Tickets for Apple’s Worldwide Development Conference (WWDC), its annual conference geared toward developers for its operating systems, sold out in less than a day. And the conference is conveniently taking place during the same week as the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the largest video game conference in the U.S.
This isn’t the first jab Apple has taken at a video game conference, either — it announced the release of the next iteration of its tablet computer, the iPad 2, during the Game Developers Conference in early March. Apple’s press event took place at around the same time Nintendo took the stage for a keynote address at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Calif.
One of Apple’s largest success stories on the iPhone is its massive game library. That includes the likes of casual games like Angry Birds and Popcap’s strategy game Plants vs. Zombies. But the mobile phone also sports some more “hardcore” games like Epic’s Infinity Blade and a mobile version of the parkour extravaganza Mirror’s Edge. Those are the kinds of games that are highlighted at E3, which is typically one of the largest and most extravagant events for triple-A titles in the industry.
But the conference has traditionally shied away from games on mobile devices like the iPhone — instead focusing on the major consoles and handheld systems like the 3DS and Sony’s next generation portable device, the NGP. That could be frustrating for Apple, which might take the chance to show its gaming clout at WWDC this year after pulling a substantial number of developers to the conference — and likely away from E3, because there is a lot of money to be made making iPhone apps.
Apple might announce that it will delay the release of the next version of the iPhone’s software, iOS 5.0, until the fall. Apple typically holds an iOS preview event in early spring — last year it showed off multitasking in iOS 4.0 at the beginning of April. While primarily an event for developers, Apple has also made major announcements at past WWDCs. In addition to iOS and iPhone announcements, the 2011 WWDC will also feature over 100 technical sessions to help developers get the most out of Apple’s platforms, as well as Apple’s annual Design Awards for iPhone, iPad, and Mac OSX apps.