Here's How Activision Justifies Charging More For Angry Birds On Console

Pretend (?) you run a gaming company. If you could bring the biggest mobile game there is purchasable in stores, would you do it? If you're the largest game publisher in the world, then it's not such a tough question. Surprise surprise, Activision is publishing Rovio's Angry Birds for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo 3DS, even though it's free on Android and available for way less on iOS.

What's way less? Angry Birds Trilogy, which includes Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons, and Angry Birds Rio, sells for a buck each for the iPhone. To match with DLC, that's $6 total, or $10 for the HD versions on the iPad. Again, free on Android. This new version? $30 for the 3DS and $40 for home consoles.

Before you freak out, keep in mind a few things. First, Trilogy is a digitally-remastered, fully-remade game with 19 original levels (albeit from a huge total of 700+ levels), 1080p graphics and artwork, new cinematics never before seen that replace the pretty simple animations, surround sound, Move/Kinect support, 3D support, achievements, and plenty of unlockables like never before seen artwork.

Plus, instead of having three separate apps only playable on a smartphone or tablet, Trilogy offers it all in one convenient package as physical media. Angry Birds Trilogy sells in stores, on a disc or cartridge. So you can do whatever you want with it when you're done.

At a gaming trade show In Germany last week, I played a few levels with the various control schemes for home consoles. I found the gamepad decent but certainly not better than a touchscreen. Kinect, which uses two hands (left hand to pull back the slingshot and aim, right to trigger firing) is more fun, though the it's at the mercy of Kinect's cameras, which can be shaky. Move is certainly the more accurate and the easiest of the motion-controlled console options, thanks to a more precise aiming stick and buttons built right on the controller—you know, to restart instantly when you make a mistake.

The downside of this whole thing is that Trilogy isn't the full Angry Birds experience. Sure, you can play on a TV in gorgeous 1080p, but the 700+ levels doesn't meet the 855 levels I counted across those three Angry Birds titles. Trilogy doesn't include any of the updates released over the past year, nor does it include Angry Birds Space. Then again, even with that missing Trilogy still has at least 150 hours of gameplay in it, not including scoring three stars on every level and achievement-hunting.

What does it mean? For $30 you can get an alternate mobile version of Angry Birds for the 3DS, which plays in 3D and works with a stylus. Or, for $40, you can play Angry Birds on the big screen with motion controls. It's a steep price to pay, especially for a game with less content. Activision representatives did tell me that there are two planned DLC packs, but they don't know what content will be added.

Angry Birds Trilogy has gone gold and will release on September 25.