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Hawkins: iPhone 'Freaking Out' Sony, Nintendo

Hawkins: iPhone 'Freaking Out' Sony, Nintendo

April 15, 2009 | By Kris Graft

April 15, 2009 | By Kris Graft
More: Console/PC

With the iPhone and iPod Touch's gaming initiative going full steam ahead, long-standing hardware makers Sony and Nintendo have reason to be nervous about competition from Apple. So says Trip Hawkins, industry vet and founder of mobile gaming firm Digital Chocolate.

"Between the iPod Touch and the iPhone, I think the platform is freaking out Sony and Nintendo," he told Venture Beat.

Hawkins suggests it's the iPhone's rapid penetration that threatens Nintendo's DS and Sony's PSP handhelds. "Apple has sold 30 million units so far and it has created tremendous awareness."

"It has taken ground all over the world. But it has only penetrated one half of one percent of its total market."

At last count, Nintendo said the DS shipped 100 million units, while Sony's PSP has sold 50 million. A developer for mobile devices, Digital Chocolate does not make games for either platform.

Hawkins says Digital Chocolate was relatively slow to get on board with the iPhone, but now it's his company's main focus. "Its by far our most effective platform," he says. "We make as much money with these games on one device as we do putting a game on 100 different cell phone platforms."

Digital Chocolate's games have found substantial success on the iPhone. According to Hawkins, games like Crazy Penguin Catapult, Tower Bloxx and Brick Breaker Revolution have all managed to reach number one on the iPhone's digital App Store at various points, beating out tens of thousands of paid and free gaming and non-gaming apps.

Analysts at Mobclix say there are currently nearly 8,000 gaming apps on the App Store.

To rise above the clutter of apps and reach number one with paid-for games is "a mathematical freak," says Hawkins.

Hawkins, who also founded Electronic Arts, added, "[The iPhone] reminds me of the Sega Genesis, when EA finally had a platform that could keep up with the games we wanted to make."

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