News

Will Baseball Slugger: Homerun Race 3D be the first micro transactional iPhone game?

Purchase extra bats and uniforms at the (App) store

Will Baseball Slugger: Homerun Race 3D be the first micro transactional iPhone game?

Additional note
(16/6/09)
Com2uS connected Pocket Gamer with the following amendment concerning the roll out of micro payments

Baseball Slugger will support "iPod Library Access" from release but the "in-game purchase" function will be added in the later update version.
--

Despite its World Series label, baseball is an almost US-centric enterprise, with the only other hotspots of activity being Japan and - strangely considering its general apathy towards its large neighbour - Cuba.

Still, if the real-life action was as simple and quick as Com2uS' Baseball Slugger: Homerun Race 3D, I could be tempted into picking up a hickory bat for real. I doubt I would be much good if my head-to-head against Don Lim, Com2uS' general manager, was anything to go by though.

At least, its basics are straightforward. You choose your slugger and his gear and bat and then attempt to swing your finger in time with, and in the general direction of, the incoming curve ball.

Playing in the versus or Matchup mode, you get to see your opponent's efforts in the video window top right hand corner of your screen. The competition is simply to see who can get the most hits in the given time.

Cleverly, the required bandwidth is tiny - you can use wi-fi, 3G, or EDGE - as the only packets of data sent are whether it's a hit or a miss, with the game faking the actual video stream. Good thing too as the server is currently located in Com2uS' homeland of Korea.

What's much more significant about Baseball Slugger however is that it's one of the first games that we know will support the micro-transactional business model enabled by the release of the iPhone 3.0 OS on Wednesday 17th June.

Hence, we - and plenty of other developers - will be very interested to see how it works, particularly as Com2uS has masses of experience in this area from its Korean mobile business, which operates by offering free games and charging for extra items. In the case of Baseball Slugger, we're expecting more baby steps however. You will be able to buy new uniforms and other equipment such as gloves, helmets and, of course, bats. Louisville slugger, the official bat provider of the MLB, is included in the game, while you'll also be able to purchase odd hitting items such as big hand sticks and metal bars.

Filling out the release is the ability to challenge your friends to a game, while single player Classic, Arcade and Training modes are available.

Baseball Slugger: Homerun Race 3D is due for release on 17th June, with updates rolling out for the community and micro-transactional features at some point thereafter.