Slave to the Game

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Apple iPhone users just want to have fun, according to the latest download statistics from the Apple App Store.

Video games dominated the paid application sales chart, capturing seven of the top 10 spots, including the top five slots.

The most-downloaded paid application was Sega's "Super Monkey Ball." In this game, which is priced at $9.99, customers can guide a monkey through mazes using the iPhone's accelerometer for navigation. The next-most-downloaded game was "Texas Hold 'Em," followed by Vivendi's "Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3-D" and Pangea Software's "Enigmo."

Games also were popular in the free application category, as the most downloaded free application was "Tap Tap Revenge," a music game similar to Activision's "Guitar Hero."

Since Apple opened up its iPhone platform to developers, many game makers have been drawn to the device's robust processor, motion control, touch screen, and graphics capabilities. At the E3 video game conference last week, Sega of America president Simon Jeffery said the iPhone is as powerful as the gaming console Dreamcast.

Game developers also are looking at the iPhone as a major mobile gaming platform and will bring large franchises to it. Electronic Arts will bring "Spore" to the handset, as well as versions from its successful "Tiger Woods" and "Need for Speed" series. THQ Wireless is also working on the highly anticipated "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed."

While the iPhone will help Apple garner a good portion of the projected $4.5 billion mobile gaming market, it's is still not close to competing with the Nintendo DS as a pure gaming console. Nintendo has shipped more than 20 million units of its handheld gaming console in the United States, while Apple has sold 7 million iPhones worldwide.


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