'Mobile can innovate where consoles cannot'

'Mobile can innovate where consoles cannot'
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

July 5th 2012 at 12:14PM

'Big console sellers change very little every year whilst many apps are exploring new realms of gameplay', says David Darling

There is a huge amount of innovation occuring on the App Store whilst many of the top console titles have grown stagnant, claims David Darling.

In his latest blog, the Kwalee CEO and Codemasters co-founder said that whilst apps on mobile had been exploring new ideas for gameplay, console titles were increasingly offering little difference between each other.

He added that iOS and Android could also offer extra features such as GPS, touchscreens, accelerometers and mobility, stating consoles needed to adapt to stay relevant.

“There is an immense amount of innovation on the App Store compared to recent console games,” said Darling.

“Big sellers on console like FIFA and Call of Duty change very little each year, whereas many apps are exploring entirely new realms of gameplay.

"Zombies, Run! is a massively innovative title which turns your daily run into a chase for your life using GPS and scary sound effects to make you believe you are running from the undead.

“More simple fun apps like Fat Booth and Talking Tom Cat have also been hugely successful, taking advantage of the iPhone’s cameras and microphone, respectively. You can even fly a remote control helicopter with your touch screen.”

Darling also said that digital distribution through the App Store meant that games could be treated as a service rather than a product, with developers able to iterate their titles based on customer feedback.

“Games can be updated through multiple iterations,” he said.

“In fact with Apple a new version of the game can be submitted every week and with Android even more frequently.

"On the current consoles this process is slowed by the need for hardware manufacturers to approve each game and they also charge developers a fee for each update they create.”

Console manufacturers have been widely criticised in the past for stringent approval processes to add games to and update titles on the PSN and XBLA.

There are signs however that Sony is looking to relax some of its PSN policies, with CCP recently claimed that these had been “removed” for its upcoming Dust 514 free-to-play MMO shooter.

"Relaxed is not even the word - they have 'removed'," said Dust 514 exec producer Brandon Laurino.

"Together we've worked to identify all the barriers that need to be removed to properly operate a service such as this on a console. We have complete ability to service and update the game as much as needed.”

Nintendo meanwhile has also revealed it plans to take online more seriously than in the past, whilst Sony and Microsoft have yet to announce how their rumoured in-development future consoles will tackle digital distribution and mobile.