iPhone games will now support in-game downloadable content -- which means developers can implement and charge for it via microtransactions, not previously supported.
During an Apple-hosted preview event for the upcoming 3.0 version of the iPhone's operating system, it was also revealed that multiplayer opportunities for iPhone games will take another step forward thanks to peer-to-peer wireless play.
New push notification, which will allow iPhones to be notified with new data sent wirelessly, rather than having to manually check servers periodically, will be available to third-party developers and should provide new opportunities for real-time updates in socially-oriented games and multiplayer applications.
For example, ngmoco announced LiveFire, a multiplayer iPhone first-person shooter. The game takes advantage of multiple iPhone 3.0 features, supporting both in-game chat and on-the-fly weapons purchases.
Also set to incorporate downloadable content is Electronic Arts' The Sims 3, which will make various piece of furniture and clothing for 99 cents each. Thanks to another iPhone 3.0 update, The Sims 3 will feature the ability to play music stored on the iPhone, through in-game music players.
In addition to in-game content, iPhone users will be able to purchase DLC with their existing iTunes/App Store accounts.
[UPDATE: Alongside today's official Apple announcements, analyst firm Mobclix released a report claiming that Apple's App Store hosts 25,000 programs, including 6,000 games -- with a total software download count estimated at 800 million units to date.]