At the WWDC Keynote on Monday, Apple really began to show its gaming colors with the many announcements that will either enhance existing games, bring new franchises to the platform or have new tools that bring entirely new experiences to the mobile gamer.
Apple clearly showed it has a major interest in gaming by bringing up and showcasing Zynga’s FarmVille for iPhone on the big stage along with Activision’s hit Guitar Hero franchise. These games were part of a small presentation on the App Store and were 2 out of only 3 apps showcased on stage for the iPhone.
Along with these featured games, the new iPhone 4 brings new hardware features designed to make games and apps more interactive. Steve Jobs himself showed off the gyroscope built into iPhone 4 by playing a rough version of Jenga that ran well and played well. As Inside Social Games points out, this feature will likely bring a new layer of depth to physics based games such as Skies for Glory, which is an airplane simulator.
The new display is also equally important bringing the ability to create higher resolution games for the iPhone. The way this should help is by allowing developers to create better, more distinguishable user interfaces that make games easier to see and therefore play. Also, games for the iPad and iPhone should be easier to create for both when they are almost equal in resolution.
Camera usage is not new to iPhone games, but the new front-facing camera could be of some use in games. Perhaps a game will allow you to use your head as a motion indicator or to consistently capture your reaction to what is happening on the screen.
Ultimately, we don’t have all the details about where Apple is going with all of these new features but with Game Center, the gyroscope and the clear partnerships with big name publishers such as Zynga and Activision, their focus is clear: they want people to play games on the iPhone.