new standard for mobile gaming.

  • UndefinedAJ

    Killing consoles? Touch based gaming is fun for a little while but it is in now way going to replace console games. I, personally, would never pay more than $5 for a game in the app store.

    By 2015, next gen consoles will be released and they will be 50x more powerful than they are now so I don’t see tablets or smartphones catching up.

  • Mitro2

    I agree but an important factor is that the iPad is on a 1 year refresh cycle opposed to the 6-7 years on standard consoles. We already noticed the performance improvement between the iPad 1 and the iPad 2 and we can imagine that versions 3 and later will be even more powerful. In my opinion what’s lacking the most is a good controller. I would love to have a bluetooth controller with no jailbreak required.

  • BuckWheaties

    lol, it looks good cause its all video pretty much until you get to the little fighting scenes. Its just one fight after another. Bring me Red Dead Redemption on the ipad and we’ll talk.

  • CasyofPdx

    I doubt that the Infinity Blade can beat the Call of Duty or Halo game at any level.  It may edge out the PSP and DS games but any true gamer knows where to get his/her adrenaline resupply.  

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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