'Premium' games section coming to App Store?

Apple is laying the groundwork for a high-end gaming section at the App Store, sources claim. In the current organization of the store, bigger-budget games such as Sega's Super Monkey Ball are sorted no differently than the many low-cost clones of puzzle titles. Under the suggested arrangement, a special section at the store would contain only games costing $19.99 each.

Controversially however, the section would also allegedly be limited to corporate publishers, such as Electronic Arts and Gameloft. This would exclude the burgeoning independent scene, which has taken advantage of Apple's distribution mechanisms to gain exposure. For the major companies, though, an exclusive section would guarantee high publicity and stable sales, potentially making the iPhone as viable a platform as Nintendo's DS handheld or Sony's PSP. Most console games must be officially licensed before distribution.

It is not certain when Apple would introduce the App Store division, but one probability is the Worldwide Developers' Conference in June, Apple's next scheduled event. One or both of the two could coincide with the revelation of a new iPhone, potentially with superior gaming performance. The majority of rumors have pointed to a lower-cost "Nano" phone though, one which would likely see no serious processor upgrades. via ipodnn

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