PocketGamer.biz says that Apple is planning a dedicated fiefdom within the iTunes Store for "premium" games that cost $19.99. The section would be restricted to large publishers only—think Sega and EA. They've got no details on a launch date or which publishers are involved, only the educated guess that WWDC in June is the natural time and place to kick it off. If true, it means that Apple is more serious than ever about the iPhone and iPod Touch as a legit gaming platform, and that developers are working on more complex games closer to what's available on the DS and PSP. The iPhone has the horsepower to compete, sitting between the two in a dick-measuring contest, and developers have now had enough time to get comfortable with the platform to deliver legit truly gamer-worthy titles. But there are a ton of challenges to developing games more like the ones we see on the DS and PSP. The technical ones—battery life, limits of the dev kit , expected behavior of apps—might not even be the most challenging. The App Store is a 99-cent economy. Even if publishers do deliver DS-worthy games, people might not buy them. Segregating these premium games into their own section might break some of that user mentality—indeed, it's the reason having a separate section makes sense—but a $19.99 iPhone game still sounds like a tough sell. [PocketGamer.biz via MacRumors]
Let the major developers race to the bottom with the rest of the apps.
Part of the draw for the app store is that if an independent put out a top notch game then they could reap the benefits and sit along side the EAs and the Segas.
I've got to say too there better be a major step up from the big boys if (when) this does come about. I've got the big name games and I've got my fair share of the smaller ones. Spore really isn't that much better of a game then 99% of the other games out there.