Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) unveiled the iPhone 6 Plus today, the high-end successor to last year’s 5s device. It’s rumored the iPhone 6 Plus will come equipped with a larger screen than previous 5s and 5c models, a feature already adopted by Android smartphone Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3.
A larger screen has many advantages -- improved clarity, better resolutions and an enhanced interface. A bigger screen also means more detailed graphics -- a desirable feature for users who play mobile games and watch movies on their smartphones.
What does a super-sized screen mean for mobile game developers? Will we see an influx of major and indie games created for the new iOS device? We got the answers during a panel focused on mobile gaming during Digital Media Wire’s NY Games Conference on Monday.
“You definitely want to go wherever your users are,” Sean R. Scott, founder of GameDevMasters, said. “That applies to the small indie developer or a large corporation. It depends on where you want to put your main focus. Big corporations, they definitely want to go to Android or Facebook. As a small developer, going to the iPhone first can be a mistake, you want to be a big fish in a small pond. You may want to go to Facebook or Android first. But you eventually do want to go to cross- platform and reach iPhone users.”
In June, Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed that the company had sold more than 800 million iOS devices, with more than 500 million phones sold. He also confirmed there were more than 1.2 million apps available in the App Store.
Though games available on the iOS platform continue to grow in popularity, Apple still faces competition from Android-based devices, which some developers feel are more easily accessible.
“iOS continues to have a very strong download base, but we see Android as having a strong future because of the open system, and it’s less restrictive as a development platform for developers,” Lyteshot CEO Mark Ladd added during the panel. “‘Angry Birds’ popped because it was early to the pool. You wonder if the game would pop right now, lost in all of that. In some ways, being first on those platforms can be the way to get that discoverability back in iOS and Android.”
Will we see an increase of mobile gamers after the launch of the iPhone 6 Plus? It’s likely. Analysts predict that two different versions of the phone will be available – one with a screen that measures 4.7 inches and another with a 5.5-inch screen. The 5S screen is four inches.
"Bigger is better," Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group said on Tuesday. “…a lot of stuff we do works better on the bigger screen.”
“We truly feel that the amount of mobile gaming applications that are downloaded in the following year will increase a good amount,” mobile software development company V-Soft said. “Now individuals do not have to sit in front of a 60-inch television to fully experience quality game play, they can now experience the same gameplay on their Smartphone devices anywhere in the world.”
Will we see new and improved iOS games that take advantage of the larger screen of the 6 Plus? Will this attract more players? We'll have to wait and see.
Watch the iPhone 6 Plus livestream here.