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Apple releases flood of new games for iPhone and iPhone 3G

Victor Godinez
The Dallas Morning News (MCT)

Well, I guess Apple does care about games.

The flood of titles on the new online App Store for the iPhone and iPhone 3G is a good sign for gamers eager to see someone other than Nintendo or Sony in the portable-gaming space.

Although the first crop of iPhone games is mostly of the sort that cellphone owners have been playing for a decade (Tetris, sudoku, poker, etc.), there are some cool, high-end titles, such as the racing game Cro-Mag Rally, that look as good as anything you'll get on the DS.

And in September, Electronic Arts is shipping an iPhone version of Spore, the hotly anticipated simulation game that will also be crawling onto the PC and DS.

One of the big hurdles for iPhone game developers is going to be finding a way to get their titles into the spotlight. A lot of gamers and game makers have complained about the traditional retail model for games, in which a title has a tiny sink-or-swim opportunity on store shelves to either become a hit or get relegated to the bargain bin.

Digital downloads, the theory went, would be far more forgiving, allowing unknown projects time to slowly filter into the gamer consciousness.

But with the number of iPhone games shooting through the roof, small titles seem destined to be just as buried at the App Store as they are on the rack at the local GameStop store.

Still, it's good to have another entrant in the portable-gaming space.

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E3 kicked off Monday with its first batch of press conferences, and Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo still don't seem to have much up their sleeves.

There was some talk that Microsoft would be introducing a motion-activated controller to steal some of the Wii's lucrative thunder, but Microsoft has done a very thorough job of publicly stamping down those rumors.

Now that could mean nothing, as these companies have no problem flat-out lying to the press about their upcoming projects or lack thereof.

In fact, Microsoft has to announce something big (no, the piddly $50 price cut for the Xbox 360 that everyone knows is coming and that Microsoft has not denied doesn't count) or risk falling even further behind Nintendo and even Sony.

Whether it's a motion-activated controller, Halo 4 or free hard drives for all the people who bought a 360 without one, Microsoft really needs a blockbuster unveiling.

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