Apple to Track iPhone Gaming High Scores?

With on-stage demos of EA's Spore and Sega's Super Monkey Ball (demo video) at their iPhone Software Development Kit event, Apple seems to be serious about mobile gaming on the iPhone. Earlier reports also hinted at this commitment with Apple previously extending their trademark to include handheld gaming devices.

Now, a look back at an Apple patent application entitled "Media management system for management of games acquired from a media server" reveals an interesting possibility for iPhone gaming.

While the bulk of the patent details the downloading and syncing of games between iTunes and iPhones/iPods, Apple proposes extending this functionality even further. Apple describes a method for transmitting iPhone/iPod high scores and other achievements to a central community game server:

"The media purchase system can also be utilized to facilitate a community of game players. These game players acquire games via a client device and media management application, and then play the games on portable electronic devices. The game play data, including game performance data for specific games, can be transfered from the portable electronic devices to the client devices. The client devices can then transfer such game play data over the data network to a game community server. For example, the game performance data can pertain to a high score that a user achieved while playing the game on the portable electronic device."

By compiling high score data, players can compete amongst each other for prizes. All data can be digitally signed so that scores are authenticated.

Besides EA and Sega, Gameloft has committed to 15 game titles for release on the iPhone in 2008. Meanwhile, iPodHacks reveals the iPhone's hardware compares favorably to the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS gaming devices.

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