Angry Birds Migrate to Game Consoles

If you're the type that gets addicted to Angry Birds, prepare to be sucked in again. Apparently the mobile game is coming to the Wii, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3.

Peter Vesterbacka, chief executive of Angry Birds developer Rovio, let the news out at the Virtual Goods Summit in London. He didn't give any specifics on timing or extra features, but I'm not so much interested in the game itself as the trend that's starting to take hold: The iPhone and Android are becoming proving grounds for downloadable console games.

Angry Birds won't be the first game to launch on the iPhone and make its way up to consoles. Flight Control, which debuted on the iPhone, is now available for Playstation 3. Plants vs. Zombies started on PC, but then went to the iPhone and iPad before landing on the Xbox 360. The developers of Doodle Jump would like to release PS3 and Xbox 360 ports, and the maker of Minigore has at least entertained the idea.

Usually, it works the other way around. For large-scale games like Assassin's Creed and Resident Evil, the publisher will release a smartphone adaptation that bears little resemblance to its source material. Smaller developers may start on consoles and release straightforward smartphone ports. For example, Bit.Trip Beat debuted on the Wii and is now available for iOS (I'm obsessed with the game and bought both), and Windows Phone 7 is getting some ports of Xbox Live games, such as Rocket Riot.

As for the new phenomenon, let's refer to it as smartphone talent scouting. I hope we see more of it, and not just for wildly popular games like Angry Birds and Flight Control, but for the unsung indie heroes that could use more exposure (a console port of Heavy Gunner, for instance, would be a blast). The more platforms, the merrier.

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