In stark contrast to the huge fanfare that pre-empts the release of any console-bound Grand Theft Auto title, Rockstar has quietly and with absolutely no public fuss released its GTA: Chinatown Wars onto Apple’s App Store.
The game, which works on both iPhone and iPod Touch, was originally developed and released on Nintendo’s DS before being ported first to Sony’s PSP and now the iPhone.
This iPhone version retains the touch-screen minigames of the DS whilst echoing the better visual fidelity of the PSP outing.
Most interesting is the game’s pricing. Released at 29.99 for both DS and PSP, and still retailsingfor 29.99 on PSN, the Apple version of the game costs just 5.99.
It’s a stark reminder of the market differences behind Apple’s digital strategy and that implemented by the major platform holders. And while 5.99 is regarded as a premium price point on the App Store, what message does the huge disparity send about the relative value of each competing system?