I absolutely love the indie renaissance iPhone and iPod touch have sparked, but you can't help but get into some of the big console games.

After all, there's a reason franchises like Call of Duty and Tekken are huge: they're a blast to play. We've already seen some cool stuff like The Sims, Assassin's Creed, and Grand Theft Auto - but those were just for starters.

2010 is going to be a pivotal year in portable gaming, particularly when it comes to major gaming companies taking iPhone and iPod touch seriously. In other words, expect some big name console franchises like Dead Space, Tekken, and Call of Duty to gear up for the App Store.

EA Mobile making room for Dead Space 2

Following the revelation that super creepy survival-horror game Dead Space 2 is getting a PSP release, it didn't take long before word of an iPhone and iPod touch version was heard on the breeze.

With iPhone releases exceeding expectations and handheld releases underwhelming, EA is keen to maximise the reach of the portable version of Dead Space 2. Just check out the first month of sales for Army of Two: The 40th Day on PSP: not even 40k copies have been sold.

Dante's Inferno might manage better, but the chances are slim with PSP continuing to falter. That makes iPhone and iPod touch a safer bet, especially considering DS is a bad fit for the series.

Dead Space 2Apparently, the game will resemble the on-rails spin-off created for Wii entitled Dead Space Extraction. Think Doom Resurrection, but built around the Dead Space 2 story.

While I'd prefer something closer to the over-the-shoulder action of the console versions, Dead Space Extraction was decent and hopefully EA can learn from the mistakes id Software made with Doom Resurrection.

Now for the lame news: no release is planned for 2010. There's no room for it this year, so expect the game - which won't be called Dead Space 2 and instead will carry a subtitle - in early 2011.

Tekken to go for the knockout punch on iPhone

What's the one question that Namco Networks gets asked more than any other? When's Tekken coming to iPhone and iPod touch?

The good folks at Namco know how badly everyone wants the lauded fighter, and they plan on revealing it next month. Built on the foundation of Tekken 6, this new iPhone edition pares down the content for a cheaper release. However, that doesn't imply the fighting system has been watered down or that the action is any less visceral.

TekkenIf Gameloft's well-to-do Blades of Fury is any indication, gesture-based fighting can work. There's room for improvement, though, and Tekken hopefully accomplishes that.

I also have my fingers crossed for downloadable ghost data to simulate one-on-one bouts. Let's be clear: there's not going to be online multiplayer.

Namco knows that expectations are astronomically high, which is another reason why it's taking some time with this one. After the poor showings for Ridge Racer and Pac-Man, the beloved publisher is keen on rebuilding its image with the iPhone community.

iPhone answers the Call of Duty

When Activision revealed earlier this week that another instalment of the blockbuster Call of Duty franchise would be out this holiday season, the immediate question that popped into my mind was whether an iPhone and iPod touch version will be deployed too.

Call of Duty 7I've come across some good affirmative intel: Call of Duty will ship out to iPhone and iPod touch in tandem with the console and PC versions (which purportedly are all set during the Vietnam war).

In fact, my source hinted that Activision was looking to the iPhone version as the sort of portable standard bearer. In other words, they think an iPhone version has the potential to sell more than one on DS.

That's a reasonable assumption when you consider the fortune of the franchise on the Nintendo handheld. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Mobilized absolutely tanked, not even selling a quarter of a million copies.

The previous year's game, Call of Duty: World at War did twice as well, whereas, the instalment before that sold twice as much. That's what we call a downward trend 'round these parts.

On the flipside, Call of Duty: World at War: Zombies has proved immensely popular (in spite of its outrageous price). Treyarch, the developer in charge of this year's Call of Duty, has even expressed interest in releasing another iPhone shooter. Sounds like all that's left is for Activision to issue official marching orders.