The Wall Street Journal has been talking with the games industry to evaluate the iPhone's position in the market not alongside mobile phones, but handheld consoles. This isn't a new argument, however, as we looked at the competition the iPhone was providing to the handheld market recently here on Pocket Gamer.
But Steve Jobs has never really pushed the gaming side of the iPhone until recently, and it seems he's now as interested in placing the device as a games system as much as anyone.
"I think the iPhone and iPod touch may emerge as really viable devices in the mobile games market this holiday season," he says.
A more solid endorsement comes from the games developers themselves. And we're not talking about back bedroom programmers, but the heavy hitters who've known considerable success in all consoles and mobile markets, such as Sega.
"Games sold via the App Store are the most profitable in terms of any of the formats we work on," Simon Jeffery, U.S. president of Sega, explains regarding Apple taking a 30% cut off the top of any iPhone app sales.
In another interview for Stuff.tv, Apple's veep of hardware product marketing Greg Joswiak threw the gauntlet down with the DS and PSP hardware updates, beginning by stating that the iPhone has more games available than both handheld consoles combined."The graphics capability is greater than the DS, we have multitouch, the screen is larger and there's an accelerometer. And we have the App Store. I think it's the future of gaming," he says.
Also quoted in the Wall Street Journal article is ex-EA executive Neil Young, who left the gaming giant to found Ngmoco a software house dedicated to developing iPhone games.
"It feels to me like there's a real threat to [Sony's and Nintendo's] business from the iPhone," says Young.
As much as it's a very subjective topic, and the iPhone is still enjoying the novelty phase of its existence that's long passed with the DS and PSP, there have been some very convincing arguments for the handset's ability to go toe to toe with the big boys.
Gamers are acutely aware that it's not hardware that creates success, however, but software if the iPhone can nail itself some recognisable, killer games in the next few months (despite 1500 games being available, not many stand out as must-have titles) we believe it could indeed have a genuine shot at the handheld gaming title.