"Apple is ahead of digital distribution rivals"

Written by Joe Martin

April 21, 2009 // 11:59 a.m.

Tags: #apple #apple-is-ahead-of-digital-distribution-rivals #digital-distribution #iphone #mac #psn #rolando #steam #wiiware #xbla

He may be a tiny bit biased but Simon Oliver, the indie developer behind Rolando on the iPhone, reckons that Apple is leading the digital distribution race by far and that companies like Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft are being increasingly left behind.

Talking to GI.biz, Oliver said that he'd considered creating Rolando for other platforms, such as Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade, but saw that Apple's AppStore was much better in nearly every way.

"Well, XNA was good, and this was before the whole community games thing," he said. "At the time, you could develop games, but there was no way of getting them out there. That was probably the primary reason at the time that I discounted it as a platform to work on."

"The thing about the iPhone is that the distribution is phenomenally good as well - the cut that Apple takes is great, and is so streamlined. You compare it to WiiWare, or even XBLA, it's such a streamlined process. You can do it via computer, via your phone, it's very easy and the automatic updating system is just fantastic."

Oliver continued to point out that the rising market share of the iPhone was a good indicator of how well the AppStore was working and that, though Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony were trying to catch up, Apple had already outdistanced them.

"Nowadays, I think there's a certain amount of response from guys like Sony and Nintendo to this, and there are rumours of what's going to be on PSP 2 in terms of digital downloads, plus there's the DSi and DSWare, WiiWare, etc," he said.

"But I think Apple's placed so far ahead, there's going to have to be a rapid reaction from the others - just in terms of the sheer amount of the content that's produced. Obviously there's not the same level of quality control that you get on XBLA or WiiWare, but I think you'll get so many more interesting games on the iPhone because the barrier to entry is so unbelievably low."

Hmm. Interesting how Oliver doesn't touch on PC digital distribution platforms. We wonder what he thinks about Steam, Impulse and Greenhouse. Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the forums and check out our round-up of iPhone games to see what titles we recommend at the moment.

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