The average iPhone application costs $2.75 USD and the average game costs $1.38 USD [source]. You definitely get what you pay for with iPhone applications, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Let’s take the game Circuits for the iPhone. I downloaded this game on Saturday and have easily clocked somewhere in the neighborhood of 5-6 hours on the game. At a price of $2.99 USD that averages to about fifty to sixty cents an hour of play. Plus, I’m still playing the game so that number will easily decrease over time. Now according to Kotaku, the average price of an XBLA game in June was $9.05 [source]. Which means to that the average XBLA game I download must give me at least 16.5 hours worth of fun to match the current level of entertainment that I have received from this single iPhone App Store game. And lets be honest, 16.5 hours worth of fun is a lot to ask of a regularly priced retail game considering that RPGs deliver something like 30 hours of game play themselves.
Now, I’m not saying that XBLA games or PSN games don’t deliver. Hell, Shadow Complex for XBLA has been one of the finest games I have played for a very long time on any platform and in any format. And on top of that, there are tons of stuff for the iPhone that are complete and utter crap… probably most of it. Nonetheless, the math alone proves you need to get a lot more hours of enjoyment out of console downloads than you do from iPhones in order to get your money’s worth out of it.
Sorry for the single update this week. I’ve been sick since Sunday and this was the first time since then I could muster up something for the site. I also plan on updating on my SPX experience this past weekend sometime soon as well. Once again, sorry for the delay and shortened week.