Monday, July 27, 2009

Casual Connect, Seattle and Handheld Gaming

I just returned from Casual Connect in Seattle. The flight over from Australia was a bit on the long side (24 hours from start to finish!) but the flight back was good (I slept most of the way).

The trip was a great success - we met with everyone we wanted to, and were introduced to a lot of other interesting people.

I spent all my time in meetings so I didn't get a chance to catch many of the panels or talks, but the great team behind Casual Connect will have podcasts of many of the talks up on their site before too long.

One thing I noticed on this trip was a large number of iPod Touch/iPhone users at airports. They were everywhere, and weren't just using their devices as music players or phones, but as game devices. In fact, I saw more people playing games on their iPhones than I did on PSP's or DS's. Actually, I only saw one PSP the whole trip.

Of course this is all anecdotal, and probably has a lot to do with the flight route I took (LA to San Fran to Seattle). I imagine this is a route a lot of tech savvy people travel and are more likely to be sporting iPhones.

But it got me thinking, is the iPhone/iPod Touch on track to be the portable gaming platform of choice?

I actually packed my DS Lite with GTA: China Town Wars - keen to play more of the game. But what happened? The iPhone was in easy reach, I had a bunch of fun little games to play, so I ended up playing it whenever I got a chance. Plus, Virgin flights have USB slots on all their seats, so you never have to worry about your iPhone running out of battery power.

So, while Marko and Duncan played their iPhones and the gentlemen across the aisle played his, I was engrossed in I Dig It, Dungeon Defense, Peggle, the awesome Wild West Pinball (which is now FREE!) and Monkey Island. And my poor DS sat, untouched, in my carry on bag.

So, for me, I have to say that the iPhone is now my portable gaming platform choice.

One day I will switch on my DS and finish GTA: China Town Wars... but for now I have a secret to discover on Monkey Island, courtesy of my iPhone.

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