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iPhone gaming sessions equal to DS and PSP

Session duration on iPhone games is matching consoles, and proof the device can rival other handhelds, says ng:moco

Users are playing games on the iPhone for the same amount of time as on traditional handheld devices such as Nintendo's DS and Sony's PSP.

That's according to the findings of ng:moco, the specialist iPhone publisher carving out a niche on Apple's handset, and proof for CEO Neil Young that the iPhone is a serious new-generation console.

While traditional mobile games are played for around six minutes at a time, ng:moco's own analytics show that titles such as the recently released Rolando are engaging consumers for far longer.

"You look at the other end of the spectrum with Rolando and the average play session is 22 minutes. The average player is playing the game ten times. That's a very different type of behaviour," said Young in an interview published today.

"That's the type of behaviour you'd expect to see from a DS or PSP or a traditional console gameplay experience. Why do I believe this is different? Because I believe people are playing the games differently. And that's enabled by what the device is able to do."

The iPhone is also a format that enables developers to approach game design differently, with those working with ng:moco able to assess user experience and tweak gameplay accordingly.

"We can see that people are stuck in Topple on world four, for example, and so we can change the level so players get to see world's five, six and seven," detailed Young. "We make little tweaks and tunes when we see people get stuck or a drop off in usage."

Before founding ng:moco, Young had been with Electronic Arts for 11 years, but has found that himself and other more traditional videogame makers are adapting to the iPhone format quickly.

"The biggest thing with the device is that it's got a unique set of functionalities and interface. The first place people go to is 'let's put some buttons on the screen.' We're always trying to encourage ourselves and others we work with to not think that way," said Young.

"I don't think Nintendo would go that way. They would think about making a Zelda game that entirely uses touch. We have to think the same way if we want the games to truly take advantage of the iPhone."

The full interview with Neil Young, where he details the beginnings of the company, why he left Electronic Arts, and more, can be read here.

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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